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Kazia Therapeutics has a laser-like focus on adding value: Corporate Connect Research

Kazia Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:KZA) is making steady progress in advancing its investigational new drug, paxalisib, executing an agreement last week to participate in the GBM AGILE pivotal study in glioblastoma.

GBM AGILE (Glioblastoma Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment) is an international platform study that has been established specifically to facilitate the approval of new medicines for glioblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord.

The study is set to move into an operational phase with recruitment of patients to the paxalisib arm expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

Corporate Connect Research has initiated coverage on Kazia with a 12-month price target of $2.05 (current share price: 85 cents).

The following is an extract from Corporate Connect’s initiation report:

Since August 1st, Kazia Therapeutics has announced US Food & Drug Administration fast track status for one program & orphan drug and rare paediatric dise..

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Kazia Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:KZA) is making steady progress in advancing its investigational new drug, paxalisib, executing an agreement last week to participate in the GBM AGILE pivotal study in glioblastoma.

GBM AGILE (Glioblastoma Adaptive Global Innovative Learning Environment) is an international platform study that has been established specifically to facilitate the approval of new medicines for glioblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer that can occur in the brain or spinal cord.

The study is set to move into an operational phase with recruitment of patients to the paxalisib arm expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.

Corporate Connect Research has initiated coverage on Kazia with a 12-month price target of $2.05 (current share price: 85 cents).

The following is an extract from Corporate Connect’s initiation report:

Since August 1st, Kazia Therapeutics has announced US Food & Drug Administration fast track status for one program & orphan drug and rare paediatric disease designation for another, while finishing the period by announcing a new trial for its cancer drug, paxalisib. Over the next nine months investors are likely to see six data readouts from five programs. How fast can a company go?

Introduction: A shake up of the board and senior management at drug-developer Novogen Ltd (formerly, ASX:NRT), brought the company a new CEO and several new board members, including a new chairman. Management wasted no time in trimming the dead wood from the development pipeline and licensing in a phase II ready, unique anti-cancer compound from storied cancer drug developer Genentech. The drug, that would later become known as paxalisib, had a very well understood mechanism of action and clinical data showing that the drug could do something other four marketed drugs of the same class could not do. It could cross the blood-brain-barrier and penetrate the tissues of the brain and the spine. Paxalisib and been purpose built to treat cancers of the central nervous system.

Clinical Trials: Kazia moved paxalisib into the clinic quicky and the trials in the table are underway. The best way for a drug developer to add value is by trialling their drug broadly, but also wisely, so as to inform future decisions they may have to make, while also protecting the drug from being studied in a no-win trial. The main program is in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer. It is the one Kazia expects to take into a pivotal trial starting early next year and the one Kazia will be aiming to gain approval from regulators for, if and when the time comes. An added advantage of Kazia’s strategy is that it will also build value in the eyes of those who might see paxalisib as valuable addition to their existing businesses. Any small pharma should be open to being acquired at the right price. Given the nature of pharmaceutical sales and marketing, good drugs developed by smaller companies invariably reach a point where they become worth substantially more to larger companies than to the existing owner. The Read More – Source

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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Australia

Australia v India: Five touring players in isolation after restaurant visit

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Five India players are isolating as a precaution after a video on social media showed them eating indoors at a Melbourne restaurant.

Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini – all part of India’s Test squad to play Australia – will be isolated from other players but are still able to train.

Both teams are investigating to determine whether bio-secure protocols for the tour have been breached.

The third Test begins on 6 January.

The tour is being played with restrictions to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

While in Melbourne, where the recent second Test was played, players and staff are allowed to leave their hotel but if they attend a restaurant they must remain outdoors.

An India supporter posted a video on social media of the five players eating indoors at a restaurant on New Year’s Day.

“The BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] and CA [Cricket Australia] are investigating the matter and seeking to determine whether the outing constitutes a breach of biosecurity protocols,” a Cricket Australia statement said.

“In the interim, on the advice of the Australian and Indian medical teams, the aforementioned players have been placed in isolation as a precaution.

“This will include separating the group of players from the broader Indian and Australian squads when traveling and at the training venue.”

On Monday the teams are due to travel from Melbourne to Sydney for the third Test which will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

No details were given on whether the five players would be able to play in Sydney.

Pant and Gill both played in the second Test, which India won to level the four-Test series, while vice-captain Rohit was expected to play in the third, having recently quarantined for 14 days to join the squad late after injury.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/sport/cricket/55514593

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