Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited Acquires TheraPharm GmbH, Broadening Reach to Hematologic Cancers and Transplant Medicine
MELBOURNE, Australia and BAAR, Switzerland, Nov. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: TLX, ‘Telix’, the ‘Company’) announces it has entered into an agreement with Scintec Diagnostics GmbH (‘Scintec’) to acquire TheraPharm GmbH (‘TheraPharm’), a Swiss-German biotechnology company developing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic solutions in the field of hematology.
The acquisition of TheraPharm provides Telix with access to a portfolio of patents, technologies, production systems, clinical data and know-how in relation to the use of Molecularly Targeted Radiation (MTR) in hematology and immunology. TheraPharm is developing antibody MTR technology against CD66, a cell surface target highly expressed by neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. As such, the technology has potentially very broad applications in the diagnosis and treatment of hematologic diseases (e.g. blood cancers), lymphoproliferative disorders and immune-mediated diseases (e.g. lupus, and multiple sclerosis). Of particular interest is the demonstrated use of the technology to safely and effectively perform bone marrow conditioning (BMC) prior to bone marrow stem cell transplant.
Telix CEO, Dr. Christian Behrenbruch stated, “Telix is committed to extending and improving the lives of patients with serious diseases. As such, the acquisition of TheraPharm and its MTR assets are uniquely aligned to Telix’s mission and technical strengths in antibody engineering and radiochemistry. TheraPharm’s technology has a significant role to play in BMC and stem cell transplantation across a broad range of blood cancers and rare diseases. The current approach to BMC employs highly toxic drugs that have a poor morbidity and mortality profile, and for which many patients are ineligible. MTR offers an excellent safety profile that may greatly expand the number of patients able to undergo life prolonging stem cell transplantation while greatly reducing the hospitalisation burden and cost associated with such procedures.”
TheraPharm co-founder and Managing Director, Dr. Klaus Bosslet added, “Over the past 5 years, TheraPharm, in collaboration with Dr. Kim Orchard from the University of Southampton (UK), has made excellent progress developing 90Y-besilesomab for the treatment of hematologic cancers and several related conditions including multiple myeloma, leukemia and amyloidosis. This unique asset is a logical addition to Telix’s portfolio, offering a potentially rapid development path to a first commercial indication for the treatment of patients with SALA, while at the same time having potentially broad applications for stem cell transplantation in patients with more common cancers of the blood, including multiple myeloma and leukemia. We look forward to joining the Telix team in order to expedite the development of products for this under-served field.”
Full transaction details, including financial terms, can be found via the Telix website and ASX portal here.
About Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT)
Bone marrow conditioning (BMC) followed by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is presently performed to treat patients with hematologic malignancies (blood cancers), with the objective of extending patient survival or achieving cure. HSCT is also performed for a broad range of non-cancer conditions. HSCT is preferentially performed in countries of high income (Europe >30,000, Americas >20,000, worldwide >65,000 p.a., respectively)
Polly Helm teaches a class at Cocoa Beach Health and Fitness Center. In 2014, Helm received a heart transplant that saved her life. (Photo: Provided)
As we near Thanksgiving, it’s a time of year where many are grateful for family, friends, good health and the blessings bestowed upon them.
Such is the case for one of our own Cocoa Beach Health and Fitness family members, Polly Helm.
It’s not often that you get a second chance at life, but for Polly, that’s exactly what she got.
For more than 30 years Polly has taught group fitness classes in our area.
Always positive, thoughtful and dedicated, she’s one of those special people that goes above and beyond for her fitness followers.
Monthly birthday parties, personal phone calls to folks who have been missing for a while, and hosting an annual luncheon for our seasonal residents before they head back north, are just a few of the things that make her stand out among the rest.
Always the epitome of great health, Polly taught close to 20 fitness classes each week, in addition to her hobby, which happens to be running local 5Ks and half marathons.
In 2014, life threw her the ultimate curve ball.
The 53 year-old contracted a virus that attacked what makes her so special — her heart.
The doctors said she’d need a heart transplant in order to live and within weeks she went to the ICU to wait for a donor.
During the next few weeks, the positive blessings and miracles began. Prayers, support, and encouragement poured in for our beloved Polly.
I remember speaking with her many times during this uncertain, traumatic period, and not once did her demeanor show how scared she probably really was.
Polly remained steadfast to her faith that things would work out just fine.
Also during this time, Polly’s daughter, Kirby, drove down from North Carolina in order to have her mother be a part of her wedding.
The hospital staff wheeled Polly down attached to life support machines to the hospital chapel for the ceremony. With the sudden change of life plans, the family made the most of a dire situation.
A tragic death of one can become a second chance for another, and that’s what happened a few weeks later that December when they found her a match.
In the U.S., 110,000 men, women and children are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.
Even the largest football stadium in the U.S. could not fit the number of patients on the national transplant waiting list (The University of Michigan can accommodate 107,601).
