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Bristol Myers Squibb Enters the Multi-Billion-Dollar Oncology Race

Major pharmaceutical companies are continuing to make substantial acquisitions in the field of oncology, sparking enthusiasm in the market. Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) just announced its plan to buy Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRTX) in a deal worth up to $5.8 billion. This strategic acquisition aims to bolster their oncology portfolio, with a focus on Mirati’s MRTX1719, a promising compound for certain lung cancer. Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), a major pharmaceutical company, has also made a significant move by acquiring cancer therapy company POINT Biopharma Global (NASDAQ:PNT) for $1.4 billion, focusing on radioligand therapies. These multibillion-dollar deals, together with a rise in cancer awareness initiatives and an upsurge in global cancer rates, have propelled the cancer therapy market to $158 billion by 2020. Among the companies developing novel cancer treatments for the growing market is Canadian biopharmaceutical company Defence Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:DTC) (OTC:DTCFF), which specializes in immune-oncology vaccines and drug delivery technology.

Defence Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:DTC) (OTC:DTCFF) is advancing the next generation of vaccines and ADC products through its proprietary Accum® technology. This technology enables the precise delivery of vaccine antigens or ADCs in their intact form to target cells, promising increased efficacy and potency against severe illnesses such as cancer and infectious diseases.

Defence Therapeutics just announced a significant breakthrough. The company’s innovative AccuTOXTM-chitosan encapsulated formulation successfully inhibits the growth of established solid lymphomas, leading to gradual tumor reduction over time.

The study had two primary objectives: first, to determine the systemic administration feasibility of AccuTOXTM when encapsulated in chitosan-based nanoparticles, and second, to evaluate its synergy with common immune-checkpoint blockers in oncology. The formulation was administered twice with a two-week gap, and treated animals were monitored for up to 40 days. Impressively, animals receiving AccuTOX-Chitosan injections alongside co-administered anti-PD-1 experienced tumor regression and extended survival rates.

“The AccuTOXTM molecule can be toxic if delivered unconjugated and/or systemically. The Defence team was able to bypass this limitation by encapsulating it into chitosan-based nanoparticles,” explained Sebastien Plouffe, CEO of Defence Therapeutics. “This is a simpler and cheaper method compared to the use of antibodies, and may represent a key component of Defence’s future encapsulation strategies”.

Chitosan, a linear polysaccharide with various applications, has the potential to revolutionize molecular medicine by serving as a delivery vehicle for unconjugated Accum® or its variants. This approach enhances compound specificity at tumor sites while minimizing required dosages and reducing associated side effects.

For more information about Defence Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:DTC) (OTC:DTCFF), please click here

Pharmaceutical Companies Announce Major Mergers and Promising Oncology Developments

On October 8, Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Mirati Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MRTX) announced a merger agreement. Bristol Myers Squibb will acquire Mirati for $58.00 per share in cash, totaling $4.8 billion. Mirati shareholders will also receive a non-tradeable Contingent Value Right (CVR) per share, potentially worth $12.00 in cash, adding $1.0 billion in value. The deal, approved by both companies’ boards, unites Mirati’s targeted oncology assets with Bristol Myers Squibb‘s portfolio and pipeline. This acquisition includes KRAZATI, a key lung cancer medicine. Bristol Myers Squibb will gain access to valuable clinical assets that complement its oncology pipeline and offer opportunities for single-agent and combination therapies.

On September 9, Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRTX) presented two-year follow-up data from the KRYSTAL-1 study, assessing adagrasib (KRAZATI®) in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with KRASG12C mutations. The analysis revealed adagrasib’s durable efficacy, with a median overall survival of 14.1 months and a 2-year OS rate of 31% in previously treated patients. The study also indicated clinical benefits for patients with stable CNS metastases at baseline and various co-mutations. Adagrasib maintained a manageable long-term safety profile with low-grade treatment-related adverse events. The absence of hepatotoxicity within 30 days of prior immunotherapy and a low rate of grade >3 hepatotoxicity were notable. A Phase 3 study, KRYSTAL-12, continues to evaluate adagrasib vs. docetaxel in previously treated KRASG12C-mutated NSCLC patients.

On October 3, Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) entered a definitive agreement to acquire POINT Biopharma Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:PNT), a radiopharmaceutical company specializing in cancer treatment. POINT focuses on radioligand therapies that target cancer cells with precision while sparing healthy tissue. Their lead programs, PNT20021 and PNT20031, target prostate cancer and gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, respectively, with key data expected in Q4 2023. POINT also has several other programs in earlier stages of development. In addition, POINT operates radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Indianapolis and a research and development center in Toronto. These assets, along with their supply chain network, will support POINT’s radioisotope sourcing. This acquisition enhances Eli Lilly‘s position in the radioligand therapy space.

On September 18, POINT Biopharma Global (NASDAQ:PNT) and Athebio AG announced a collaboration and licensing pact for the creation and distribution of DARPin-targeted radioligands, called “Radio-DARPins.” DARPins represent a promising class of ligands for cell-surface targets, extending the reach of cell “surfaceome” targets beyond typical small molecules and peptides. The partnership grants POINT exclusive access to Athebio’s intellectual property and capabilities in DARPin development in radioligand therapy. They will cooperate in discovery, candidate selection, and preclinical development of Athebody® DARPins for Radio-DARPins. POINT will oversee clinical development and commercialization of Radio-DARPins resulting from the collaboration. These Radio-DARPins offer exciting potential in cancer therapy.

Defence Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:DTC) (OTC:DTCFF) recently published a peer-reviewed study on its anticancer product, Accum®. The study, titled “Intratumoral administration of unconjugated Accum® impairs the growth of pre-established solid lymphoma tumors,” is available in Cancer Science journal.

To learn more about Defence Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:DTC) (OTC:DTCFF), please visit this link. 

Featured Image @ FreePik


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Except as required by law, Defence Therapeutics Inc. undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future event or otherwise, after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. Neither does Defence Therapeutics Inc. nor any of its representatives make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, sufficiency or completeness of the information in this document. Neither Defence Therapeutics Inc. nor any of its representatives shall have any liability whatsoever, under contract, tort, trust or otherwise, to you or any person resulting from the use of the information in this document by you or any of your representatives or for omissions from the information in this document.

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