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The European Biotechnology Network is dedicated to facilitating co-operation between professionals in biotechnology and the life sciences all over Europe.

The non-profit organisation brings research groups, universities, SMEs, large companies and indeed all actors in biotechnology together to build and deliver partnerships.

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  • Multiple myeloma: X-ray with multiple osteolytic lesions in the forearm&nbsp;© Hellerhoff / Wikimedia Commons&nbsp;(<link https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en - external-link-new-window "Opens external link in new window">CC BY-SA 3.0</link>)

    BigDNA rebrands as Iceni

    26.05.2016 BigDNA relaunches as Iceni Pharmaceuticals with the aim to develop repurposed and reformulated cancer therapies. First order of business: repurpose Merck Serono’s cilengitide as a multiple myeloma treatment.

    Iceni Pharmaceuticals announced its launch on Wednesday and said it would focus on developing repurposed and reformulated cancer therapies. In March, then named BigDNA had completed a £500,000 (€658,000) investment round. The investors were BigDNA shareholders, including London-based Imprimatur Capital and the Scottish Investment Bank. “BigDNA is transitioning away from its roots as a DNA vaccine development company into the field of small molecule cancer therapies, and is now moving forward with development of its first product Cilcane,” the company stated in March. 

    Now, Iceni will repurpose lead product Cilcane (cilengitide) as a first-in-class treatment for mutliple myeloma. The company holds the IP for cilengitide, which was previously developed for the treatment of glioblastome with Merck Serono. Pre-clinical studies have shown that cilengitide is effective as a combination therapy when given with proteasome inhibitors such as bortezomib. Iceni hopes that this approach may also be applicable to breast and other cancers. The Scottish company is planning a Phase II trial of Cilcane starting in 2017 aimed at relapsed refractory patients who have already received one prior therapy of proteasome inhibitor.

    “We are excited by the prospect of repurposing cilengitide as a novel combination therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma and building on its established safety profile to improve the clinical outcome and quality of life of patient,” commented John March, CEO at Iceni Pharmaceuticals. “Our prestigious team of world renowned scientific advisors are testament to the belief in the product and its potential.”

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