Bristol Myers Squibb Joins Big Pharmas Race to Dominate Oncology

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Source: Wikimedia Commons
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Leading pharmaceutical companies are diving headfirst into oncology, sparking a buzz in the cancer treatment world. Bristol Myers Squibb is the latest company to join the movement, announcing its plan to acquire Mirati Therapeutics in a deal valued at up to $5.8 billion1.

This strategic move aims to enhance BMS's oncology portfolio with Mirati's compound, MRTX1719, which holds promise for certain lung cancers, was a key draw.

The acquisition received unanimous approval from both companies' boards of directors. Bristol Myers Squibb's CFO and CEO-elect, Chris Boerner, highlighted the importance of this move, emphasizing that the acquisition of Mirati is another substantial step in their endeavor to expand their diversified oncology portfolio and reinforce Bristol Myers Squibb's pipeline for the latter half of the decade and beyond.

Eli Lilly, a prominent American pharmaceutical giant, is another major player that has joined this trend with its acquisition of cancer therapy company Point Biopharma Global, for $1.4 billion2. Point specializes in radioligand therapies, particularly for advanced-stage prostate cancer patients unresponsive to hormonal treatments.

Pfizer and Amgen also made the headlines earlier this year with strategic acquisitions of small oncology companies.

These multi-billion-dollar transactions, combined with rising cancer awareness efforts and an uptick in global cancer incidences, have rocketed the cancer therapy market to a whopping $158 billion in 2020. This trajectory is only expected to rise, targeting a 9.15% CAGR and aiming for a $268 billion value by 2026.3

Among the oncology companies developing therapies for this growing market is Defence Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:DTC) (OTC:DTCFF), a Canadian biopharmaceutical company specializing in immune-oncology therapies and drug delivery technologies, could find themselves in the same spot as Mirati Therapeutics or Point Biopharma Global.

Defence Therapeutics is dedicated to advancing the next generation of vaccines, anticancer therapeutics and ADC products using its proprietary platform. Central to Defence Therapeutics' platform is the Accum technology, which enables the precise delivery of biomedicines in their intact form to target cells. This innovation promises increased efficacy and potency against severe illnesses like cancer and infectious diseases.

Breakthrough AccuTOX-Chitosan Formulation Shows Lymphoma Treatment Potential

Defence Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:DTC) (OTC:DTCFF) just reported a significant breakthrough. Their novel AccuTOX-chitosan encapsulated formulation has proven effective in inhibiting the growth of established solid lymphomas, resulting in gradual tumor shrinkage over time.

The study had two primary goals: firstly, to determine if AccuTOX could be successfully administered systemically when encapsulated in chitosan-based nanoparticles, and secondly, to assess whether this approach could work in synergy with commonly used immune-checkpoint blockers in oncology. The formulation was administered twice with a two-week interval, and the treated animals were monitored for up to 40 days. Impressively, the tumors in animals receiving AccuTOX-Chitosan injections, along with co-administered anti-PD-1, regressed, and the animals exhibited prolonged survival rates.

The AccuTOX molecule can be toxic if delivered unconjugated and/or systemically. The Defence team was able to bypass this limitation by encapsulating it into chitosan-based nanoparticles, explained Sebastien Plouffe, CEO of Defence Therapeutics. This is a simpler and cheaper method compared to the use of antibodies, and may represent a key component of Defences future encapsulation strategies''.

Chitosan, a linear polysaccharide composed of deacetylated and acetylated units, has a wide range of commercial and biomedical applications. Aside from its uses in agriculture and industry, it is employed in bandages to reduce bleeding and as an antibacterial agent. Chitosan can also facilitate drug delivery through the skin.

Leveraging it as a delivery vehicle for unconjugated Accum or its variants has the potential to revolutionize molecular medicine. This approach could increase compound specificity at tumor sites while minimizing the required dosage and, consequently, reducing associated side effects.

By innovatively encapsulating the AccuTOX molecule, Defence Therapeutics has not only achieved remarkable tumor regression but also highlighted a potential direction for future molecular medicine endeavors.

As researchers and companies continue to push boundaries in the quest for cancer solutions, this advancement underscores the immense potential of integrating existing materials like chitosan with novel therapeutic agents. It's a beacon of hope in the ongoing fight against lymphoma and a testament to the unyielding spirit of medical innovation.

For more information about Defence Therapeutics Inc. (CSE:DTC) (OTC:DTCFF) and its Accum technology, click here or visit their website.

Footnotes:

[1] https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/bristol-myers-squibb-buy-cancer-drugmaker-mirati-therapeutics-billion-deal

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/anafaguy/2023/10/03/eli-lilly-acquiring-cancer-therapy-developer-for-14-billion-a-nearly-90-premium/

[3] https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/cancer-therapy-market

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Micah Reed

Micah Reed is an entrepreneur, editor and businessman. he is born in 1977.