Aeterna Zentaris Issues Encouraging Updated Data on LHRH Receptor; Peregrine Highlights Bavituximab's Tumor Therapy at Annual Meeting Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 19:09
Below is a look at some of the headlines for companies that made news in the healthcare sector on April 10, 2013.

Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) presented encouraging updated proof-of-concept results for Disorazol Z cytotoxic conjugates, such as AEZS-125 and AEZS-138, in human ovarian and endometrial cancer xenograft models. Results further showed the compounds' high potential for the treatment of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone ("LHRH") receptor positive tumors. Data were presented earlier today by Babette Aicher, PhD, the Company's Director of Preclinical Development, during a poster presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research ("AACR") annual meeting currently being held in Washington D.C. The study is funded through a grant from the German Ministry of Education and Research.

Juergen Engel, PhD, Aeterna Zentaris President and CEO stated, "Disorazol Z cytotoxic conjugates such as AEZS-125 and AEZS-138 are an extension of our AEZS-108 innovative LHRH-targeted platform in oncology. These results confirm the encouraging data presented at the ENA Symposium in November 2012, and will enable us to better select a specific drug candidate for further preclinical development expected to start during this quarter."


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Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PPHM)
, a biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class monoclonal antibodies focused on the treatment and diagnosis of cancer, highlighted data presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Data was presented this week from preclinical studies investigating the immune-stimulating mechanism of action of Peregrine's lead phosphatidylserine (PS)-targeting oncology clinical candidate bavituximab and the anti-tumor and imaging potential of other PS-targeting molecules.

Bavituximab is currently being evaluated in several oncology clinical trials including the lead indication of second-line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which is anticipated to advance into a pivotal Phase III trial later this year. "These studies yield important insights into the fundamental role that exposed PS plays in tumor immune evasion, and further support our lead clinical candidate bavituximab's ability to reactivate tumor immunity. This is now clearly evidenced by several specific measurements of both the immune-stimulating and anti-tumor mechanisms mediated by PS-targeting antibodies as well as imaging studies demonstrating that tumor growth inhibition is correlated with PS expression levels in tumors," said Jeff T. Hutchins, Ph.D., vice president of preclinical research at Peregrine Pharmaceuticals. "Included in these presentations was a compelling finding of a pronounced antibody-mediated increase in tumor-fighting immune cells that is independently correlated with an impressive survival benefit in patients with NSCLC based on a published retrospective study of clinical data(1) . When taken together, these results support PS as a promising oncology drug target and provide additional rationale for the impressive Phase II survival data we have seen in bavituximab's lead indication of second-line NSCLC."

Data presented from imaging studies(2) demonstrate that the chemotherapeutic drug docetaxel, a commonly prescribed second-line treatment for patients with advanced NSCLC, increases the exposure of bavituximab's target molecule, phosphatidylserine (PS), on tumor blood vessel cells and tumor cells. Results also showed that PS exposure in tumors is correlated with tumor burden and response to docetaxel treatment, supporting exposed PS as a promising biomarker of cancer and response to therapy. Peregrine's PS-targeting imaging agent I-124-PGN650 is currently being evaluated in a clinical trial to assess its safety and potential to image multiple tumor types in patients with cancer. Additional data presented from a series of preclinical studies(3) demonstrate that PS-targeting antibodies mediate immuno-stimulatory changes in tumors resulting in an increase of tumor-fighting (M1) macrophages, immune cells strongly associated with survival benefits in patients with NSCLC(1) . Peregrine recently reported promising data from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II second-line NSCLC clinical trial demonstrating a 60% improvement in median overall survival (OS) in patients receiving 3 mg/kg bavituximab plus docetaxel compared to the control arm.

The company plans to meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the second quarter of calendar year 2013 with the goal of initiating a Phase III trial by calendar year-end. Researchers also presented details of new PS-binding constructs(4).



Also Wednesday:



Actavis, Inc. (NYSE: ACT)
, announced today that it intends to release first quarter 2013 financial results on Thursday, May 2, 2013, prior to the open of the U.S. financial markets.

Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZ)
(the "Company") today presented encouraging updated proof-of-concept results for Disorazol Z cytotoxic conjugates, such as AEZS-125 and AEZS-138, in human ovarian and endometrial cancer xenograft models.

Andain Inc. (OTCQB: ANDN)
("Andain"), a company engaged in commercializing novel technologies in biotech, medical and life sciences fields through its accelerating incubator program, announces today of the successful 510K tests of its miniature disposable insulin pump.

Avita Medical Ltd. (ASX: AVH) (PINKSHEETS: AVMXF) (OTCQX: AVMXY)
is pleased to announce that it has secured the grant of Japanese Patent No. 5214085 "Cell Suspension Preparation Technique and Device" by the Japanese Patent Office.

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics (OTCQB: BCLI)
, a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that the company will be presenting at several upcoming scientific and investment conferences.

Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) (NASDAQ and MTA: CTIC)
today announced that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a non-departmental public body of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom, issued draft guidance on PIXUVRI® (pixantrone) as a monotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with multiply relapsed or refractory aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (aggressive B-cell NHL).

Cytomedix, Inc. (OTCQX: CMXI)
, a regenerative therapies company commercializing and developing innovative platelet and adult stem cell technologies, announced today that Martin Rosendale, Cytomedix CEO, will present a corporate overview at the 2013 Regen Med Investor Day to be held Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in New York City.

Dyadic International, Inc. (OTC Pink: DYAI)
, a global biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development, manufacture and sale of enzymes and other proteins for the bioenergy, bio-based chemicals, biopharmaceutical and industrial enzyme industries, announced today that its President and CEO, Mark Emalfarb, will speak at the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, during its conference session: Hot Technologies & Products,at 2:30 p.m. EDT on April 17, 2013.

ImmunoGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGN)
, a biotechnology company that develops targeted anticancer therapeutics using its Targeted Antibody Payload (TAP) technology, disclosed for the first time today preclinical data for its EGFR-targeting ADC, IMGN289.

iSatori, Inc. (OTCQB: IFIT)
today announced plans to launch Garcinia Trim™, a new natural weight-loss supplement, with three of America's largest distributors and retailers of specialty dietary supplements: Europa Sports (www.europasports.com), Vitamin World (www.vitaminworld.com), and GNC (www.GNC.com).

Mauna Kea Technologies (NYSE Euronext: MKEA)
, leader in the optical biopsy market and developer of Cellvizio®, the fastest way to see cancer, announced today that the first Cellvizio system was sold in China, one of the fastest growing, largest medical device markets in the world.

Merck (NYSE: MRK)
, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that its New Drug Application for an investigational, tablet formulation of the company's antifungal agent, NOXAFIL® (posaconazole), has been accepted for review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

MusclePharm Corporation (OTCQB: MSLP)
, a nutritional supplement company focused on active lifestyles, announced today it continues to see strengthening demand for its line of branded sports nutritional products in international markets.

Nuvilex, Inc. (OTCQB: NVLX)
and its subsidiary Medical Marijuana Sciences, Inc. received some good news this week as Maryland lawmakers passed a bill allowing medical marijuana programs at research centers.

Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ: OMER)
today announced positive data in the most commonly used model for studying the clinical and pathological features of multiple sclerosis (MS), further advancing its development program of GPR17-targeting compounds for the treatment of MS.

Pharmagen, Inc. (OTCBB: PHRX)
(the "Company" or "Pharmagen") is excited to announce that it has entered into an agreement to use proprietary ScanRDI technology from BioMerieux.

Quidel Corporation(NASDAQ: QDEL)
, a provider of rapid diagnostic testing solutions, cellular-based virology assays and molecular diagnostic solutions, will release first quarter 2013 financial results after market close on Tuesday, April 23, 2013.

Rafarma Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: RAFA)
announces today that they have agreed with QualityStocks to be featured in The Small Cap QualityStocks Daily Newsletter, QualityStocks Daily Blogs and Message Boards.

Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGMO)
announced today that Edward Lanphier, Sangamo's president and CEO, will present at the 2013 Regen Med Investor Day to be held Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in New York City.

TelVue® Corporation (PINKSHEETS: TEVE)
-- the innovation leader in Television and Internet Broadcasting for cable operators, media companies and communities -- today launched the cloud-based TelVue Connect Media Exchange, a video program distribution and syndication platform that connects content producers with broadcasters.

Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: TSPT)
, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of proprietary products that address important therapeutic needs in the field of neuroscience, today announced that Thomas J. Dietz, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Waypoint Holdings, LLC, a financial holdings and services company, has joined the board of Transcept Pharmaceuticals as an independent director effective April 10, 2013.

VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB: VSTA)
, a biotechnology company applying stem cell technology for drug rescue, predictive toxicology and drug metabolism assays, today announces the signing of a strategic financing agreement with the European subsidiary of Bergamo Acquisition Corp. (PINKSHEETS: BGMO), a global diversified investment holding company.

WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. (NYSE: WX)
, a leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device R&D outsourcing company with operations in China and the United States, today announced that it will release financial results for the first quarter of 2013 after the New York Stock Exchange closes on Monday, May 13, 2013 (which will be Tuesday morning, May 14, 2013 Shanghai time).



"Featured Content" profiles are meant to provide awareness of these companies to investors in the small-cap and growth equity community and should not in any way come across as a recommendation to buy, sell or hold these securities. BiomedReports is not paid or compensated by newswires to disseminate or report news and developments about publicly traded companies, but may from time to time receive compensation for advertising, data, analytics and investor relation services from various entities and firms. Full disclosures should be read in the 'About Us Section'.

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