Novartis has demonstrated its commitment to the vaccine market with a $500 million (600 million Swiss francs) global licensing deal for Switzerland's Cytos Biotechnology's anti-smoking vaccine. Cytos gains 35 million Swiss francs up front for CYT002-NicQb, which is scheduled to go into late-stage trials in 2008. The rest of the money will be paid in scheduled milestones for a successful development program. Novartis takes over all development costs and responsibilities. NicQb works by spurring the development of antibodies that attach to nicotine molecules, making them too big to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, thereby reducing nicotine stimulation.
April 2007 Archives
AUSTIN — The Senate Monday passed a bill overturning Gov. Rick Perry's order that middle-school girls be vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus linked to cervical cancer, with a requirement that the issue be reviewed in four years.
After a brief debate, the Senate voted 30-1, with Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, casting the lone "no" vote.
The bill would prevent the HPV vaccine from being required for school enrollment until 2011. The version passed by the House has no expiration date.
As the first FDA-approved cancer vaccine, designed to protect against human papillomavirus, has moved from scientific discussion to social debate, other vaccine studies are continuing to make progress. While HPV vaccine efforts had the "benefit" of a viral source for the disease, other researchers are developing vaccines for cancers that are not virally based, in an effort to coax the immune system into attacking cancerous cells.
At the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, presentations on ongoing HPV trials and other new approaches to stimulating the immune system are injecting momentum into cancer vaccine research.