Monthly Archives: April 2020

Junshi Biosciences Announces Acceptance of a Supplemental NDA in China for Toripalimab in Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

SHANGHAI, China, April 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Junshi Biosciences (HKEX: 1877), a leading innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies, today announced that the China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has accepted a supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for toripalimab as a treatment for patients with recurrent/metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) who failed at least two lines of systemic therapy. The sNDA is the world’s first new drug application of anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody for the treatment of recurrent/metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

“We believe toripalimab has the potential to meet the urgent need for safe and effective treatments in more advanced recurrent and metastasized NPC patients. The incidence and mortality rates for NPC in China are among the highest in the world. This is the second indication in China for toripalimab after metastatic melanoma. We have now completed POLARIS-02, the Phase II clinical study in NPC patients who have failed first line systemic therapy. Enrollment of JUPITER-02, the international multicenter Phase III study for first line treatment of NPC has also been completed,” commented Dr. Ning Li, Chief Executive Officer of Junshi Biosciences. “We hope to increase the treatment efficacy of NPC utilizing immunotherapy as a monotherapy or in combination with other treatment modalities. We are working closely with NMPA and hope to bring this therapy to patients.”

NPC is the most common cancer originating in the nasopharynx, and the most common type of the head-and-neck cancer in China. According to World Health Organization (WHO), almost half of the NPC patients in the world live in China. Incidence rates in some regions of Guangdong Province, for example, is 40 times the world average. Incidence rate is also high in Southeast Asian countries. NPC tends to metastasize during early stages of the disease, and early stage patient tend to relapse after radiation or chemotherapy treatment. Platinum-based therapy is currently standard of care for first-line treatment of recurrent or metastatic NPC patients; however, there is no standard treatment after failure of the firs-line systemic treatment.

The sNDA is based on results from the POLARIS-02 study (NCT02915432), which is a multicenter, open-label, Phase II pivotal registrational clinical study, led by Professor Ruihua Xu of Sun Yat-Sun University Cancer Center, with an aim to evaluate the safety and efficacy of toripalimab for patients with metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma after failure of systemic treatment. The study is the world’s first large clinical trial of anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody for the treatment of advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma enrolling 190 patients. Independent Review Committee has determined that overall response rate (ORR) has recently met its primary endpoint, based on solid tumor evaluation criteria (RECIST 1.1). The safety profile is consistent with what has been reported for toripalimab.

In addition, JUPITER-02 study (NCT03581786), a Phase III clinical study of toripalimab in combination with chemotherapy versus chemotherapy as a first-line treatment in patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma has completed enrollment.

About Toripalimab

Toripalimab is an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody developed by Junshi Biosciences. Toripalimab received its first approval for 2nd line treatment of metastatic melanoma on December 17, 2018 in China and was commercially launched in February 2019.

About Junshi Biosciences

Established in 2012, Junshi Biosciences is committed to developing first-in-class and best-in-class drugs through original innovation and becoming a pioneer in the area of translational medicine to provide patients with effective and affordable treatment options. On December 24, 2018, Junshi Biosciences was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong with the stock code: 1877.HK. The Company has established a diversified R&D pipeline comprising 21 drug candidates with therapeutic areas covering cancer, metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases, neurologic diseases, and Infectious disease. Product types include monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins, antibody-drug conjugates, and small molecule drugs. With a combined 33,000L fermentation capacity in two GMP-facilities at Shanghai and Suzhou, Junshi has established the manufacturing infrastructure to support commercialization and provide our partners and patients with high-quality products through a global supply chain network. For more information, please visit:

Contact Information

IR Team:
+ 86 021-2250 0300

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Michael Levitan
+1 646.378.2920


Philips Annual General Meeting of Shareholders approves all proposals

April 30, 2020

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) announced that today’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders (2020 AGM) has approved the appointment of Feike Sijbesma and Peter Löscher and the re-appointment of Neelam Dhawan as members of the Supervisory Board. The other proposals voted on at the AGM were also adopted.

Philips plans to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders, to be held in the second half of June 2020, to submit a dividend proposal to its shareholders in order to declare a distribution of EUR 0.85 per common share, in shares only.

Information on the composition of the Board of Management, the Executive Committee and the Supervisory Board can be found here.

Philips’ 2019 results are included in Philips’ 2019 Annual Report that was published on February 25, 2020.

For more information about Philips’ 2020 AGM, please click on this link.

For further information, please contact:

Ben Zwirs
Philips Global Press Office
Tel.: +31 6 15213446

Derya Guzel
Philips Investor Relations
Tel.: +31 20 59 77055

About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips’ health technology portfolio generated 2019 sales of EUR 19.5 billion and employs approximately 81,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at

Forward-looking statements
This release contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business of Philips and certain of the plans and objectives of Philips with respect to these items. Examples of forward-looking statements include statements made about the strategy, estimates of sales growth, future EBITA, future developments in Philips’ organic business and the completion of acquisitions and divestments. By their nature, these statements involve risk and uncertainty because they relate to future events and circumstances and there are many factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these statements.


Nature Publication Highlights New ‘Blueprint’ Revealing How SARS-CoV-2 Hijacks Human Cells; Points to Drugs With Potential to Fight COVID-19 and a Drug That Aids Its Infectious Growth

Led by UCSF Quantitative Biosciences Institute Director, Nevan Krogan, PhD, international effort including researchers from UCSF, Gladstone Institutes, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Institut Pasteur unveils promising compounds for clinical testing

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., April 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — An international team of more than 120 scientists has detailed the impact of 75 over-the-counter prescription and development-stage drug compounds on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Several of these agents show promise in blocking SARS-CoV-2 replication in laboratory experiments. One compound investigated in the research, a common ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines, appears to have the potential to promote the growth of the virus.

The collaborative study, published in Nature on April 30, 2020, was assembled and led by Nevan Krogan, PhD, director of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute at UC San Francisco and a senior investigator at Gladstone Institutes. As the first hints of the pandemic emerged in January, over a matter of just a few weeks, Krogan formed a rapid-response research team of dozens of scientists and clinicians — hailing from UCSF, Gladstone, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, and Institut Pasteur in Paris — to search for potential treatments for COVID-19.

Rather than focusing on an antiviral approach to block SARS-CoV-2, the researchers first combined biological and computational techniques to create a “blueprint” of more than 300 human proteins that the virus requires to infect human cells and to thrive and replicate in the body. They then explored the question of which drugs, both those that are currently marketed as well as those in development, might be repurposed to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection by targeting those human proteins.

The researchers emphasized that while the drugs identified in the study are promising, they have only been tested against the virus in laboratory experiments. The researchers do not advocate anyone prescribing and/or using the drugs unless human clinical trials find them to be safe and effective.

Repurposed Compounds that Show Promise for Fighting COVID-19; Further Research Needed

Looking at a list of drugs that interact with the protein blueprint, UCSF researchers Brian Shoichet, PhD, and Kevan Shokat, PhD, led studies employing chemical biology and computational approaches. Two drug categories emerged as promising agents to effectively reduce viral infectivity: protein translation inhibitors (including zotatifin and ternatin-4/plitidepsin), and drugs that modulate proteins inside the cell known as Sigma1 and Sigma2 receptors, including progesterone, PB28, PD-144418, hydroxychloroquine; the antipsychotic drugs haloperidol and cloperazine; siramesine, an antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug; and the antihistamines clemastine and cloperastine.

Among the protein translation inhibitors, the strongest antiviral effect in vitro was seen with zotatifin, which is currently in clinical trials for cancer, and ternatin-4/plitidepsin, which is FDA-approved for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Among the Sigma1 and Sigma2 modulators, the antipsychotic haloperidol, used to treat schizophrenia, showed antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Olanzapine, used to treat both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, had no measurable effect on the virus. Two potent antihistamines, clemastine and cloperastine, displayed antiviral activity, as did PB28 and to a lesser extent the female hormone progesterone.

“While a large amount of COVID-19 therapeutic development research focuses on the antivirals and vaccines, we’ve taken a different approach, targeting the human counterparts and vulnerabilities required for viral infection in a human cell,” said Krogan. “Our work leverages approved and development-stage molecules and will help to focus clinical trials toward the most promising agents to combat COVID-19. We also continue to search for additional agents that target the human proteins used by SARS-CoV-2 to expand the armamentarium against the virus,” he said.

