Here are a number of multiple myeloma related news stories which have emerged over the past few days:

Posted on 05/05/2010 in Pharmaceutical Company Product News

Boehringer Ingelheim is to enter into partnership with cancer antibody specialist Micromet in order to develop a new treatment for multiple myeloma.

The two firms’ collaboration will be centred on a BiTE antibody developed by Micromet, with Boehringer Ingelheim to take responsibility for manufacturing clinical development and co-commercialisation.

This agreement will also see Micromet earn up to 50 million euros (42.5 million pounds) in milestone payments and royalties, depending on the clinical progress and market success of the resulting drug.

It is hoped that the therapy will provide a new breakthrough in the treatment of a disease which is currently incurable.

Dr Wolfgang Rettig, head of corporate research at Boehringer Ingelheim, said: “We believe that a BiTE antibody has the potential to address the significant unmet medical need of patients with multiple myeloma.”

Last month, Boehringer Ingelheim published its financial report for the first quarter of the year, reporting a 9.7 per cent net sales increase compared to the corresponding period of 2009.
 
Here is a story which The Myeloma Beacon broke earlier this week, as reported by Fox News:
 
Glaxo Halts Resveratrol Study
By Darryl R. Isherwood

FOXBusiness GlaxoSmithKline (GSK: 35.64, -0.52, -1.44%) halted a clinical trial seeking to explore the benefits of a chemical found in red wine.

The trial was studying the effects on cancer patients of a drug containing a reformulated version of resveratrol. Glaxo acquired the drug as part of its 2008 purchase of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals.

Glaxo halted its trial of the drug on patients with multiple myeloma after several patients developed nephropathy, a condition that can cause kidney failure.

A Sirtris official told Dow Jones that the condition is common in multiple myeloma patients, so its cause is unclear.

Resveratrol has been hailed as an anti-aging miracle drug, but recently scientists have begun to question the effectiveness. Resveratrol is thought to work by activating enzymes in the body called sirtuins.

Finally, here is a link to an article titled,  CytRx’s INNO-206 Rapidly Shrinks Human Tumors in an Animal Model of Multiple Myeloma.  This part ot the article jumped out at me:

“Early results from our in vivo multiple myeloma model show marked anti-tumor activity of INNO-206. We have been able to administer greater doses of INNO-206 into animals with improved tolerability compared with doxorubicin,” stated Dr. Berenson. “Velcade® in combination with Doxil® (pegylated liposomal doxorubicin) has been FDA-approved for multiple myeloma patients who have received one prior therapy, based on the superior outcomes among patients receiving this combination compared to Velcade alone. Based on our study results, the safety profile and efficacy of this new doxorubicin derivative INNO-206, when tested as a single agent in multiple myeloma growing in animals, show that INNO-206 may offer significant benefits over doxorubicin and related drugs when administered in combination with Velcade.”

It’s all about therapeutic combinations these days.  The head of this study, Dr. Berenson, has been involved with a number of drug combination research studies.  Do enough of these studies, the story goes, and eventually myeloma docs will know which combinations of drugs and antibodies will work best for a particular patient.  I will resume my series about remarkable, inspirational multiple myeloma patients tomorrow.
 
Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat