GlaxoSmithKline aims to boost its financial performance with electroceuticals
With GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) under pressure due to its development line having failed to produce anything of significance of late, the company is putting faith into the creation of electroceuticals.
In a nutshell, electroceuticals are tiny specialised electronic implants that have the capabilities of treating a variety of diseases including diabetes, asthma, arthritis, hypertension amongst others.
Through its subsidiary company Galvani Bioelectronics, a joint venture with Google’s parent company Alphabet, GSK is looking to become the first firm to effectively manufacture such a device.
“Maybe over the next 12 months we’ll have one [a device],” said Kris Famm, the man running the 45 strong team behind the venture, in an interview with The Guardian.
“This is a decade-long endeavour. From the mid-2020s we should see a wave of therapies that will make this [bioelectronics] much more commonplace.”
The emphasis on electroceuticals comes at a time when GSK’s new Chief Executive Emma Walmsley has scrapped nearly one in seven of the company’s development programmes in order to streamline and focus on potentially blockbuster products.
It is understood that the company will remain committed to its development, providing £540mn of funding over the next seven years alongside Alphabet’s Verily division.
NHS opens 8 clinical trial sites to assess cancer treatment
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is opening eight clinical trial sites to assess patients' responses to personalised cancer therapy.
The trials will analyse how patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer respond to immunotherapy, to help predict their response to treatment. They will be hosted at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust facilities.
Immunotherapy helps the body's own immune system fight cancer, but while it has achieved good results for some cancer patients, it is not successful for everyone. Finding ways to predict which people will respond to the treatment is a major area of research.
OncoHost, an oncology startup, will provide advanced machine learning technology to develop personalised strategies aiming to improve the success rate of the cancer therapy. The trials will contribute to OncoHost’s ongoing PROPHETIC study, which uses the company’s host response profiling platform, PROphet®.
“Immunotherapy has achieved excellent results in certain situations for several cancers, allowing patients to achieve longer control of their cancer with maintained quality of life and longer survival,” said Dr David Farrugia, Consultant Medical Oncologist at NHS, and chief investigator of all eight NHS clinical trial sites.
“However, success with immunotherapy is not guaranteed in every patient, so this PROPHETIC study is seeking to identify changes in proteins circulating in the blood which may help doctors to choose the best treatment for each patient."
"I am excited that Gloucestershire Oncology Centre and its research department have this opportunity to contribute to this growing field of research and I am determined that our centre will make a leading national contribution in patient recruitment.”
Previous studies in the US and Israel have shown that PROphet® has high accuracy in predicting how patients with cancer will respond to various therapies.