“While these are early data, we have a high degree of confidence in the results, since similar  observations on the antiviral activity of these drugs arose from work done independently at both Mount Sinai and Institut Pasteur. Research at this speed and magnitude could only have been accomplished through a collaborative effort from several scientists at multiple institutions, each bringing unique but complementary skill sets towards a common research goal,” said Adolfo García-Sastre, PhD, Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Director of the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. García-Sastre led the virological studies along with Marco Vignuzzi, PhD, principal investigator in the Viral Populations Unit at Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Vignuzzi commented, “This study provides novel potential antiviral strategies that need to be explored, and it is unique in that it extends our knowledge on our basic understanding of how the virus interacts with the host.”

PB28 Shows Significantly Greater Antiviral Activity than Hydroxychloroquine

Among drugs targeting Sigma1 and Sigma2 receptors, a preclinical compound called PB28 had approximately 20 times greater antiviral activity than hydroxychloroquine in laboratory experiments, which is being studied as a potential therapy for COVID-19 in multiple clinical trials.

Theory for Cardiac Side Effects of Hydroxychloroquine

The new study presents a possible explanation for the serious cardiac side effects observed in some halted clinical studies of hydroxychloroquine. The researchers showed that, in addition to targeting the Sigma1 and -2 receptors, hydroxychloroquine also binds to a protein known as hERG, which is critical for regulating electrical activity in the heart. These laboratory findings may help explain the possible risks associated with this agent as a potential therapy for COVID-19.

Caution Urged for Dextromethorphan

Finally, the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, which acts on Sigma1 receptors, promoted viral infection in the laboratory experiments, and the researchers said that its use merits caution and warrants further study in the context of COVID-19.

Next Step: Testing Compounds in Animal and Human Clinical Studies for COVID-19

Krogan said the next step is to further investigate the most promising compounds to advance them as quickly as possible through clinical trials. “We are working with several pharma and biotech companies to evaluate the antiviral effectiveness and safety of drug candidates that showed the most promise in our laboratory experiments,” he said. “Conversely, because our research shows that dextromethorphan promotes SARS-CoV-2 infection in the laboratory, we urge that this compound be used prudently during the pandemic.”

Shokat added, “Our collaborative efforts have successfully mapped the proteins in the human body associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, which has informed swift, science-based drug discovery. Uncovering the proteins targeted by this coronavirus has unveiled compounds across different drug classes that might have otherwise not have been obvious to study in a viral setting.”

Background on innovative scientific approach

The researchers introduced the coronavirus proteins into human cells in culture. Once inside the cells, the viral proteins found specific human proteins that they could latch onto—very much as they would during a normal infection.

After identifying these proteins and determining small molecules known to bind them based on prior scientific research, the scientists identified 69 molecules that seemed most promising based on their targeting specificity.

Subsequently, the team assessed the impact of 47 of these compounds in cells infected with live virus, as well as an additional 28 compounds known to act on two key targets identified by other methods. These experiments were required to quickly establish robust and quantitative viral replication inhibition assays under high biocontainment to study the impact of these compounds on the biological cycle of the SARS-CoV-2

Aside from helping scientists quickly identify the most promising drug candidates to pursue, which may result in the initiation of new clinical trials, these results also provide broad insights into SARS-CoV-2 infection. Scientists can use this information to understand or anticipate the effect of experimental treatments already attempted in the clinic. Additionally, this novel approach for drug discovery can be leveraged across other viral and non-viral diseases.

About QBI: The Quantitative Biosciences Institute (QBI) fosters collaborations across the biomedical and the physical sciences, seeking quantitative methods to address pressing problems in biology and biomedicine. Motivated by problems of human disease, QBI is committed to investigating fundamental biological mechanisms, because ultimately solutions to many diseases have been revealed by unexpected discoveries in the basic sciences. Learn more at

About UCSF: The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF’s primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area. Learn more at or see our Fact Sheet.

