Developing innovative immunotherapy products that effectively treat cancer patients and have minimal impact on their quality of life. FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE April 5, 2018 Veana Therapeutics, Inc. is pleased to announce the interim results of the Phase I safety trial of its lead cancer immunotherapy drug asset, VIMO-001, in patients with advanced cancer. The Phase I clinical study is an “all comers” trial of patients with advanced and diverse cancer indications, including pancreatic, lung, prostate, renal, esophageal, colon, head and neck, and carcinoid cancers and that have failed all prior therapies. The trial is designed as a dose escalation study to assess safety and the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). The results are very encouraging because more than 75% of patients treated at the lowest two doses achieved stable disease and increased overall survival (OS) lasting from 1 month to 2 years. Recruitment continues in the trial as patients are enrolled in cohorts receiving the higher dose levels. Veana’s next upcoming Phase I trial has the potential to impact more than 20% of all breast cancer patients. It combines VIMO-001 with Herceptin in HER2 positive breast cancer patients who have previously failed Herceptin therapy. The results are highly anticipated because [...]
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Elizabeth Hayes, Portland Business Journal Summit Development Group to invest $12M in Central Eastside lab-office development One of the biggest obstacles for biotech companies looking to expand in Portland is the city's lack of suitable lab space. That situation is about to change. A new 40,000-square-foot lab-office development, scheduled to get underway in April, is slated to open in the fall in Portland’s Central Eastside. Summit Development Group bought a 100-year-old, three-story warehouse building on the corner of Southeast Eighth Avenue and Alder Street last November. The plan is to renovate the space and add a fourth floor. Dubbbed the Eastside Innovation Hub, it will become the first lab building in Portland developed entirely with private funds. Summit is investing $12 million in total. The "hub," at 808 S.E. Alder, already has an anchor tenant: Revelar, which is developing low-cost, noninvasive breath tests for preventive care and personalized disease treatment. Read the rest of the story at Portland Business Journal (subscription required).
Elizabeth Hayes, Portland Business Journal The Wayne D. Kuni & Joan E. Kuni Foundation has awarded $5 million to Legacy Health Foundation to found a cancer research project. The grant, the largest the Foundation has collected, will fund research into how cancer can be targeted by manipulating adenosine kinase, an enzyme that controls cell growth. The research is led by Detlev Boison, Dow Chair of Neurology and director of neurobiology research and basic and translational research at Legacy Research Institute; and Dr. Serene Perkins, director of surgical and clinical research at Legacy Research Institute, which is part of Portland-based Legacy Health. Read the rest at the Portland Business Journal.
By Elizabeth Hayes, Staff Reporter Portland Business Journal Rep. Rob Nosse, undeterred by the failure of his comprehensive prescription drug pricing bill last year, returned the House Health Care Committee on Monday to sell a new, slimmed down version. House Bill 4005 would force more transparency on drug manufacturers, but it doesn’t specifically impose price controls. Nosse hopes that will make it an easier sell. The Portland Democrat has bipartisan support this time around. “House Bill 4005 moves forward on one of the most essential elements of that prior effort, which is transparency, because at the end of the day, the problem is price, and we don’t know enough about how prescription drug prices are set in the United States,” Nosse told the committee, of which he's vice chair. Chair Mitch Greenlick carried over the discussion to a Wednesday hearing, but not before taking testimony from basically the same supporters and detractors on last year’s bill. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and the Oregon bioscience community, as well as patient groups, are again lined up against. Consumer advocates, hospitals, unions, nurses, individual patients and health insurers voiced support... The Oregon Bioscience Association opposes the bill because it takes on drug makers but not pharmacy [...]
By Hillary Borrud The Oregonian/OregonLive SALEM -- Gov. Kate Brown opened the 35-day legislative session Monday with a speech laying out her plan to improve technical education and training programs so more Oregonians can land jobs in growth industries such as bioscience and health care. Much of the plan centers on a $300 million proposal she said she will bring to the Legislature in 2019 if she is re-elected. The governor noted that businesses currently tap out-of-state candidates to fill one out of every four job openings in Oregon's technology industry and one out of every five jobs in advanced manufacturing. "Oregon's rising economic tide should be lifting all boats," Brown said. "Yet many hardworking families are still under water." In her speech, Brown did not cite a wealth of accomplishments in the past year. Instead, she centered her agenda, "Future Ready Oregon," on a plan to boost spending on hands-on career and technical education in the next state budget. Her ability to achieve that depends on lawmakers' willingness to go along next session, not to mention the state's cash flow in a year when governments expect to get hit with a painful increase in public pension costs. The governor started her speech [...]
