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Cancer paradigm shift
Clinical‐stage biopharmaceutical Kite
Pharma Inc is working on ‘a paradigm
shift approach toward treating cancer,’
according to its Executive Vice‐President
of Research and Development and Chief
Medical Officer, Dr David Chang.
Kite Pharma, which was founded in
2008, focused for the first few years
on intellectual property positions
for its T cell receptor (TCR) and new
chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) product
candidates to destroy difficult‐to‐treat
Now the company is working on taking
its programs to full development
and commercialisation, according
to Dr Chang, an oncologist, and is
expanding work with the National
Cancer Institute (NCI).
The eACT platform is the foundation
for Kite Pharma’s lead programs in a
collaboration with the NCI, which is
advancing multiple clinical trials in
patients with hematological and solid
tumours. In this approach, a patient’s
peripheral blood T cells are genetically
modified ex vivo to express receptor
molecules that render these T cells
highly efficacious against cancer.
The eACT platform involves the genetic
engineering of T cells to express either
CAR or TCR. Both these categories of
products encompass extracellular
tumour antigen recognition domains
and endogenous or engineered
intracellular T cell activating domains.
Together, they ensure a broad
coverage across intracellular and
membrane targets, solid tumours and
‘ Through gene therapy engineering,
T cells can identify and destroy tumour
cells,’ Dr Chang said. ‘We add a special
‘GPS’ against cancer cells onto the T cells
and put them back into the patients.’
US regulators assessing
homeopathic treatments’ safety
and efficacy could overhaul rules of
the multi-billion-dollar industry.
Public hearings were held recently to
help determine if current regulations
were still relevant for the industry
that has seen ‘explosive growth’ in
the past 25 years, the Food and Drug
Administration said in a statement.
A recent report from Australia’s National
Health and Medical Research Council
concluded there was no reliable evidence
that homeopathic treatments work to
treat any condition, echoing a report by
the US National Institutes of Health.
The FDA said that since 2009 it had sent
dozens of warning letters to companies
that manufacture homeopathic products.
In March this year the FDA warned
consumers against the risk of using
homeopathic products to treat asthma
because their safety and effectiveness
have not been determined.
US consumers spent some $US2.9 billion
yearly on homeopathic products, the
Centres for Control and Prevention of
Diseases estimated in 2007.
Homeopathic products have not been
regulated by US authorities since 1972
when the agency decided not to approve
the products’ placement on store shelves
as it does for drugs.
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