Member News

LA BioMed to Receive Record-Breaking Donation

Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) announced today that it is receiving its biggest donation ever – a $3 million contribution to launch its Capital Campaign – from one of its newest board members, Joan Hood Jones, the former mayor of Manhattan Beach and a former city councilmember.

Jones joined LA BioMed’s Board of Directors just eight months ago and recently decided to make the generous gift, kicking off the Capital Campaign to build state-of-the-art research facilities. Those facilities would replace World War II-era barracks that house some of the institute’s researchers and their work. Jones’ donation will help fund an approximately 77,800-square-foot research building with labs, offices, meeting and event space and amenities to serve the researchers and their staffs.

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Otonomy Announces FDA Acceptance of AuriPro(TM) New Drug Application

SAN DIEGO, April 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Otonomy, Inc. (Nasdaq:OTIC), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics for diseases and disorders of the inner and middle ear, today announced that its New Drug Application (NDA) for the approval of AuriProTM as a treatment of middle ear effusion in pediatric patients undergoing tympanostomy tube placement (TTP) surgery has been accepted for filing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The acceptance of the NDA indicates the application is sufficiently complete to permit a substantive review by the FDA.

"The FDA's acceptance of our NDA filing brings us one step closer to the potential approval and U.S. commercial launch of AuriPro, which is on track to be the first product marketed for the treatment of middle ear effusion during TTP surgery," said Dave Weber, Ph.D., president and CEO of Otonomy. "In addition, based on pre-NDA communications, we do not believe that the FDA will convene an advisory committee meeting for AuriPro prior to its approval."

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UCSD: Combined Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy Shows Promise for Advanced Prostate Cancers

Chemotherapy can be very effective against small prostate tumors. Larger prostate tumors, however, accumulate cells that suppress the body's immune response, allowing the cancer to grow despite treatment. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine now find that blocking or removing these immune-suppressing cells allows a special type of chemotherapy - and the immune cells it activates - to destroy prostate tumors. This novel combination therapy, termed chemoimmunotherapy, achieved near complete remission in mouse models of advanced prostate cancer.

The study is published April 29 in Nature.

Advanced or metastatic prostate cancer does not typically respond to chemotherapy. Prostate cancers also fail to respond to a promising new type of immunotherapy drugs, called checkpoint inhibitors, which disable cancer cells' cloaking mechanism so that a person's own immune system can better fight the tumor. This specific resistance is likely due in part to immunosuppressive B cells, which are more common in larger prostate tumors in mice, as well as in advanced and metastatic prostate cancer in humans. As the name suggests, these cells keep the immune system at bay, rendering most therapies ineffective and allowing malignant tumors to grow unchecked.

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