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Plexxikon

By Adam Bonislawski
Two papers published in the current edition of Nature Biotechnology add significantly to the publicly available data on the specificity of kinase inhibitors.

Originally published Sept. 12.
By Turna Ray

Plexxikon is seeking marketing approval for PLX4032 for the treatment of metastatic melanoma in patients harboring the BRAF V600 mutation. Simultaneously, Roche Molecular Diagnostics has submitted a premarket approval application to the FDA for its Cobas 4800 BRAF V600 Mutation Test.

The drug, an oral kinase inhibitor that targets the oncogenic BRAF V600 mutation, is being co-developed with an investigational diagnostic test from Roche Molecular Diagnostics to identify patients whose tumors carry the mutated gene.

Although the study published in NEJM showed that 81 percent of melanoma patients responded to PLX4032, some questions remain about how and why patients are developing resistance to the therapy, and whether the drug improves overall survival.

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Nature News reports that researchers in Japan hope to soon test the use of reprogrammed stem cells to treat damaged corneas.

At Slate, the R Street Institute's Nila Bala discusses the privacy rights of suspects that genetic genealogy approaches in law enforcement bring up.

In PNAS this week: numerous mobile genetic elements contribute to Vibrio cholerae drug resistance, troponin I mutations in sudden infant deaths, and more.