Costs of clinical trials keep rising, says a recent survey by Cutting Edge Information, with patient recruitment the largest driver at 32% of total expense. Cutting Edge says this trend is particularly dramatic in oncology, pegging the average total cost per patient at $63,475 for phase I, $73,303 for phase II, $65,909 for phase IIIa, and $57,207 for phase IIIb trials.
Researchers at Ion Torrent released details of their semiconductor-based gene sequencing system, which detects individual DNA bases via an electronic pH sensor rather than optically (Nature 2011;475:348–52). Company founder Jonathan Rothberg says that improved fabrication techniques will allow complete human genomes to be sequenced for $1,000 by 2013.
The FDA approved vemurafenib tablets (Zelboraf; Hoffmann-La Roche) for the treatment of patients with inoperable or metastatic melanoma who have the BRAFV600E mutation as detected by an FDA-approved test from Roche Molecular Systems. The decision was based primarily on an international, randomized, open-label trial in patients with that mutation.
A federal court of appeals has affirmed that Myriad Genetics has the right to patent DNA isolated for breast and ovarian cancer risk detection. The judges determined that the isolated DNA should be protected as an industrial innovation. Their decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
The National Cancer Institute has renewed funding for the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) program. The 5-year, $45 million effort aims to study links between obesity and cancer, and to recommend lifestyle and medicinal changes.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals announced positive results for its phase I study of the RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic ALN-VSP in patients with advanced liver cancer. Researchers treated 41 patients with the systemically delivered drug and observed stable disease or better in 13 of them. The company said the outcome boosted confidence in its pipeline of systemically delivered RNAi drugs.
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News in Brief| September 14 2011
Online ISSN: 2159-8290
Print ISSN: 2159-8274
©2011 American Association for Cancer Research.
Cancer Discov (2011) 1 (4): 278.
Noted. Cancer Discov 1 September 2011; 1 (4): 278. https://doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-NB083111-20
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