News from the pharmaceutical industry
Deal watch: Bristol-Myers Squibb and Exelixis collaborate on kinase inhibitors
Nature Reviews report that Bristol-Myers Squibb and Exelixis have agreed to collaborate and together develop two kinase inhibitors, including the multi-target kinase inhibitor XL184, which is currently in Phase III trials. Certain kinase inhibitors are involved in oncogenesis and can be used to target different types of cancers.
News from the celebrities
Gwyneth Paltrow on smoking
The March issue of the fashion magazine Elle will feature actress Gwyneth Paltrow where she will open up about her love for smoking and her fear of cancer. Paltrow’s father died of cancer so she knows the deadly dangers of smoking. But she admits she loves the taste of cigarettes. She quit smoking the day she found out she was pregnant with her daughter Apple and plans to start smoking again when she is 70 “when it wouldn’t make much of a difference anymore.” Bravo! Gwyneth for managing to quit and for the right motivation.
News from clinical trials
Stem cells ready for prime time
The US FDA gave the go-signal first clinical trials of a therapy using human embryonic stem cells. The treatment has been developed by Geron, a California-based biomedical company. The stem-cell-derived therapy is indicated for spinal cord injury. According to a company spokesma (source: Nature News):
“There was a lot of scepticism as to whether we could reliably reproduce these manufactured products at levels of purity and identity sufficient to even allow the FDA to allow a phase I clinical trial…[the company] has convinced the FDA that those cells could be manufactured reliably enough for at least the first clinical trials. That is a milestone. A lot of the critics said it would be 30-50 years before we got there.”
News from the regulators
Regulatory Meeting with Manufacturers and Users of Bisphenol A-containing Materials
Regulators from the uS and Canada met up with representatives of American and Canadian manufacturers and food packagers to discuss bisphenol A (BPA) and how to minimize its levels in food. With regard to BPA generally, based on all available evidence, the consensus of regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan is that the current levels of exposure to BPA through food packaging do not pose an immediate health risk to the general population, including infants and young children, says the US FDA
News from the government agencies
The CDC has just launched the National Program of Cancer Registries-Modeling Electronic Reporting Project (NPCR-MERP). This is a collaborative effort to develop a model for sending data from clinical electronic health records (EHR) to hospital and state cancer registries.