About Gladstone Institutes: To ensure our work does the greatest good, Gladstone Institutes focuses on conditions with profound medical, economic, and social impact—unsolved diseases. Gladstone is an independent, nonprofit life science research organization that uses visionary science and technology to overcome disease. It has an academic affiliation with UC San Francisco. Learn more at

About the Mount Sinai Health System: The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Department of Microbiology and the Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute at ISMMS is comprised of several research groups advancing research and understanding on emerging and re-emerging virus pathogens, and has quickly reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by dedicating research and clinical resources to mitigate COVID-19. For more information, visit or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About the Institut Pasteur and the Institut Pasteur International Network
: The Institut Pasteur, a non-profit foundation with recognized charitable status established by Louis Pasteur in 1887, is today an internationally renowned center for biomedical research with a network of 32 institutes worldwide. In the pursuit of its mission to prevent and control diseases in France and throughout the world, the Institut Pasteur operates in four main areas: research, public health, education and training, and development of research applications. A globally recognized leader in infectious diseases, microbiology, and immunology, the institute also investigates cancer, genetic and neurodegenerative diseases, genomics and developmental biology. Its research aims to expand knowledge of the living world in a bid to lay the foundations for new prevention strategies and novel therapeutics. Since its inception, ten Institut Pasteur scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine, including two in 2008 for the 1983 discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. Visit for more information.

Authorship and funding: This work was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Center for Research for Influenza Pathogenesis, the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Centers of Excellence for Integrative Biology of Emerging Infectious Diseases of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France), F. Hoffmann-LaRoche AG, Vir Biotechnology, and the Ron Conway Family. Shokat is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. A complete list of authors and full funding information is available in the Nature paper.

Media Briefing
April 30, 2020
8:00 a.m. PDT / 11:00 a.m. EDT / 17:00 CEST

Register in advance, or log in live

Media Contacts
Angela Bitting, Wheelhouse LSA Pete Farley, UCSF Office of Communications
925-202-6211 415-317-3781
Sylvia Wheeler, Wheelhouse LSA
Gladstone Institutes  Mount Sinai 
Megan McDevitt, Gladstone Communications Lucia Lee, Mount Sinai Communications
415-734-2019 917-837-8914
Institut Pasteur
Aurélie Perthuison 
+33 (0)1 45 68 89 28

Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) Announces Virginia Tech as the 2020 Future Technologies Symposium Winner

The Symposium will take place on May 15 during the 2020 OCP Virtual Summit

AUSTIN, Texas, April 30, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP), a collaborative community focused on redesigning hardware technology to efficiently support the growing demands on compute infrastructure, announces today that Virginia Tech is the winner of the 2020 Future Technologies Symposium. The Symposium is an OCP initiative that brings the startup, academic, analyst and investor communities together to collaboratively solve future industry problems and accelerate productization through partnerships and open source R&D. The full-day virtual event will be held on May 15 in association with the 2020 OCP Virtual Summit taking place May 12-15.

Members of Virginia Tech’s Center for Power Electronics Systems will be recognized with a $10,000 award during the Symposium for their submission entitled “3kW Power Supply Design with Easy Manufacturability for 48 V Bus Power Architecture.” The paper discusses methods for data centers to design the DC-DC unit of the 3kW power supply for the 48V architecture with easier manufacturability and lower cost, as well as a demonstrated prototype for 400V/48V 3kW 1MHz.

“It’s indeed a pleasure to be part of the OCP Future Technologies Symposium,” states Fred C. Lee, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES) at Virginia Tech. “Our research team at Virginia Tech – CPES has been working on advancing power electronics technologies for decades. The Symposium is a great opportunity for us to share timely our latest research related to the next generation of Data Center power delivery architecture and power conversion technologies to the leading industry organizations. Being recognized as the top paper award for our paper entitled 3kW Power Supply Design with Easy Manufacturability for 48 V Bus Power Architecture means a great deal to our students and motivates them to continue working on further improvement.”

“We received an incredible response to this year’s Future Technologies Symposium with innovative and creative submissions from up-and-coming startups, highly-regarded academic organizations and some of the top established companies in the industry,” comments Rocky Bullock, CEO for the Open Compute Project Foundation. “We were particularly impressed with the work that Virginia Tech submitted this year on the topic of 48 V Bus Power Architecture and look forward to their team presenting their proposed methods during the Symposium.”

“We continue to be impressed with the level of engagement and the quality of topics coming from Academia and Startup communities to the Future Technologies Symposium,” adds Allan Smith, Chair, OCP Future Technologies Symposium and Facebook Area 404 Lab Manager. “This year’s winner (Va Tech) has challenged the industry to rethink its power architectures going forward.”

