The folks at Oasmia, who are developing cancer drugs for both people and pets, remain optimistic about their mission, as well as their opportunity to help forge a new market for chemotherapy drugs that are designed specifically for dogs, said Julian Aleksov, executive chairman of the company, in an interview with FierceAnimalHealth.
Products that prevent diseases in animals are in hot demand these days--a trend that Zoetis demonstrated earlier this month, when it shelled out $765 million to buy Pharmaq, one of the world's leaders in vaccines for farmed fish. But Zoetis is also working hard to expand its presence in preventive health through its own internal research efforts, and that work seems to have paid off with two new product approvals.
The chemotherapy drug temozolomide (TMZ) can be quite effective in patients with glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer, but virtually all patients eventually become resistant to it. Now scientists from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute believe they have discovered a way to resensitize glioblastoma cells to the treatment--and they're turning to pet dogs that have developed the same type of brain tumor to help prove it.
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Jaguar Animal Health held an Analyst and Investor Day in New York City on Nov. 16--its first since its May IPO. But the event didn't seem to turn around the tough reception Jaguar has received on Wall Street to date. By the end of trading on Friday, shares were down about 11% from their Monday opening price of $2.60.
Nexvet Biopharma had its first event for investors on Nov. 23 in New York, but the company stopped short of calling the gathering an "investor day," dubbing it instead an "animal health symposium." That may be because the company has such a long way to go before its first commercial product is ready to launch that it couldn't actually provide any concrete financial forecasts to the 25 or so analysts who were there.
After an outbreak of canine influenza sickened 1,000 dogs in the Chicago area, 5 of which died, some veterinarians were recommending vaccines made by Merck Animal Health and Zoetis. Problem was, those vaccines were designed to fight the H3N8 strain of the vaccine, which had been prevalent in the U.S. until this year. So vets couldn't promise those vaccines would do much to fight the new strain, H3N2.
Animal health companies have been rolling out wearable devices that allow owners to monitor their dog's well-being. Now researchers are developing a device that lets people who are blind keep tabs on their guide dog's health.
In its second fiscal quarter, announced before the market opened on November 24, Patterson's animal health unit recorded revenues of $774.5 million--more than doubling its results from the same period a year ago.
Vet24Seven and Vet on Demand give pet owners round-the-clock access to veterinarians via their mobile phones. Now there's a new app in the neighborhood, Kuddly, which announced on November 19 that it has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Exponential Partners to further develop its mobile offerings.
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Neil Woodford has invested $95 million in Northwest Biotherapeutics and its controversial therapeutic cancer vaccine over the past year. And now that he has bought up 28% of the company's stock, he's pushing hard for an independent investigation into allegations of financial impropriety that have been in circulation since before he took his first big stake in the biotech.
Two years ago, Roche stirred some renewed excitement in the antibiotics field when signed on to partner with Switzerland's Polyphor on a mid-stage program, committing up to $560 million on a deal that heralded the pharma giant's return to the field. Today, though, Roche dropped out of the collaboration but promised to maintain its commitment to the antibiotics field.