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News Breaks
July 22, 2014
07:15 EDTZIOP, XONZiopharm announces expansion of oncology programs with Intrexon
Ziopharm (ZIOP) announced the expansion of synthetic immuno-oncology programs in conjunction with Intrexon (XON) to include chimeric antigen receptor T-cell, or CAR-T, therapy. Additionally the company has provided an update on its development efforts with the proprietary RheoSwitch Therapeutic System, or RTS, platform, an inducible regulator for expression of therapeutic molecules through administration of an oral activator ligand, as well as its clinical program with Ad-RTS-IL-12, a novel DNA-based therapeutic candidate for the controlled expression of IL-12. CAR-T cells represent an emerging, high value immunological therapy that can target and destroy cancer cells displaying "personalized" fingerprints, yet current approaches feature challenges associated with toxicity, off-target effects, and uneconomical manufacturing. Intrexon possesses the integrated technology platforms, molecular engineering, systems biology, and cell engineering capabilities required to overcome these challenges and fully realize the potential of CAR]T cell therapies. Most significantly, utilization of the RTS platform will facilitate exquisite regulation of one or more bioeffectors in CAR-T cells enabling physicians to control systemic effects of cell therapies with an appropriate dosing regimen of the oral activator ligand, and eventually bring about improved safety and efficacy of these and related therapeutic strategies. Further preclinical work is underway in this promising area of study, and ZIOPHARM and Intrexon expect to provide a progress update in the second half of 2014.
News For ZIOP;XON From The Last 14 Days
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September 1, 2015
08:08 EDTZIOPZiopharm announces publication of study in Cancer Research
ZIOPHARM Oncology announced the publication of a preclinical study in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, demonstrating the preferential targeting of solid tumor cells over healthy cells using engineered chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, T cells. The article, titled "Tuning sensitivity of CAR to EGFR density limits recognition of normal tissue while maintaining potent anti-tumor activity," is available online first at cancerres.aacrjournals.org, and was highlighted in a press release today by AACR. Abnormally-expressed antigens on tumors, such as epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR, on aggressive brain tumors such as glioblastoma, can be overexpressed relative to lower, basal levels on normal tissues. Taking advantage of this observation, researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center tuned the binding affinity of CARs to activate T cells based on the density of EGFR expression. The approach was based on the clinical toxicity exhibited by the EGFR-specific antibodies cetuximab and nimotuzumab, which recognize overlapping epitopes and exhibit different kinetics of binding to EGFR. The lower affinity of nimotuzumab has been credited with absence of adverse events relative to cetuximab. Researchers engineered high-affinity cetux-CAR T cells and low-affinity nimo-CAR T cells, which were tested in vitro on cancer cells with high levels of EGFR, and normal cells with low levels of EGFR. It was found that, while the cetux-CAR T cells killed both cancer and normal cells, the nimo-CAR T cells were selectively activated only in response to cancer cells. The researchers then tested the two populations of genetically modified T cells in mice bearing human brain cancer cells expressing high levels of EGFR and found that both cetux- and nimo-CAR T cells were equally effective in inhibiting tumor growth. However, the cetux-CAR T cells caused significant toxicity to the mice, leading to death in some, whereas the infused nimo-CAR T cells were found to be safe. The researchers further tested both CAR T cells in mice bearing cells that had low levels of EGFR, and found that unlike cetux-CAR T cells, the nimo-CAR T cells did not impact the growth of these cells.
August 21, 2015
11:01 EDTXONCitron says 'been waiting' for opportunity to buy Intrexon
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09:11 EDTXONIntrexon 4.7M share Spot Secondary priced at $41.00
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08:05 EDTZIOPZiopharm discloses that it entered into a R&D agreement with MD Anderson
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August 20, 2015
19:02 EDTXONOn The Fly: After Hours Movers
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16:12 EDTXONIntrexon to offer common stock, no amount given
JMP Securities is acting as sole book-running manager and Stifel is acting as lead manager for the offering.
08:03 EDTXONIntrexon and Dominion enter exclusive agreement in Marcellus and Utica basins
Intrexon (XON) announced that Intrexon Energy Partners, and Dominion Energy, a subsidiary of Dominion (D), have entered into an agreement to explore the potential for commercial-scale biological conversion of natural gas to isobutanol, a drop-in fuel with numerous advantages over other clean burning gasoline blendstocks. Under the terms of the agreement, IEP will be required to meet specific development milestones prior to initiation of certain commercialization activities, which are subject to board approval by both parties. Dominion will be the exclusive partner to construct, own, operate, and maintain the production facilities in the Marcellus and Utica Shale Basins located in eastern North America via potential long-term services agreements with IEP. Within this geographic region, the collaboration plans to build natural gas bioconversion facilities leading to the creation of job opportunities and generation of local and state tax revenue.

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