In its second year, The 2020 Future Technologies Symposium is part of the 4-day 2020 OCP Virtual Summit. This year’s Summit will be an interactive virtual experience that can be accessed from anywhere in the world and incorporates all the key components of OCP’s annual Global Summit, including keynote sessions, executive tracks, an Expo Hall with Expo Hall talks, Engineering Workshops and the OCP Experience Center. Click here to register for the OCP Virtual Summit on May 12-15, 2020. Registration is free for all attendees and the full schedule can be found here.

About Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP)
The Open Compute Project Foundation (OCP) was initiated in 2011 with a mission to apply the benefits of open source and open collaboration to hardware and rapidly increase the pace of innovation in, near and around the data center’s networking equipment, general purpose and GPU servers, storage devices and appliances, and scalable rack designs. OCP’s collaboration model is being applied beyond the data center, helping to advance the telecom industry & EDGE infrastructure.

OCP Contact:
Dirk Van Slyke
Open Compute Project Foundation
(281) 667-4644

Media Contact:
Jaymie Scotto & Associates (JSA)
1-866-695-3629 ext. 11

National Reunification Day observed in HCM City

 A ceremony was held in Ho Chi Minh City on April 30 to mark the 45th anniversary of the Liberation of the South and National Reunification Day.

The ceremony was broadcast live, connecting 45 venues in the city. National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Deputy Prime Minister Truong HoaBinh, Secretary of the HCM City Party Committee Nguyen ThienNhan, and Political Commissar of Military Zone 7 Lt. Gen. Tran HoaiTrung, among others, attended the event.

It also saw the attendance of representatives of Vietnamese heroic mothers, the armed forces, heroes of the people’s armed forces, labour heroes, and revolutionary veterans.

In his remarks, Nhan affirmed that the Great 1975 Spring Victory is a glorious page in Vietnam’s history of national construction and defence as he highlighted the country’s great victory against the US 45 years ago.

He also reviewed the achievements of HCM City in the recent time, saying the city has maintained its role as the economic locomotive of the national economy.

The city will actively prepare for the restoration of production, business, and social activities after COVID-19 while preventing its spread, Nhan said, stressing that attention will be paid to the organisation of all-level Party congresses towards the 13th National Party Congress.

He said HCM City will strive to maintain its role as an engine in the national economy and ensure harmony of socio-economic and cultural development together with environmental protection and climate change response.

Socio-economic development will be in tandem with safeguarding national defence and security, political stability, and social order and safety, he emphasised.

Later on the same day, NA Chairwoman Ngan visited Vietnamese heroic mothers and heroes of the people’s armed forces in the city who contributed greatly to the struggle against the US, the liberation of the south, and national reunification.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Russia congratulates Vietnam on National Reunification Day

 Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has cabled a message of congratulations to his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen XuanPhuc on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the liberation of the South and National Reunification Day on April 30.

The Russian leader said the glorious victory was the outcome of the persistent and heroic struggle of the Vietnamese people for independence and freedom.

Russia is proud of having stood side-by-side with its Vietnamese friends during those hard times, he wrote.

Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov also sent greetings to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Lao Party extends greetings to Vietnam on National Reunification Day

 The Central Committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) has sent a message of congratulations to the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the liberation of the South and National Reunification Day (April 30).

In the message, the LPRP wrote that under the sound and clear-sighted leadership of the CPV and with the great national unity bloc, the Vietnamese people won the glorious victory and the CPV has also shown its important role inthe process of national construction and development.

The LPRP and Lao people highly evaluated Vietnam’s great and comprehensive achievements in different spheres over the recent past, especially those made during the DoiMoi (Reform) process, the message wrote.

Vietnam’s victories have been seen as a source of encouragement for Laos in national defence and development, the LPRP said, expressing its belief that under the leadership of the CPV headed by Party General Secretary and President Nguyen PhuTrong, Vietnam will reap more successes in the time ahead.

The LPRP also stressed the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and people of Laos and Vietnam.

On this occasion, SunthonXayachack, Chairman of the LPRP Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, sent congratulations to his Vietnamese counterpart Hoang BinhQuan.

Source: Vietnam News Agency