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Apogenix Awarded €3M Grant to Test Brain Cancer Drug Companion Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Biopharmaceutical firm Apogenix announced today that it has received a €3 million ($3.4 million) grant from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to support its ongoing development of a companion diagnostic for its experimental glioblastoma immunotherapy APG101.

APG101 is a fully human fusion protein in Phase II studies that is designed to bind to the CD95 ligand (CD95L) in order to inactivate the CD95 pathway, which has been shown to promote tumor cell growth and migration. Apogenix has shown in clinical testing that patients whose tumors show lower rates of CpG2 methylation upstream of CD95L respond better to treatment. 

With the new funding, Apogenix said it will conduct an additional clinical study to confirm the efficacy of APG101 and to validate a companion diagnostic, developed in collaboration with R-Biopharm, that measures the CD95L-associated biomarker.

"Apogenix has now raised more than €11 million in public grants for the development of innovative protein therapeutics to treat cancer and other malignant diseases," Apogenix CEO Thomas Hoeger said in a statement. "The upcoming clinical trial to confirm the companion diagnostic test is an important milestone toward approval of APG101 for the treatment of glioblastoma, so patients can benefit from a personalized treatment approach."

The Scan

Close Panel Vote on Califf Nomination

The New York Times reports there was a close committee vote to advance the nomination of Robert Califf to lead the US Food and Drug Administration to the full Senate.

Task Force Reports on Scientific Integrity

Nature News writes that that a new task force report recommends that the US establish a cross-agency scientific integrity council.

Across the Hall

Genetic testing, closed-circuit cameras, and more show how a traveler, without any contact, infected others at a New Zealand quarantine facility, CNN reports.

Science Paper Examines Influence of Chromatin Modifications on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

In Science this week: genes regulating chromatin modification may contribute to OCD risk.