The need for transplants, in general, is dire and luckily our beloved Polly became a
Callaghan O’Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images
You never know where an act of kindness ends.
Tara Berliski of Magnolia, Texas, offered to donate a kidney to her husband, John Berliski. His were removed in July because of polycystic kidney disease. Doctors at the Houston Methodist Hospital living donor program explained that because John Berliski has type AB blood, he could receive a kidney from almost any donor. But if John and Tara Berliski chose to enter a kidney swap program, they might be able to help someone else, too; someone else might help them.
John Berliski told the doctors, “Yes, I’ll go ahead and help whomever.” It set off an extraordinary chain of events, as reported in the Houston Chronicle.
Justin Barrow, a 40-year-old youth pastor in Longville, La., has a rare kidney disorder, and had a transplant when he was 15; it was beginning to falter. A cousin offered to donate their kidney, but doctors said it wasn’t a good match. A kidney from Tara Berliski would be.
Diane Poenitzch of Garland, Texas, had been on the list to receive a transplant for nearly four years. Her sister, Paula Gerrick, had offered to be a donor, but her blood type is AB. Not a good match for her sister, but potentially for John Berliski.
The National Kidney Foundation says more than 100,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney. Yet only about 20,000 receive a transplant each year. A patient on that list will wait an average of three to five years before they become one of the fortunate ones to receive a transplant. Many—there is no nice way to say this—die waiting.
But on October 20, a 30-hour series of operations began at Houston Methodist, involving more than 80 doctors, nurses, and technicians.
Justin Barrow’s cousin, Samantha Barrow, donated a kidney to Misael Gonzalez, whose mother, Teresa Salcedo, donated a kidney to Debra Lewing, whose supervisor, Dawn Thomas, donated a kidney to Diane Poenitzsch, whose sister, Paula Gerrick, has AB blood type, and donated a kidney to John Berliski.
Dr. Osama Gaber was the lead surgeon. When his young daughter, Nora, died in 1998, his family donated her organs for transplant. Years later, they founded Nora’s Home, where organ transplant patients and their families can stay before and after surgeries.
The 10 donors and recipients are all recovering, doing well and began to meet one another this week. They are former strangers, now bound for life by blood and kindness.
“You know you are saving loved ones,” Tara Berliski told us from Magnolia, Texas. “And that’s everything.”
Lung transplant patients who received a lung from obese donors had a 15-20% reduction in mortality at 1 year in one of the first studies to examine the impact of donor body mass index (BMI) and post-transplant survival.
Findings from the retrospective trial, which included data on patients and donors registered with the United Network for Organ Sharing Standard Transplant and Analysis database, suggest that donor obesity may confer a protective benefit for transplanted lungs.
The findings were presented this week in a poster session at the virtual CHEST conference, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.
The BMI of lung transplant recipients has been shown to be an independent predictor of mortality, with studies showing an increased risk of death following transplant in patients who are either underweight or overweight, said Sung Choi, MD, of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, who presented the findings.
For example, in a 2017 study involving over 17,000 lung transplants performed in the U.S. from 2005 to 2016, underweight and overweight lung recipients (i.e., BMI ≤20 and ≥28 at the time of listing) were found to be at increased risk for both short- and long-term mortality.
Recipient weight-loss prior to lung transplantation was also associated with a reduction in mortality and days on mechanical ventilation in a 2015 study, with greater reductions in BMI associated with greater survival benefit.
And, in a 2014 consensus statement, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation recommended that a BMI of 30 or greater be considered a relative contraindication to lung transplantation.
Regarding donor BMI, however, Choi told MedPage Today that there hasn’t been prior research examining the impact on lung recipient outcomes and that the findings from his team’s study were a surprise: “We really weren’t expecting this result,” he said.
“We thought greater donor BMI might be associated with an increase in recipient mortality or maybe a null finding. What we found was striking to us. There appeared to be a dose-dependent relationship, with higher donor BMI associated with lower recipient mortality at 90 days and 1 year after the transplant,” Choi said.
Close to 16,000 adult patients who received single- or double-lung transplants from 2005 to 2018 were included in the analysis. Median age of the lung recipients was 59, and roughly 60% were male. Donors were categorized as underweight (BMI <18.5), normal weight (18.5 to <25), overweight (25 to <30), class I obesity (30 to <35), class II obesity (35 to <40), and class III obesity (≥40.0).
Average donor BMI was 25.9, and 45% were classified as normal weight.
A survival benefit at 1 year was observed among patients who received a lung transplant from donors in obesity class 1 (HR 0.867, 95% CI 0.772-0.975, P<0.01) and obesity classes II/III (HR 0.804, 95% CI 0.688-0.941, P<0.01) compared with lungs from normal-weight donors, the researchers reported.
In adjusted analyses, the team reported lower odds of survival with increased donor age, male sex, and presence of diabetes.
