Trending News Today: FDA Panel Rejects Early Approval of Lung Cancer Drug

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

An FDA advisory panel voted against the early approval of Clovis Oncology’s experimental lung cancer drug rociletinib, The Wall Street Journal reported. Clovis is in competition with AstraZeneca PLC’s approved rival drug Tagrisso and this decision is one of their latest setbacks.

Co-founder of Napster and first president of Facebook, Sean Parker, has announced a grant of $250 million to help speed up development for cancer treatments through collaboration among leading cancer researchers. The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy will include more than 40 laboratories and over 300 researchers from 6 cancer centers with 3 key areas of research, that includes: modifying a patient’s T cells to target a tumor, studying ways to boost patient response to current immunotherapy drugs, and research to identify other novel targets to attack a tumors, reported a Reuters story quoted by the New York Times. “Any breakthrough made at 1 center is immediately available to another center without any kind of IP (intellectual property) entanglements or bureaucracy,” Parker said.

Although President Barack Obama is expected to sign a bill providing financial incentives to companies developing treatments for the Zika virus, the recently passed bill is inadequate to meet the challenge, a White House spokeswoman said in a report by the New York Times. “We hope that this legislation encourages private sector partners to address the challenge of Zika, but it contains no funding and is ultimately insufficient on its own, since it doesn't provide the $1.9 billion in funding that our public health experts have said is needed right now to prepare Americans for the imminent local transmission of Zika in this country,” said spokeswoman Katie Hill.