January 11th, 2024 | 07:15 CET
From innovative cancer therapy to menopause: How Defence Therapeutics, Bayer and NVIDIA are reshaping the medical landscape
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"[...] As a company dedicated to developing treatments for rare heart diseases, we see this as an opportune moment to contribute to the fight against heart disease and make meaningful strides in improving heart health worldwide. [...]" David Elsley, CEO, Cardiol Therapeutics Inc.
Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.
Nasal administration instead of surgery in cancer treatment: Defence Therapeutics' AccuTOX® with ACCUM™ technology opens up new perspectives
Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer worldwide. In men even more than in women, which is not only due to smoking, but also to pollutants in the air at workplaces. According to World Cancer Research, over 2.2 million new lung cancer cases were diagnosed in 2020. The disease is particularly prevalent in Europe, with Hungary, Serbia and France leading the top 10 countries with the most diagnosed cases.
Until now, surgical procedures such as removal of the affected tissue or parts of the lung have been the gold standard. This can now be counteracted with the unique AccuTOX® therapy from Defence Therapeutics. Defence Therapeutics focuses on the development of vaccines and ADC products, with its ACCUM™ technology enabling precise drug delivery.
"Through the nose into the lungs" is the motto. Where the regular breath goes, a drug can also find its way. Instead of nasal drops, a special nebulizer ensures a fine distribution of the active ingredient in the lungs. The non-hormonal drug showed promising results in animal studies by inhibiting the growth of tumors.
"We are very excited about the potency of our lead compound, AccuTOX®. These studies are important because they show how versatile the application of this drug can be against different indications, and they also show how different formulations or delivery devices can be used to target different tumor types/locations," says Sébastien Plouffe, President & CEO of Defence Therapeutics.
According to Precedence Research, the global cancer therapeutics market is expected to reach USD 393.61 billion by 2032, up from USD 164 billion in 2022. AccuTOX® is approved by the FDA for a Phase I trial for the treatment of melanoma. The Company expects a possible approval from 2025. Investors can look forward to the study results on human volunteers.
Bayer aims to generate EUR 1 billion in sales with menopause drug
One has to give credit to the teams at Bayer AG: they have a sense of humor. This is the only way to explain why they are calling a current study "NIRVANA", which is aimed at further research into a non-hormonal preparation to alleviate menopausal symptoms in women. Nirvana, originating from Sanskrit, literally means "awakening from the cycle of suffering."
Menopause begins with the gradual cessation of menstruation and occurs between the ages of 48 and 54. The decline in fertility leads to a decrease in the production of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Menopause is accompanied by numerous diffuse symptoms, such as hot flushes, mood swings, including depression, weight gain, insomnia, anxiety disorders and more. The list is large.
So is the market. According to Grand View Research, the global menopause market reached a volume of USD 15.4 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to USD 24.4 billion by 2030. The WHO estimates that more than 50 million women in the US are of menopausal age. Every year, around 1.3 million women experience the onset of menopause.
As Bayer announced on Monday, the active substance called elinzanetant met all targets in two of the three pivotal approval studies. The Company expects the results of the third study to be available in the coming months. Bayer is aiming for possible approval from 2025. The non-hormonal drug reduces the frequency and severity of hot flushes after menopause. The women treated also reported fewer sleep disorders and an improved quality of life.
Women's health has not been a top priority for Bayer. Up to now, expansion has been achieved through strategic acquisitions, such as the purchase of Schering in 2006. Even in the case of elinzanetant, Bayer did not take direct action. The acquisition of the British biotech company KaNDy Therapeutics in 2020 secured Bayer the active ingredient. The deal cost Bayer USD 425 million.
Although the drug against hot flushes does not promise the same sales as the unsuccessful anticoagulant, it could still make a considerable contribution to sales in the future. Bayer forecasts peak sales of EUR 1 billion for the drug.
NVIDIA advances the AI-driven future of drug discovery with BioNeMo
After a decade of research, NVIDIA is now ready. The first generative AI tools complement the existing digital computational platform to accelerate drug discovery, a sector valued at USD 250 billion.
In the USD 250 billion sector of drug discovery, a crucial turning point is occurring: research and development teams can now represent drugs directly on the computer. This significantly reduces the need for expensive and time-consuming physical experiments.
Research teams use emerging generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools to analyse molecular sequences, structures, functions and meanings, enabling the generation or design of novel molecules with desired properties. Researchers can thus create a more precise field of drug candidates. BioNeMo functions as a kind of catalyst. The generative AI platform accelerates drug research for companies by providing services for the development, adaptation and provision of basic models.
The legal situation is still unclear, but this technology is set to rapidly accelerate pharmaceutical research. Until now, the NVIDIA ecosystem Clara™ has served researchers in the B2B sector. Clara™ comprises computing platforms, software and now also AI services for the healthcare and life sciences sector. From imaging in radiology and precision instruments in medical technology to genomics and drug research. By covering these four sub-sectors alone, NVIDIA is brilliantly positioned in the medical field.
The global healthcare AI market reached USD 16.3 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.2% to USD 173.55 billion by 2029. The acceptance and growth of AI in healthcare is considerable, but liability issues pose a risk depending on the legal basis of the country in question. In the worst-case scenario, claims for damages may arise. Investors should keep this in mind. The NVIDIA share is currently trading at EUR 490.00.
Defence Therapeutics is opening up promising prospects with AccuTOX®, a nasal cancer therapy. The promising study results in mice indicate the potential efficacy of the non-hormonal drug. The Company is also focusing on the development of vaccines and ADC products and is positioning itself as a pioneering player in the biotechnology landscape. Bayer AG is setting new standards in menopause treatment with elinzanetant and is targeting sales of EUR 1 billion. Bayer is aiming for potential approval from 2025. NVIDIA is revolutionizing AI-driven drug research with BioNeMo, as the technology enables the digital representation of drugs and accelerates progress in pharmaceutical research.** With NVIDIA Clara™, the Company offers a comprehensive platform in the healthcare sector, from imaging and precision technology to genomics. The global AI market in the healthcare sector is experiencing enormous growth. Despite the promising developments, investors should keep an eye on the legal challenges in the field of AI and healthcare. From innovative cancer therapies to menopause treatment, these companies are actively shaping the future of healthcare and setting new standards for medical research and technology.
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