This week in therapeutics




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Interferon-b (IFNB; IFN-b)

Mouse studies suggest directly coupling antibodies to IFN-b could help treat cancer. In multiple mouse models of breast cancer, the anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) antibody Erbitux cetuximab fused to IFN-b decreased tumor growth compared with Erbitux alone. In mice with melanoma, an anti-programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 (CD274 molecule; PD-L1; B7-H1) antibody that blocks inhibitory T cell signaling increased the efficacy of the fusion antibody compared with either antibody alone. Next steps include increasing the half-life of the IFN-b-coupled antibody.
Eli Lilly and Co., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Merck KGaA market Erbitux to treat colorectal cancer and head and neck cancer.
At least five companies have therapeutic antibodies against PD-L1 in Phase II or earlier development to treat cancer.

SciBX 7(6); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.169
Published online Feb. 13, 2014

Patent application filed; available for licensing

Yang, X. et al. Cancer Cell;
published online Jan. 13, 2014;
Contact: Yang-Xin Fu, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China