Keytruda approved for multiple solid tumours

Merck & Co Inc’s checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda (pembrolizumab) has been approved in the US for multiple solid tumours that have a common genetic feature known as microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair deficit.

Country: United States

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Zykadia gets new lung cancer indication

The Novartis tyrosine kinase inhibitor Zykadia (ceritinib) has been approved in the US for the first-line treatment of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer following Phase 3 data that showed a significant improvement in progression free survival in patients with the disease.

Country: Switzerland

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Epidiolex has positive Phase 3 results

Epidiolex, a cannabinoid drug for a type of childhood epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome has reduced the frequency of seizures in a Phase 3 trial of children and adolescents with the disease, all of whom were not getting relief from current treatments.

Country: United Kingdom

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Argenx makes its New York debut

Belgium-based Argenx NV has made its debut on the Nasdaq over-the-counter market in the US, capping what has been nearly a decade of successful antibody discovery and development. On 17 May, it announced the pricing of an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares that was set to yield $100 million.

Country: Belgium

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Vertex gets regulatory nod

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc has received a new approval from the US Food and Drug Administration for its cystic fibrosis treatment Kalydeco (ivacaftor) that triples the number of rare gene mutations that the drug can treat to 33 from 10.

Country: United States

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Money for Italian biotech

A group of biotech entrepreneurs, led by a former executive at Novartis, has announced plans to raise €50 million for a fund that will invest in Italian life science. The fund is being managed by AurorA-TT, a technology transfer company set up in Milan earlier this year.

Country: Italy

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Celyad licenses technology to Novartis

Belgium-based Celyad SA, which used to go by the name of Cardio3 BioSciences SA, has secured a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Novartis giving the Swiss company rights to US patents for the production of allogeneic CAR T cells.

Country: Belgium

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Adaptimmune funded through to late 2019

Following share offerings in March and April that raised a net $103.2 million, Adaptimmune Therapeutics Plc has sufficient liquidity to fund operations through to late 2019, according to the company’s first-quarter results.

Country: United Kingdom

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Immunocore identifies new lead compound

The Oxford, UK oncology company Immunocore Ltd has identified a lead compound in its second discovery collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline Plc which is expected to have potential for treating triple negative breast cancers, oesophageal, gastric and ovarian cancers.

Country: United Kingdom

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Takeda takes option on GammaDelta

Less than a year after its founding, GammaDelta Therapeutics Ltd has received an investment from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd, which sees promise in the UK company’s T cell platform as a source for new immunotherapies.

Country: United Kingdom

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