Market Overview

Patients Turn to Advanced Technology in Order to Combat Cancer

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NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the past two decades, cancer-related deaths in the U.S. have declined significantly. As of 2015, the death rate for both men and women declined by 26% from its peak in 1991, according to the American Cancer Society. Additionally, the decline in cancer mortality is particularly attributable to the advancements within the cancer biotechnology industry. Notably, certain players within the industry have developed more efficient and effective forms of treatment for patients in order to suppress or ultimately eradicate their cancers. Other biotech players have also manufactured early detectors for cancer in order to spot the signs before cancer can further develop. Notably, lung cancer, which is one of the leaders in cancer-related deaths, saw related deaths decrease by 45% from 1990 to 2015. Similarly, deaths associated with breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer all declined drastically in the past two decades. And while the number of deaths is continuing to dwindle each year, the number of cancer cases is still rising. Nevertheless, early detection treatments that stop the development of cancer before it rapidly spreads have helped curb the number of deaths. And as biotechnology companies continue to develop advanced therapies and treatments, the death toll caused by cancer is projected to decline. According to data compiled by GBI Research, the global revenue for the oncology market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.66% from USD 118.6 Billion in 2016 to USD 241 Billion by 2023. Oncology Pharma Inc. (OTC:ONPH), Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:INO), AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVEO), SELLAS Life Sciences Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SLS), Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTC:NWBO)

Previously, detecting cancer at early stages was challenging, but advancements made on early screening technology have completely reshaped early detection systems. Early detection technologies are now becoming highly popular within the cancer treatment marketplace, but in some instances, patients may be too late with early screening and will likely need to undergo a form of therapy. As such, target therapies have become increasingly popular among patients because they specifically target malignant cells without damaging blood cells. However, these treatments and therapies can be highly costly for patients. In addition to hospitalization and travel expenses, the sum of cancer treatment can cost over USD 10,000 per month, according to the National Cancer Institute. Consequently, telemedicine has become an emerging communication technology that supports clinical care. Telemedicine is primarily used among patients that live in rural areas or suffer from a medical condition that severely impacts their daily physical activities. Now, medical practitioners can easily video call a patient to check on his or her health and wellness. In the oncology market, telemedicine offers many advantages to patients such as reporting their symptoms early on, which can possibly even prevent hospitalization. On the other hand, patients that ultimately do require medical attention can undergo remote patient monitoring at the convenience of their own homes. Overall, the major advantages of telemedicine can allow patients to seek immediate medical attention and even remote hospitalization while drastically reducing expenses. "It offers great promise in overcoming the disparities we're now seeing around outcomes in this country based on where you live," Jennie Crews, MD, MMM, Medical Director of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Network told HemOnc Today. "Patients who live in rural areas do not have outcomes as good as those in urban centers. Telemedicine offers us an opportunity to reach those patients and bring better care to them. Your ZIP code should not dictate how well you survive your cancer."

Oncology Pharma Inc. (OTC:ONPH) announced today that, "it has entered into an agreement with Ribera for its clinical trial platform, "Connect2Med."

The license by Ribera of its "Connect2Med" for human clinical trials to Oncology Pharma shall be exclusive for oncology, drug development, clinical trials, personalized oncology and therapeutics worldwide, including the right to sub-license, with one year to complete certain milestones, including modifications for oncology use and an option to  purchase the platform  or  renew the license  agreement. 

Ribera Solutions is a software services firm focused on the development of technologies for the life sciences, medical devices, healthcare and clinical research sectors. The firm provides technology consulting, research and development on cloud, mobile and web-based connected care solutions. Ribera develops its own proprietary software applications that can be licensed for running clinical trials, providing "connected" care services, and for collection of remote data and analysis.

Dr. Mahant (CSO & COO) stated: 'the iOS and Android based mobile "Connect2Med" App is a powerful tool that is centralized, has recruitment features, the potential to improve participant retention, participant tracking, and the App will be in compliance with local and Federal regulations such as HIPAA.'

Dr. Stefan Gruenwald (Scientific Advisor and Board Member, Oncology Pharma, Inc.) believes that Ribera's Connect2Med is one of the best digital platforms for patient engagement and retention. It is designed to advance clinical trials for pharmaceutical and diagnostic / medical device companies by improving patient retention rate and engagement through real-time communication. Through medical device connectivity patients can schedule and perform tele-health examinations with hospitals and clinics. Powerful artificial intelligence and Smart Health Applications deliver relevant content directly to the user, which can be customized for data analysis and reports in real-time.

ABOUT ONCOLOGY PHARMA, INC. (https://www.oncology-pharma.com/): ONCOLOGY PHARMA, INC. (OTCPK: ONPH) (the "Company") is a pioneering oncology company dedicated to developing, manufacturing, and commercializing therapeutics. The Company has licensed Tulynode's patent pending Autologous Immuno-therapy for durable therapy response using an extracorporeal device. The Company is currently engaging in research and development of therapeutics for oncology and prides itself for having a world-class Advisory Board that keeps the Company in the forefront of developing technologies in cancer research, biotechnology, and healthcare."

Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:INO) is an innovative biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of its synthetic DNA technology targeted against cancers and infectious diseases. Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced positive interim results from Inovio's Phase 2 study (NCT03491683) of newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) combining Inovio's INO-5401, a T cell-activating immunotherapy encoding for three tumor-associated antigens (hTERT, WT1, and PSMA), and INO-9012, an immune activator encoding IL-12, in combination with Libtayo® (cemiplimab), a PD-1 blocking antibody developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) in collaboration with Sanofi. The data will be featured in a late-breaking poster presentation at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2019 Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, November 6-10. Key interim data from the 52-patient clinical trial showed that 80% (16 of 20) of MGMT gene promoter methylated patients and 75% (24 of 32) of unmethylated patients were progression-free at six months (PFS6) measured from the time of their first dose, substantially exceeding historical standard-of-care data. Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's President & Chief Executive Officer, said, "Our new data demonstrates the potential of our immunotherapies utilizing tumor-associated antigens in cancer treatments. Our goal in this GBM trial is to increase progression-free and overall survival of patients facing a disease where neither the standard of care nor clinical outcomes have significantly advanced in decades. Previously, other checkpoint inhibitor treatment alone in GBM trials did not show any meaningful clinical benefit over standard of care. However, the addition of INO-5401 and its ability to generate antigen-specific T cells demonstrated early efficacy signals in progression-free survival. We look forward to reporting additional data including overall survival at months 12 and 18 from the trial in the coming year."

AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVEO) is a biopharmaceutical company seeking to advance targeted medicines for oncology and other unmet medical needs. AVEO Oncology recently announced that it had initiated enrollment in an open-label, multi-center Phase 1b/2 clinical trial evaluating FOTIVDA® (tivozanib), the Company's once-daily, potent and selective vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (VEGFR-TKI), in combination with IMFINZI® (durvalumab), AstraZeneca's human monoclonal antibody directed against programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) who have not received prior systemic therapy. "HCC is the fastest rising cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., driven by prevalent diseases that include hepatitis B and C, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and obesity. With five-year survival at approximately 26%, there remains a desperate need for new therapeutic options," said Michael Bailey, President and Chief Executive Officer of AVEO. "VEGF TKIs and immunotherapy represent current standard of care monotherapies for advanced HCC, and we believe that the combination of tivozanib and durvalumab, both of which have demonstrated single agent activity in HCC, holds great promise as a potential new treatment option for this patient population. Tivozanib's unique tolerability profile has the potential to make it an attractive VEGF TKI to combine with immunotherapy; in collaboration with AstraZeneca, we look forward to elucidating the potential of the tivozanib-durvalumab combination in patients with previously untreated advanced liver cancer."

SELLAS Life Sciences Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:SLS) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on novel cancer immunotherapeutics for a broad range of cancer indications. SELLAS Life Sciences Group, Inc. recently announced the dosing of the first patient in its Phase 1/2 open-label study of GPS in combination with Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), in patients with selected WT1-positive advanced cancers, including both solid tumors and hematologic malignances. "This is an important milestone as this study allows us to potentially enhance our safety and activity profile of GPS in combination with anti-PD-1 therapies, particularly in combination with KEYTRUDA® in multiple malignances, following intriguing initial combination clinical data with OPDIVO®," said Angelos M. Stergiou, M.D., ScD h.c., President and Chief Executive Officer of SELLAS. "We are confident this study will build on our body of clinical evidence in support of the use of GPS in combination with PD-1 inhibitors to benefit cancer patients with limited treatment options. We believe that our innovative WT1 immunotherapeutic, GPS, in combination with anti-PD-1 immunotherapy agents, may provide therapeutic benefit for patients with WT1 expression. These beliefs are shared by the renowned U.S. oncologists who are undertaking this work. We look forward to studying this combination in patients with a wide range of cancers and expect to provide the first clinical data from this study in the first quarter of 2020."

Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc. (OTCQB:NWBO) is a biotechnology company focused on developing personalized immunotherapy products designed to treat cancers more effectively than current treatments, without toxicities of the kind associated with chemotherapies, and on a cost-effective basis, in both the United States and Europe. Northwest Biotherapeutics recently announced highlights from Dr. Marnix Bosch's Program Update in the Industry Expert Theater presentation at the 55th annual ASCO Conference. Dr. Bosch provided an update about the Company's DCVax®-Direct Program for inoperable tumors, including new follow-up data about patient survival in the Phase I trial and new information about the next DCVax-Direct clinical trials for new disease applications. Dr. Bosch also provided an update about the Company's DCVax®-L Program for operable tumors, including the Company's progress on the road to unblinding the data from the Phase III trial in Glioblastoma, and new follow-up data from the Information Arm of patients who were not eligible for the Phase III trial because they had actual or apparent rapid tumor progression (recurrence) before they could even be enrolled in the trial.

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