The next generation of breast and ovarian cancer treatment is attacking the deadly disease from all angles. That is no more evident than in the glut of pharmaceutical companies racing to develop, test, and release new and better treatments in the increasingly competitive fight against cancer.
One biotech company, TapImmune, Inc. (NASDAQ: TPIV), is currently undergoing four different Phase II studies on TPIV 200—for which they’ve partnered with AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE: AZN) and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—two for the treatment of breast cancer, and two for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
The company believes its leading vaccine candidate, TPIV 200, could provide an effective and minimally invasive treatment alternative for women with breast and ovarian cancer.
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“Our vaccines have the potential to be a powerful standalone therapy against a variety of cancers,” said CEO Glynn Wilson on the company’s Q4 conference call. “As well as the central component of the leading combination immunotherapy, which is an exciting approach that many are undertaking in the clinic today,” Wilson said.
Phase I clinical trials for TPIV 200 showed the vaccines demonstrated immune responses in more than 90 percent of patients, and it’s also been fast tracked by the the FDA.
Niraparib, sold under the brand name ZEJULA, is a PARP enzyme inhibitor used, in conjunction with platinum therapy, in the maintenance treatment of recurrent ovarian, fallopian, and peritoneal cancers as well as instances of BRCA breast cancer, which are common to ovarian cancer patients.
Niraparib is currently the only PARP inhibitor proven reliably effective in producing progression-free survival among patients with recurrent ovarian cancer. The treatment gained FDA approval late in March and was made available for patient treatment on April 19. In a statement released by TESARO that same day, company CEO Lonnie Moulder commented on the company’s commitment to increasing patient access to the treatment.
Said Moulder, “Increasing progression-free survival after platinum therapy is a truly meaningful benefit for patients and their families, and the once-daily, individualized dosing of ZEJULA allows healthcare providers to ensure the optimal dose per patient without compromising efficacy. We are committed to ensuring access for patients through TOGETHER with TESARO, our patient assistance program for ZEJULA, and we look forward to delivering this important new treatment option to patients and their caregivers.”
Similar PARP inhibitor treatments from AstraZeneca plc (NYSE: AZN) and Clovis Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: CLVS) have already been approved by the FDA, while others from Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV) are in late-stage development.
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