"I didn't like that," said Bryce said about learning he had 21 months to live. "That was a pretty stinky prognosis." By Tracy Barry, KGW8 News (Original Article) Watch the video PORTLAND, Ore. -- A man who outlived his cancer prognosis says it's all due to finding his genomic sequence. Bryce Olson is a runner. He hadn’t been to a doctor in five years, because he never got sick. But on a spring day in 2014, he just couldn’t take another step. “Halfway through the run, I just fell down and collapsed,” Bryce said, “I was crying. I couldn’t believe it. It was surreal.” That was the day Bryce learned at age 44 that he had stage 4 prostate cancer. It was already in his bones. “Mine was like one of the most aggressive cases they’d ever seen at OHSU,” he said. That was the day he learned that he had maybe 21 months left to spend with his family. Just 21 months left to play music, 21 months left to live. “I didn’t like that,” said Bryce. “That was a pretty stinky prognosis.” If you do the math, you know Bryce beat those odds. Traditional chemotherapy bought him a [...]
By Troy Brynelson, Columbian staff writer The Columbian (Original Article) Jonathan DeHart had hoped to land his company, a fledgling manufacturer of gene sequencing devices borne out of incubators at Intel, in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area. Then they found a glitch. The kind of space that they were looking for, called wet lab space, wasn’t very abundant here. As a young company still raising its early funds, they had to find space to rent. Building their own space was a nonstarter. “When you’re young and early, you’ve got to put your capital toward tech development,” he said. “You can’t be spending $300,000 to a $1 million just to build a space to start working.” Northshore Bio, as it would eventually be called, made a compromise: locate its administrative offices in Camas, near the robust research scene revolving around Oregon Health & Science University, and its wet lab space in Seattle. It’s one company’s story, but it offers a glimpse into some directions Clark County has to take to reach its goal of becoming a hotbed for life sciences firms. Seattle has a road map: a powerhouse research institution in its backyard, capital investors, and it is loaded with lab space and [...]
Lynne Terry, firstname.lastname@example.org The Oregonian/OregonLive An Oregon scientist has developed a vaccine against tuberculosis that appears to be highly effective against the devastating disease. The vaccine reduced tuberculosis infections by 70 percent in rhesus monkeys, according to a paper published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine. Tuberculosis doesn't always make people sick, but it almost always causes severe disease in rhesus monkeys, said Dr. Louis Picker, who developed the vaccine at Oregon Health & Science University. Though the vaccine has only been given to rhesus macaques, it will eventually be tested in people, Picker said. His findings offer hope for a disease that sickened more than 10 million people across the globe in 2016, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every year, about 2 million die from TB, which affects the lungs but also can attack the kidneys, spine or brain. "TB is actually the biggest infectious killer now – it's surpassed HIV," Picker said. "It's amazing to me that we haven't seen more of it in this country." A century ago, TB was a leading cause of death in the United States and Europe. Antibiotics and cleaner living conditions helped stem cases. In 2016, more than 9,000 people were [...]
By Elizabeth Hayes – Staff Reporter, Portland Business Journal Jan 11, 2018, 10:56am Most of us don’t give the lowly worm much thought during the course of our day, unless we’re digging in our garden. For Eugene-based NemaMetrix, the C. elegans nematode worm is the key to finding a cure for a host of human genetic diseases. NemaMetrix sells a drug discovery platform that allows scientists to quickly assess if a drug has therapeutic value or potentially dangerous side effects. The startup’s ScreenChip System collects data after DNA from a human patient is injected into these simple microscopic animals, which provide a living proxy to watch disease progression or drug reactions quickly and cheaply. CEO Matt Beaudet believes NemaMetrix has hit on the biggest advancement in drug discovery in decades. “Honestly, I believe we’re building a platform that will transform access to living animals for basic research and applied research, figuring out what it means for humans,” Beaudet said. “I don’t think there’s a limit to the number of labs we can get in.” Read the rest of the article at Portland Business Journal.
PitchfestNW, a startup conference and competition within TechfestNW, the Upper Left Coast's largest annual tech event, is accepting applications for 2018. TechfestNW — now in its 7th year — is a gathering of innovators, startups, entrepreneurs, tech companies and investors from around the globe that takes place in Portland, OR. Why? There is no cost to apply, and accepted startups receive an all-access ticket to TechfestNW, inclusion in the pitch competition to a panel of investors and industry leaders, and networking opportunities. There will also be an option to upgrade to PitchfestNW Amplified to further showcase your company. Learn more about PitchfestNW here, and apply by January 12. About TechfestNW: April 5-6, 2018 During the day, TechfestNW offers compelling speakers, a startup pitch competition, workshops and companies showcasing the latest tech. At night, TechfestNW offers parties, networking and an opportunity to explore one of the greatest cities in the country. In case you missed it - last year, the winner of TechFestNW was Madorra Medical, a medical device company out of the Oregon Bioscience Incubator (OBI). Read more at Willamette Week: The Best Startup Pitch in Town? A Portland-Based Company That Soothes the Symptoms of Menopause. Madorra was selected from 74 [...]