FN Media Group Presents USA News Group News Commentary
LOS ANGELES, March 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- USA News Group – There's good news from the American Cancer Society. NBC News reports that cancer deaths have declined steadily since the early 1990s, according to a report published recently published by the American Cancer Society.
From 1991 to 2017, overall cancer deaths dropped by 29 percent, which represents about 3 million people. Doctors attribute the good news in part to significant advances in treatment.
While the rate declines are good news, they should not overshadow the work being done to develop new treatments that can drive the rates down in even greater numbers. Companies in this space are offering new and novel solutions that could potentially eradicate certain kinds of cancers including Xynomic Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (OTCPK: XYNO), BridgeBio Pharma (NASDAQ: BBIO), and Bristol-Myers Squib. (NYSE: BMY).
One company, Oncolytics Biotech Inc., (NASDAQ: ONCY) (TSX: ONC), is making significant strides in developing a new drug to help cancer patients. Oncolytics is a development stage biopharmaceutical company focused on development of pelareorep, an immuno-oncology viral-agent for the treatment of solid tumors and hematological malignancies.
Pelareorep has the potential ability to increase the percentage of patients who respond to immunotherapy. It is being studied now for potential combination with Opdivo® from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Roche's Tecentriq®, Pfizer's and Merck's KGaA's Bavencio®, as well as Keytruda® from Merck & Co. Inc.
Early studies indicate pelareorep shows promise in targeting metastatic breast cancer, early stage breast cancer, multiple myeloma, and pancreatic cancer.
Numbers Tell A Bigger Story
According to the data now out, declines in mortality for four major cancers — breast, colon, lung and prostate — contributed to the improved survival rate. Lung cancer survival played a particularly significant role, according a report published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
Deaths from lung cancer dropped by 51 percent among men since the early 1990s and by 26 percent among women since the early 2000s. The report also credits drops in lung cancer mortality for a 2.2 percent dip from 2016 to 2017 — the largest decline of cancer deaths in a single year ever reported.
"The years we have been investing in basic science of cancer therapeutics [are] now starting to pay off," said Dr. Patrick Hwu, division head of cancer medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
One of the biggest advances is the development of immunotherapies including Keytruda, also known as pembrolizumab. Keytruda is one of the drugs that studies show improves when combined with pelareorep from Oncolytics.
Still, not all cancers saw improved survival rates. For example, the report did not find any significant improvements in deaths from cervical cancer, a disease preventable by a vaccine and easily detected through early screening tests. Despite that, 10 women in their 20s and 30s died of cervical cancer each week of 2017 in the United States.
Among the report's other findings:
- A 40 percent drop in the breast cancer death rate from 1989 to 2017.
- A 52 percent drop in the prostate cancer death rate from 1993 to 2017.
- A 53 percent drop in the colorectal cancer death rate since 1980 among men and a 57 percent drop since 1969 among women.
Despite the decline in death rates, the American Cancer Society projects that 606,520 people will die of cancer in the United States in 2020 and that more than 1.8 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed.
Faced with those grim numbers, Oncolytics Biotech is focused on securing regulatory approval for pelareorep as quickly as possible. Pelareorep comes with very compelling metastatic breast cancer survival data.
The company also is striving to expand pelareorep into commercially valuable new treatment areas including other immunotherapy agents in collaboration with pharmaceutical partners.
Many biotech and pharmaceutical companies are striving to employ new therapies that could advance cancer treatments and lower the death rates in the coming decade. This applies to innovative manufacturers and developers like Oncolytics Biotech, and other companies capable of taking a frontrunning position including:
Xynomic Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. is a clinical stage Sino-American oncology drug development company. The company's pipeline primarily consists of three drug candidates, abexinostat, XP-105, and XP-102. Its lead drug candidate abexinostat is in pivotal clinical trials against renal cell carcinoma (in combination with pazopanib) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (as a single agent). Xynomic recently held a pre-IND meeting with the Food and Drug Administration for its pan-PAF inhibitor XP-102 for the treatment of cancer.
BridgeBio Pharma focuses on identifying and advancing transformative medicines to treat diseases that arise from defects in a single gene, and for cancers with clear genetic drivers. Synthetic biotic medicines are microbes genetically engineered to counter the biology that drives diseases such as hyperammonemia and forms of cancer.
Bristol-Myers Squib discovers, develops, licenses, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells biopharmaceutical products worldwide. It offers drugs in oncology, immunoscience, cardiovascular, and fibrotic diseases. The company just announced it has withdrawn its European application of Opdivo (nivolumab) plus Yervoy (ipilimumab) for the first-line treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer.
To learn about new treatments and companies offering developments, see the story at USA News Group: https://usanewsgroup.com/2020/02/24/why-biotechnology-companies-are-so-important/
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