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Posts tagged with "Cancer"

  • Business and Markets

    Chaos at AstraZeneca

    What on earth is going on over at AstraZeneca? The company has had plenty of wild ups and downs over the years, and managed to fight off a takeover attempt by Pfizer (and who else has managed that?) But in doing so, they made some pretty strong revenue projections (look what we’ll do if Pfizer… Read More
  • Cancer

    MTH1: From Hot Topic to Devalidation?

    Here’s an argument that’s been going on inside the oncology drug development world over the last few years: is the enzyme MTH1 a great cancer target or a complete waste of time? MTH1, also known as NUDT1, degrades phosphates of 8-oxoguanine, an oxidized form of the regular guanine that cells know and love. That enzymatic… Read More
  • Cancer

    How to Know When a New Target is Really a New Target

    This is an excellent article, and the title is self-recommending: “Common Pitfalls in Preclinical Cancer Target Validation”. The abstract speaketh the truth: An alarming number of papers from laboratories nominating new cancer drug targets contain findings that cannot be reproduced by others or are simply not robust enough to justify dr… Read More
  • Biological News

    ER-beta For Breast Cancer: Think Again

    OK, let’s talk about a breast cancer target, estrogen receptor-beta. It’s been the subject of a great deal of research over the years, but its exact actions have proven difficult to work out. One of the problems has been that there are a number of different antibodies available to locate it in tissue, but they… Read More
  • Cancer

    Why Did This IDO Inhibitor Trial Fail?

    Let’s put this one under the “This is why you run clinical trials” heading. A number of companies have looked at inhibitors of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) over the last few years. The enzyme turns tryptophan into kynurenine, a pathway which (among other things) regulates immune function. Evidence has accumulated that many… Read More
  • Cancer

    An Approval Like No Other

    Merck got an unusual approval at the FDA recently, for its Keytruda antibody in oncology. What’s new about it is that it is the first approval that’s based on the molecular biology of the tumors rather than their location. Keytruda is now approved for high microsatellite instability and/or mismatch repair deficient tumors, no matter whe… Read More
  • Cancer

    Palladium Couplings – Inside Living Cells

    I only have time for a short post this morning, but here’s a technique that I had never thought about: palladium-catalyzed drug synthesis inside the target cells. There have been a few reports of activation of prodrugs via intracellular Pd catalysis (such as this one), but it seems like a real challenge to get both… Read More
  • Biological News

    Turmoil in Immuno-oncology

    Immuno-oncology! It’s such a big deal, let’s just do what everyone in the field is doing and call it “IO”. The recent successes in this area have rearranged every company’s oncology strategy, in some cases rearranging its entire oncology portfolio right out the door. There are several possibilities open to you now, if… Read More
  • Cancer

    Kite’s Latest News

    Readers will surely recall the problems that surfaced last year with Juno’s CAR-T cell therapy program. There were a number of patient deaths, and worried onlookers were wondering how their competitor, Kite Pharma, was doing. Well, now there’s word that a patient in one of their trials has died from what’s described as multiple or… Read More
  • Biological News

    MELK Is Not A Cancer Target. Surprise!

    The Maternal Embryonic Leucine zipper Kinase (MELK) is definitely an interesting enzyme. It’s been implicated in a number of cancer cell lines, and it also has important roles in the normal cell cycle, in embryogenesis, and other functions. It’s one of those proteins that’s found all across mammalian (and non-mammalian) species,… Read More
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