Astellas/FibroGen's anemia drug for CKD patients approved in Japan; Researchers propose combo to stay ahead of KRAS resistance
→ Roxadust, a treatment for anemia that arises as a complication in chronic kidney disease, has been approved in Japan. Developed by FibroGen and Astellas Pharma, the drug works differently than the erythropoiesis-stimulating agents currently used to treat anemia in CKD. A HIF-PH inhibitor, it activates a natural body response to reduced oxygen in the blood, the company said.
Anemia in CKD can worsen complications, increasing the likelihood of cardiovascular incidents and quickening progression to renal failure. The drug has also been approved in China.
→ Researchers at Johns Hopkins have received FDA approval for the second US clinical trial on vaginal fluid transplants. The treatment — like forms of bacteriotherapy to rebuild the gut’s microbiome — would work by transplanting bacteria from a healthy donor to a patient with bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis is the most common form of vaginal infection, affecting 30% of women between 14 and 49 and putting people at greater risks for HIV and other STIs, amid other complications. But because a vaginal microbiome has just one form of bacteria, Lactobacillus — the bacteria in many yogurts — it’s been theorized as a good target for bacteriotherapy.
→ It may still be early days for G12C KRAS inhibitors, but researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) are already thinking about resistance to stay ahead of the game. Their answer is a cocktail comprising a KRAS inhibitor plus two other drugs blocking the mTOR and IGF1R pathways. The regimen was used to treat lung adenocarcinomas, the most common type of lung cancer (14% of patients) and a particularly aggressive form of cancer that kills 80% of patients within 10 years. The combo resulted in persistent shrinkage of tumors while tumors treated with a KRAS drug alone shrank at first but grew back in a few weeks, the researchers reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.