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Science & Technology Share

Circassia gives up on allergy after house dust mite study fails"

Circassia gives up on allergy after house dust mite study fails"

LONDON, Apr 18 (Reuters) Britain's Circassia Pharmaceuticals is throwing in the towel on allergy investment after a second high-profile clinical trial flop, focusing instead on building a broader respiratory business.
The failure of the company's immunotherapy to perform better than placebo in fighting dust mite allergy in a Phase IIb test follows similar negative results in a Phase III trial against cat allergy last year.
The company's stock lost two-third's of its value in a single session on the June 2016 cat results, which many investors feared undermined the allergy thesis, and the reaction on Tuesday was more muted, with shares losing around 3 percent.
In both cases, the company said, the immunotherapy failed because of a marked placebo effect among patients not on therapy.
The top shareholders in Circassia, which listed on the London stock market in March 2014 in Britain's largest biotech flotation for decades, are Invesco and Neil Woodford's investment management company, both big backers of UK science.
Woodford suffered another setback earlier this month when Allied Minds, which commercialises ideas from universities, announced a large writedown.
Circassia Chief Executive Steve Harris said he was "naturally disappointed" by the dust mite study failure.
"We remain convinced that the technology has biologic activity, but we also believe the difficulty in overcoming the placebo effect using the field study designs required by regulators represents a significant hurdle, and consequently we will make no further investment in our allergy portfolio," he said.
Instead, Circassia will concentrate on its wider respiratory business, in particular a new U.
commercial collaboration with AstraZeneca.
Circassia last month secured U.
rights from AstraZeneca for two drugs to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for up to $230 million.


Yemen cholera epidemic slowing after infecting 400,000

By Tom Miles

GENEVA, July 25 (Reuters)  Yemen's cholera outbreak is set to hit 400,000 cases on Tuesday but there are signs the three-month-old epidemic is slowing, according to World Health Organization data analysed by Reuters.


IMA organises 'Kidney Update 2017'

Panaji, Jul 24 (UNI) State-level CME Kidney Update 2017 event, organised by Indian Medical Association (IMA) Goa, saw experts from all over India and Spain sharing knowledge with Goan doctors about how to manage better patients with kidney ailments.


HIV and cancer teams double up to seek out new disease killers

By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent

LONDON, Jul 22 (Reuters) HIV experts at an international conference starting today are keenly courting colleagues in oncology to explore whether advances in harnessing the immune system against cancer can help the search for a cure for AIDS.


Scales tip in AIDS fight as death rates decline, treatment rates rise

By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent LONDON, Jul 20 (Reuters) The scales have tipped in the fight against AIDS, with more than half of people infected with HIV now getting treatment and AIDS-related deaths almost halving since 2005, the United Nations said today.


Republican Senator John McCain diagnosed with brain tumor

Undated, Jul 20 (Reuters) US Republican Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with a brain tumor following surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye.

Broken pebbles offer clues to Palaeolithic funeral rituals

Broken pebbles offer clues to Palaeolithic funeral rituals

New Delhi, Feb 9 (UNI) Humans may have ritualistically "killed" objects to remove their symbolic power, some 5,000 years earlier than previously thought, a new international study of marine pebble tools from an Upper Palaeolithic burial site in Italy suggests.