Features / Comment / Insight / Analysis / Facts 
June 2023  Vol 25 Issue 6

Pharmacists in England given wider prescribing powers to relieve GP pressure
NHS England has announced that pharmacists in England will be given greater prescribing powers to relieve pressure put on GPs, page 5
GSK announces positive data from phase 3 trial for new UTI antibiotic
GSK has shared data from its phase 3 trial for gepotidacin as a new antibiotic for uncomplicated urinary tract infections, page 7
Thermo Fisher and Pfizer collaborate on NGS-based cancer tests
The companies have announced a collaboration to advance next-generation sequencing-based cancer testing, page 11

Companies showcase innovative biotech at American Association for Cancer Research

Leading companies in the biotechnology sector have showcased their latest innovations at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting that was held in Florida, US, between 14-19 April. The three companies below are a selection of those with positive improvements in solid-tumour treatments.
Glycotope announced its glycol-engineered cell lines in a poster. This proprietary platform technology develops antibodies against proteins carrying tumour-specific carbohydrate structures.
Patrik Kehler, chief scientific officer of Glycotope, commented: “Our glyco-engineered cell lines provide the basis for a new generation of therapeutic antibodies with increased tumour specificity and safety for highly potent therapeutic approaches like ADCs, CARs and radiotherapeutics. Glycotope’s proprietary platform represents a versatile tool for target validation and screening of glycosylation-dependent protein binding antibodies.”
Innovent Biologics develops, manufactures and commercialises medicines for oncology, autoimmune, metabolic and ophthalmology diseases. At AACR, it announced the final analysis results of phase 3 study ORIENT-15, which evaluated sintlimab in combination with chemotherapy for first-line treatment of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Data showed that sintilimab with chemotherapy “significantly improved” the median overall survival rate (mOS) with a 33.9% reduction in death.
Dr Hui Zhou, senior vice president of Innovent, stated: “The approval of immunotherapy has significantly improved the clinical benefits of standard treatments in patients with advanced OSCC… In this final analysis, the continued significant mOS benefits have been verified in advanced OSCC patients with an acceptable safety profile over time and further demonstrated that sintilimab as a first-line treatment option will benefit OSCC patients in China.”
Transgene designs and develops virus-based immunotherapies for oncology treatments and highlighted its promising preclinical data for its novel oncolytic virus TG6050 at AACR. The data demonstrates the ability of TG6050 to induce strong antitumour responses, leveraging the production of IL-12 and anti-CTLA4 antibody in the tumour.
Hedi Ben Brahim, Transgene’s CEO, said, “We have designed TG6050, a novel oncolytic virus encoding the IL-12andananti-CTLA4,togenerateboth innate and adaptive immune responses. These outstanding preclinical findings clearly support the clinical development of TG6050, which has recently started the phase 1 Delivir trial in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. We are confident that by generating similar effects in humans, TG6050 could become a new standard of care in patients with solid tumours.”