American Heart Association News
THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020 (American Heart Association News) — Wendy Wees suffered a miscarriage during her first pregnancy with husband, Jason Protiva, so they were overjoyed when they passed the nine-week mark of her second pregnancy.
At her 20-week appointment, the couple found out they were having a boy. The doctor noticed something else on the sonogram. Their unborn son had a serious heart defect.
Further tests determined he would be born with essentially half a heart. He had hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a condition where the heart’s left side is underdeveloped. Doctors said he would need three surgeries before age 5, the first performed days after birth.
The couple decided to name their boy “something really strong and meaningful” and chose Abel Falcon. They also chose to focus on the positive, happy they had insurance and there was something they could do for Abel.
“We were trying to think the best and started looking at all the survivors and how this one woman is 30 years old with HLHS,” Wendy said. “We knew that transplant was the end game, but those three surgeries are supposed to allow that to not be necessary until later on in life.”
Abel arrived with normal color, not the blue or grey skin tone they were told he might appear. Before his first surgery at 6 days old, each of his parents were able to hold him skin-to-skin.
“That’s when it all really hit us,” Wendy said. “This is serious. If he survives, it’s going to be a miracle.”
The couple took Abel home after 29 days. They spent a month monitoring his oxygen saturation levels, taking his temperature, recording his feedings, weighing his diapers and administering several oral medications.
“He didn’t sleep well, but he was a baby. And he fussed, but he was a baby. We didn’t think there was anything wrong with him,” Wendy said. “But when we went back for his one-month checkup, they told us he was in heart failure.”
Doctors readmitted Abel to the hospital, but he was too small and weak to endure the next surgery. All the family could do was wait. They camped out on an upper floor and took shifts staying with Abel.
One night, Jason had 3-month-old Abel dancing in his bed. Jason dozed off thinking all was well.
“I woke up to him really laboring to breathe and called the nurse in, and within minutes he coded,” Jason said. “The doctor came in and started doing chest compressions, and it was just chaos.”
They continued CPR for 15 minutes before Abel’s heart surgeon, who had just finished an operation, came in. With no operating rooms available, he placed Abel on maximum life support right there in his hospital room.
The family was told Abel would have to come off the heart-lung machine before he could be listed for a transplant. It took eight days, but Abel was finally weaned off. Almost a month later, he received
MitraClip transcatheter mitral valve repair was safe as a bridge to heart transplant and even helped some patients become eligible for transplant, a pilot study showed.
In a largely European registry of 119 chronic advanced or end-stage heart failure patients with 3+ or 4+ mitral regurgitation (MR) who were potential candidates for heart transplantation and got the MitraClip as a bridge strategy:
- 23.5% recovered sufficiently to go off the heart transplant list
- 15.5% became eligible for transplant
Freedom from the primary composite endpoint of all-cause mortality, urgent heart transplant, or left ventricular assist device implantation occurred in 64%, Cosmo Godino, MD, of San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy, reported at the virtual TCT Connect conference.
There were no deaths within 30 days of implantation and 86% procedural success.
The population studied may account for somewhere between 1% and 10% of the total heart failure population and are difficult to manage, with a 1-year mortality risk of 15% on the transplant wait list in Europe, Godino noted.
The study used retrospective clinical records from 119 patients from 17 centers in Europe and Canada:
- 31 were on the transplant list with low likelihood of receiving a donor organ soon due to factors like blood type or body weight
- 54 were awaiting a clinical decision on transplant, dubbed bridge-to-decision
- 34 were not yet listed for transplant due to potentially reversible contraindications, such as severe pulmonary hypertension or elevated pulmonary-vascular resistance, and got the device as a bridge to candidacy
David J. Cohen, MD, of Kansas City, Missouri, noted that the findings did match up with his group’s COAPT trial in that MitraClip was associated with half as many patients going to transplant or left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in that trial.
“Since COAPT came out, we’ve been getting a lot more consults from the transplant service for patients just like this as a bridge to get them safer, keep them out of the hospital, keep them off of inotropes until they’re ready for a destination,” noted Chad Rammohan, MD, of El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California.
“What’s interesting is that these patients would probably fit into the MITRA-FR data by the size of their LVs [left ventricles], which is interesting because that trial was negative,” he said as part of a discussion panel at a TCT press briefing.
Indeed, about 80% of the population wouldn’t have fit into the COAPT trial criteria, and some were even beyond the MITRA FR criteria, Godino noted. LV end diastolic volume index averaged 122.5 mL/m2.
“So it’s strange that we found some positive results,” he said. The explanation may be the young age of patients, averaging 58 — 20 years younger than that in the MITRA-FR trial, he noted.
“There’s a lot we don’t understand about which LVs are going to benefit — the LV mechanics — and there’s a lot of variability,” agreed panelist Susheel Kodali, MD, of NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “This is a very sick population, and