Showing posts from August, 2017

AOI announces skull base tumour centre for cancer treatment

American Oncology Institute (AOI), a city-based chain of  cancer  hospitals, today announced the launch of comprehensive Centre for Skull Base Tumour for treatment of cancerous and non-cancerous diseases.  According to Dr M Babaiah, Medical Director, American Oncology Institute, majority of the skull base tumours spread very fast, making patients report for treatment in advanced stages of the disease, which  results  in delay of timely and quality medical treatment.  "With the comprehensive Centre for Skull Base Tumor, we would be able to meet the demand for precision-driven  cancer  treatment," he said.  Dr Babaiah, who is leading the Centre for Skull Base Tumour along with specialised team of experts, said skull base tumours grow on the bones of the skull that form the bottom of the head and the body ridge behind the nose and eyes.  Skull base tumours present unique challenges because of their relative rarity, typically deep location, close proximity to critical neurovas

FDA Approves Pfizer Drug for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Besponsa (inotuzumab ozogamicin) for treating adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The approval for this rare blood cancer comes with a boxed warning for hepatotoxicity, as well as a warning of increased risk of death if Besponsa is taken after certain stem cell transplants. B-cell precursor ALL is an aggressive cancer in which an excess of B-cell lymphocytes are produced. Initial treatment involves chemotherapy, but for relapsed or refractory patients, effective treatment options are limited.      Per the FDA: “For adult patients with B-cell ALL whose cancer has not responded to initial treatment or has returned after treatment, life expectancy is typically low,”  said  Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “These patien

Biocon pulls application for EU approval of two drugs

India's Biocon Ltd has withdrawn its application seeking European Union approval for two drugs after the EU drugs regulator sought re-inspection of their production facility, sending shares down more than 8 percent. Biocon will re-submit the applications for breast cancer drug Trastuzumab and Pegfilgrastim, which cuts infection risk in patients undergoing chemotherapy after the European Medicines Agency completes the inspection, it said in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday. "The European regulatory authorities had informed us of the need for a re-inspection of our drug product facility for these products," Biocon said, without specifying when the regulator would carry out the inspection. "We are on track to complete our corrective action and preventive actions by the end of this quarter, and it is our intent to seek re-inspection and re-submission thereafter."  Source:

Aurobindo Pharma, Intas in race for Teva’s European assets

Aurobindo Pharma Ltd and Intas Pharmaceuticals Ltd are in the race to acquire part of the European assets of Israeli generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd in a deal that, if completed, could be the biggest overseas acquisition by an Indian pharma company. The assets include the oncology, pain management and women’s health divisions of the company, two people aware of the talks said on condition of anonymity. They added that the process, which is being managed by Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), is expected to receive bids that are upwards of $ 1 billion. Spokespersons for BAML, Morgan Stanley and Intas Pharmaceuticals declined comment. Spokespersons for Aurobindo Pharma and Teva did not respond to e-mails seeking comment. This will be the second time in less than a year that Aurobindo and Intas are vying for Teva’s assets. Last year,  Aurobindo unsuccessfully bid  for Teva’s Actavis UK Ltd and Actavis Ireland Ltd units and was pipped at th

Breast cancer study in India shows how the country can avoid crisis

The research, which is the first of its kind to look at  breast cancer  awareness in India, found that cultural and religious issues mean that  women  don't access health services, are reluctant to consult male doctors, neglect their own health due to family obligations and are over-dependent on other family members to seek medical help, all of which causes delay in diagnosis. The study found that traditional marketing campaigns don't work for raising awareness of the disease and that community nurses are the most effective channel. A a greater understanding by men is also key to tackling  early diagnosis . The study is published this week in the  Journal of Business Research . The research highlights the significance of the country's rapid economic development, leading to greater urbanisation, which is leading some women towards a western lifestyle resulting in a rise of breast cancer rates. It describes the issue as one of the biggest health threats facing India tod

Efforts on for cheapest cancer treatment at NCI: CM Devendra Fadnavis

Six government departments and corporate companies including ONGC and Coal India Ltd have come forward and supported to make National Cancer Institute (NCI) functional. State chief minister  Devendra Fadnavis  said that efforts are on to make cancer treatment at NCI the cheapest one in the entire country. Fadnavis was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the first phase of NCI, established under the aegis of Dr Aabaji Thatte Seva Aur Anusandhan Trust at Jamtha. Union minister for road transport and highway Nitin Gadkari, noted industrialist Ratan Tata, union power minister Piyush Goyal, union minister of state for petroleum and natural gas  Dharmendra  Pradhan, Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH) director (academics) Dr Kailash Sharma, Sun Pharmaceutical MD  Dilip Shanghvi , YES Bank MD Rana Kapoor, Hinduja Hospital oncology head Dr Asha Kapadia were also present on the dais. All the guests praised Fadnavis and trust secretary  Shailesh Joglekar  for completing their dream project after

