Archive for the ‘News’ category

Protein Interaction Stokes Hope for Brain-Cancer Treatment

April 1, 2015

Brain-Cancer Treatment pic Researchers have identified an interaction between proteins that could spur the development of new treatments for brain cancer. According to a study published by a team of scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University, an interaction between the proteins created by the AEG-1 and Akt2 genes has an impact on the malignancy of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common kind of brain cancer.

Members of the research team previously discovered that AEG-1 and Akt2 were overexpressed in many cancers. Their new research showed that the proteins created by those genes led to a positive feedback loop that contributed to GBM. The study was the first to identify that particular element of GBM, leading to hopes that new drugs developed to disrupt the feedback loop could become a productive part of GBM treatment strategies.

The hope hinges on the way that cells interact in the brain. Through a process called signaling, a number of cellular functions are regulated. The Akt2 gene has a particularly active role in the way that tumors spread and survive in the brain, and the study found that the proteins created by AEG-1 and Akt2 were a key element of the signaling that regulates it. By attacking the protein interaction in mice, the researchers were able to demonstrate a reduction in the survival of GBM cells.


Despite New Onyx Drug, Amgen Performs Below Predictions

August 21, 2014

Amgen logo pic Last fall, Amgen Inc. made waves in the biotech industry by purchasing Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $10.4 billion. The deal came after Onyx turned down the company’s initial $10 billion offer in June 2013. In its first quarter since purchasing the biotech start-up, Amgen reported lower-than-forecasted earnings. Although sales increased from the same period in 2013, the pharmaceutical giant’s revenues fell $230 million short of estimates. The company attributes the gap primarily to a drop in sales of Enbrel, an anti-inflammatory drug. Meanwhile, analysis shows that Onyx’s multiple myeloma drug, Kyprolis, generated $68 million, and drugs such as Xgeva and Prolia helped drive sales growth by approximately 5 percent.

Despite the fact that Kyprolis contributed $68 million to the company’s bottom line, the purchase of Onyx also affected Amgen’s first-quarter earnings. According to officials, research and development costs increased by more than 15 percent during the quarter as Amgen integrated Onyx’s existing programs. Although Amgen may see some slowed growth as a result of the growing biosimilar market, analysts predict that Kyprolis could hit peak sales of $2.4 billion in five years.

Pfizer, AstraZeneca Continue to Attempt Merger

July 18, 2014

pfizer logo pic  In early 2014, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Inc., began pursuing the possibility of a merger with AstraZeneca PLC. Although talks stalled mid-January, Pfizer recently submitted a new proposal to the company on April 26th, which valued AstraZeneca at approximately $100 billion. The proposal offered shareholders a substantial cash payment as well as stock in the newly combined company. AstraZeneca has once again turned down the lucrative offer, but Pfizer has stated in a press release that it continues to believe that the merger would be extremely beneficial to both companies. Both firms would attain greater footholds in the global market and be able to streamline a variety of financial and operational functions. Furthermore, consumers would benefit from a “strengthened presence in breast cancer,” “opportunities for greater depth in immuno-oncology,” and a “complementary portfolio of important cardiovascular medicines.”

In the days following Pfizer’s proposal, the stocks of both companies saw notable increases. Shares in AstraZeneca jumped by 12.2 percent, while those of Pfizer increased by 4.2 percent. If talks do reignite and a deal is consummated, it would result in the largest foreign takeover of a British business.

U.S. News and World Report Recognizes Temple University Hospitals

September 25, 2013

A graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine, Lindsay Rosenwald remains active in his alma mater by serving on its board of visitors. Today, Lindsay Rosenwald focuses his professional energy within the biotechnology investment sector and co-heads an asset management firm.

This summer, U.S. News and World Report released its list of the country’s best hospitals for 2013-2014. As in previous years, Temple University Hospital earned a place on the organization’s regional list; furthermore, it received recognition for excellence in eight specialties, including neurology, pulmonology, and gynecology.

Additionally, the university-affiliated Fox Chase Cancer Center was named among the nation’s top hospitals for cancer care. One of the country’s first cancer hospitals, the Fox Chase Cancer Center has offered compassionate care to patients for nearly 100 years. In addition to its designation as one of the country’s top 30 cancer hospitals, the center was ranked 11th among all hospitals in Pennsylvania.

For more information about the Temple University School of Medicine and its recent awards, please visit