Ignyta Announces Collaboration with UCSF For Clinical Trial of Entrectinib

“Ignyta, Inc. (Nasdaq: RXDX),a precision oncology biotechnology company, today announced a clinical collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), under which UCSF will study entrectinib in a proof-of-concept clinical trial in cancer patients with metastatic melanoma that is positive for activating alterations to NTRK1/2/3 (encoding TrkA/TrkB/TrkC) or ROS1.

“ ‘We are excited to collaborate with UCSF, a world-renowned academic research institution,’ said Jonathan Lim, M.D., Chairman and CEO of Ignyta. ‘The focus on melanoma in this study will complement the broader range of indications on which we are focused in our own clinical trials, and we expect the findings to accelerate our understanding of the potential role of entrectinib in treating patients with NTRK-positive and ROS1-positive cancers.’

“Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Ignyta will contribute $1 million toward the funding of the clinical trial, as well as per-patient fees based on enrollment of NTRK-positive or ROS1-positive patients and their participation in the trial. Ignyta will also provide UCSF with sufficient supply of entrectinib for use in the clinical trial. In addition to the safety and efficacy data from the trial, UCSF will provide Ignyta with tumor samples and genetic sequencing data for patients screened for inclusion in the trial for further genomic analysis.”

Bridging the Gap in Precision Medicine

“For entertainment giants such as Netflix and HBO, there’s an oft-cited concept known as ‘the last mile.’

“It refers to the performance bottleneck that can arise in the short, final stretch of cable that links their vast, sophisticated server farms to the humble jack on a subscriber’s wall.

“More than a decade after the immense promise unleashed by the completion of Human Genome Project, precision medicine has struggled with its own ‘last mile.’ Despite major leaps in the field as a whole, the technical work needed to integrate a patient’s genomic information into the day-to-day practice of medicine has lagged far behind.

“This month, UCSF is unveiling its bridge across that persistent gap.

“Through its Genomic Medicine Initiative (GMI), UCSF has integrated data from a comprehensive cancer genetic testing program into the electronic medical records of patients at the UCSF Medical Center. Not only does it allow for continuity of care with all testing and treatment results tied to the same electronic record, but it also allows physicians and researchers to identify larger patterns in the data that can lead to the development of better treatments – which is known as precision medicine.”

Prostate Cancer ‘Dream Teams’ Lay Out Project Plans to Target Treatment-Resistant Prostate Cancer and to Identify New Prostate Cancer Subgroups

Last week, cancer researchers gathered in Washington, D.C., to attend the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting. At the meeting, two large-scale projects to improve the treatment of prostate cancer and prolong patients’ survival were outlined in presentations by two prominent researchers and clinicians: Arul M. Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, a professor of urology at the University of Michigan and director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Eric J. Small, MD, the deputy director of clinical sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Continue reading…

Inhibition of Myc Protein Zaps Lung Tumors

Turning off a key protein eliminates lung tumors in mice, at least during treatment, according to new research published in the journal Genes & Development. Inhibition of Myc, a protein essential for lung tumors driven by a mutation in the KRas gene, resulted in regression of all tumors. Repeated treatments were found to be safe and effective. Continue reading…