Bristol-Myers kidney cancer drug fails late-stage trial

Bristol-Myers Squibb  Co said on Tuesday its combination drug to treat previously untreated patients with advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma, a type of kidney cancer, failed to meet one of the main goals of a late-stage trial. The drugmaker's shares were down 3.4 percent at $55.90 in after-hours trading. The combination of Bristol-Myers' two top drugs — Opdivo and Yervoy — was not statistically significant in improving progression-free survival in patients, when compared with standard-of-care drug sunitinib. The drugmaker has been under pressure from activist investors after falling behind  Merck  & Co Inc in the key field of immuno-oncology after its Opdivo drug failed to prolong survival in previously untreated patients with non-small cell lung cancer, the largest cancer market. Merck's rival drug,  Keytruda , improved the survival rate as a front-line treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. Bristol-Myers said on Tuesday the combination therapy

Cancer Drug Trials Encounter a Problem: Too Few Patients

With the arrival of two revolutionary treatment strategies, immunotherapy and personalized medicine, cancer researchers have found new hope — and a problem that is perhaps unprecedented in medical research. There are too many experimental cancer drugs in too many clinical trials, and not enough patients to test them on. The logjam is caused partly by companies hoping to rush profitable new cancer drugs to market, and partly by the nature of these therapies, which can be spectacularly effective but only in select patients. In July, an expert panel of the Food and Drug Administration approved a groundbreaking new leukemia treatment, a type of immunotherapy. Companies are scrambling to develop other drugs based on using the immune system itself to attack cancers. Many of these experimental candidates in trials are quite similar. Yet each drug company wants to have its own proprietary version, seeing a potential windfall if it receives FDA approval. As a result, there are more

Cytecare introduces 3-D imaging technology for breast cancer screening

Breast Cancer has been ranked as the number one cancer among Indian women with age adjusted rate as high as 25.8 per 100,000 women, as per the latest statistics published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology. Bengaluru has ranked third with age adjusted incidence rate of carcinoma of the breast found as high as 34.4 per 100,000 women. Projections for India suggest the number of breast cancer cases will likely go as high as 1,797,900 by 2020. Though there has been an increase in health check-ups among women recently, we can still see that screening is low on priority even in major cities. Cytecare hospital is the first hospital in the city to introduce Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (popularly known as 3D-Mammography) for women. Mammography continues to be the only screening test proven to decrease mortality from breast cancer. However, 2D mammography is less accurate in women with dense breasts for whom cancer may be masked by overlapping breast tissue. When a 2D mammog

Intas eyes Teva’s oncology, women’s health divisions in Europe

Within a year of buying out Teva's UK and Ireland assets and breaking into the top 20 generics players club, Intas Pharmaceuticals is on the prowl again for a larger piece of Teva’s existing operations in Europe.  The closely held Ahmedabad-based drug maker, which has Temasek and Chrys Capital as its investors, is bidding for Teva’s women's health, oncology and pain management divisions in Europe for $1.5 billion, said multiple sources aware of the ongoing negotiations. Intas has reached out to several Indian and global banks–ICICI, Axis, Citi, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, HSBC among others–to finalise the financing before putting in a binding bid by the end of this month. If successful, this will be the largest cross border M&A involving an Indian pharma company.  Teva, the world’s largest maker of generic drugs, plans to divest some assets including its global women’s health and European cancer and pain-treatment divisions to reduce debt. The  drugmaker last year pai

CORE Diagnostics, Contextual Genomics to improve cancer treatment in India

Domestic diagnostics start-up CORE Diagnostics on Tuesday partnered with Canada-based Contextual Genomics to introduce a genomic test that will improve   cancer   treatment in India, the company said. The test, named "geneCORE Hotspot", detects common, clinically actionable genomic alterations in solid tumours and reports them back to the user in four weeks from histology to a report. "We are elated to announce this partnership that allows us to bring to   India   one of the most significant diagnostic developments in the field of oncology and personalised medicine," said Zoya Brar, MD and Founder at CORE Diagnostics. "geneCORE Hotspot is a major diagnostic advancement that will allow doctors to treat each patient in a unique way by identifying the mutations driving his/her disease. This test has the potential to revolutionise   cancer   care," Brar added. Each   cancer   is different and needs an individualised treatment plan to allow patients

FDA approves novel leukemia, hepatitis C drugs

FDA approved the first treatment for patients with a certain type of acute myeloid leukemia, as well as 2 new drugs to treat hepatitis C. Vyxeos (Jazz Pharmaceuticals), a fixed combination of chemotherapy drugs daunorubicin and cytarabine. was approved to treat adults with two types of acute myeloid leukemia (AML): newly diagnosed therapy-related AML (t-AML) or AML with myelodysplasia-related changes (AML-MRC). Related:  FDA approves first targeted leukemia drug for certain patients, plus 2 more “This is the first approved treatment specifically for patients with certain types of high-risk AML,” said Richard Pazdur, MD, director of FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a statement from FDA. “Vyxeos combines two commonly-used chemotherapies into a single formulation that may help some patients live longer than if they were to receive the two therapies sepa