This week in drug discovery (29 January – 2 February) 

News round-up for 29 January – 2 February by DDW Digital Content Editor Diana Spencer.

Sunday 4 February is World Cancer Day, an international awareness day led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), so the round-up this week will focus on oncology, including the UK approval of a rare blood cancer drug and a novel production process for CAR-T therapies.

The top stories:

Prescription drug could prevent cancer therapy-related diarrhoea

A study in dogs has shown that crofelemer can provide symptomatic relief of diarrhoea associated with the irreversible pan-human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) neratinib (Nerlynx).

Phase I trial for first-in-class bispecific antibody for cancer

Onward Therapeutics has announced the Phase I clinical trial of OT-A201, a first-in-class bispecific antibody targeting two immune checkpoints is in progress. The study aims to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity, and preliminary anti-tumoural activity of OT-A201.

Breast cancer drug repurposed for congenital hyperinsulinism

In a world first, Sidra Medicine, a member of Qatar Foundation, has pioneered a new treatment protocol for a young infant with congenital hyperinsulinism. The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

JAK inhibitor for rare blood cancer approved in Great Britain

GSK’s Omjjara (momelotinib) has been granted marketing authorisation in Great Britain for the treatment of disease-related splenomegaly or symptoms in adult patients with moderate to severe anaemia who have primary myelofibrosis, post polycythaemia vera myelofibrosis or post essential thrombocythaemia myelofibrosis.

Novel CAR T-cell vein-to-vein process could reduce time and cost

A paper in BioRxiv has described a new process that could improve the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell patient experience and reduce costs through a minimisation of the CAR T-cell therapy vein-to-vein process.

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