This week in drug discovery (6-10 February)

News round-up for 6-10 February by DDW Digital Content Editor Diana Spencer. 

Clinical drug trials have made the headlines this week, as it was revealed that breast cancer still tops the bill for number of clinical studies and the shortcomings in current methods to ensure representation of patient populations in trials were exposed. 

There were two significant UK regulatory approvals based on key Phase III trial data, while an unusual ‘non-interventional’ study into geographic atrophy enrolled its first patient. 

The top stories: 

Study shines a light on representation in clinical research 

A diversity study has shown that clinical trials should use real world diseases epidemiology data, rather than US Census Bureau race and ethnicity data, to ensure enrolment reflects the populations affected by different diseases. 

UK approval for dengue virus vaccine candidate 

The UK’s MHRA has granted marketing authorisation for Takeda’s vaccine candidate Qdenga for active immunisation against dengue infection from four years of age. The decision follows key results from the ongoing Phase III, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled TIDES trial. 

Breast cancer still top disease area for clinical studies 

Breast cancer retained its position as the most-studied disease area in clinical trials in 2022, despite a drop in activity, according to analysis from analytics company Phesi. The company’s global analysis of all clinical trials conducted in 2022 showed that Covid-19 came second. 

First-line AZ treatment for adults with biliary tract cancer approved 

The MHRA has approved Imfinzi in combination with gemcitabine and cisplatin as a first-line treatment for biliary tract cancer. The TOPAZ-1 Phase III trial showed that the combination demonstrated a clinically meaningful and durable overall survival benefit. 

Non-interventional geographic atrophy study launches 

Complement Therapeutics (CTx) has enrolled the first patient in its study of people diagnosed with geographic atrophy (GA). The research will support the clinical development of CTx001, CTx’s lead gene therapy asset for the treatment of GA.

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