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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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Abdul Nacer Benbrika: Australia revokes citizenship of terror plotter

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Australia has cancelled the citizenship of an Algerian-born Muslim cleric convicted of planning a series of terror attacks in 2005.

Abdul Nacer Benbrika was jailed for 15 years in 2009 and is eligible for release from next month.

But Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said it was “appropriate” to revoke his citizenship to protect Australians.

The move makes Benbrika the first person to be stripped of Australian citizenship while still in the country.

His lawyer has declined to comment on the government’s decision, ABC News reports.

“If it’s a person who’s posing a significant terrorist threat to our country, then we’ll do whatever is possible within Australian law to protect Australians,” Mr Dutton told reporters in Brisbane.

Under Australian law, the government can only strip people of citizenship if they are dual citizens, ensuring they will not be left stateless.

Last year Australia’s national security agency Asio raised concerns about this government power, saying it “may have unintended or unforeseen adverse security outcomes”.

Benbrika, who has lived in Australia since 1989, was arrested in 2005 and convicted of being a member of a terrorist organisation and leading its activities.

Six others were also convicted of joining the group, which had planned multiple attacks, including one on an Australian rules football final which attracts nearly 100,000 people every year in Melbourne.

Benbrika’s sentence includes a 12-year non-parole period that expired on 5 November. But Australia’s government has applied to Victoria state’s Supreme Court for a continuing detention order to extend his time in prison.

Under such orders, people convicted of terrorism offences can be held in prison for up to three years after their sentence finishes.

Victoria’s Supreme Court has so far granted two temporary, 28-day extensions to keep Benrika behind bars.

Lawyers for Benbrika have appealed against his ongoing detention.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55069037

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Covid: Vaccination will be required to fly, says Qantas chief

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International air travellers will in future need to prove they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to board Qantas flights, the airline says.

The Australian flag carrier’s boss, Alan Joyce, said the move would be “a necessity” when vaccines are available.

“I think that’s going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe,” he said.

Australia shut down its international borders early in the pandemic and required those returning to quarantine.

The country has more recently relied on lockdowns, widespread testing and aggressive contact tracing to push daily infections nationwide close to zero.

In an interview with Australia’s Nine Network on Monday, Mr Joyce said Qantas was looking at ways of changing its terms and conditions for international travellers as the industry, which has been hit hard by travel restrictions, looks at ways of moving forward.

“We will ask people to have a vaccination before they can get on the aircraft… for international visitors coming out and people leaving the country we think that’s a necessity,” he told the broadcaster.

In August, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was likely that any successful vaccine would become “as mandatory as you could possibly make it”.

“There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds, but that should be the only basis,” he told radio station 3AW.

That same month, Qantas reported an annual loss of almost A$2bn ($1.46bn; £1bn) because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Joyce said at the time that trading conditions were the worst in the airline’s 100-year history and that “the impact of Covid on all airlines is clear – it’s devastating”.

On Monday, the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) reopened its border with neighbouring Victoria for the first time since infections soared in Victoria’s state capital, Melbourne, in July.

Flights between the city and the NSW capital Sydney – normally one of the world’s busiest routes – had been cancelled.

Arriving in Sydney on a Qantas flight for the first time in months, passengers were greeted by people at the terminal holding up signs that read “welcome back”.

More than 20 additional flights were scheduled between the two states on Monday.

“Today is the day I get to meet my four-month-old grandson for the first time,” one passenger told the BBC.

Australia has recorded about 900 coronavirus-related deaths and almost 28,000 infections in total.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55048438

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Covid: Pizza worker’s ‘lie’ forced South Australia lockdown

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South Australia decided to enter a state-wide lockdown based on a lie told by a man with Covid-19 about his link to a pizza shop, police say.

The strict lockdown began on Wednesday after the state detected 36 infections, including its first locally acquired cases since April.

But this would have been avoided if the man had told the truth, that he worked shifts at the shop, officials said.

He said he only went there to buy a pizza.

This misinformation prompted health officials to assume the man had caught the virus during a very brief exposure and that the strain must be a highly contagious one.

“To say I am fuming is an understatement,” state Premier Steven Marshall told reporters on Friday.

Australia has relied on lockdowns, widespread testing and aggressive contact tracing to push daily infections close to zero.

“We are absolutely livid with the actions of this individual and we will be looking very carefully at what consequences there [are] going to be,” Mr Marshall added.

South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens initially said the man was unlikely to face charges because there was “no penalty associated with telling lies”.

But he later announced a special task force would be set up to look at the circumstances surrounding the incident and investigate whether any laws were broken.
State officials said they would lift the lockdown on Saturday – three days earlier than planned – after recording only three new cases on Friday.

Police did not identify the man, but said he worked at the Woodville Pizza Bar in Adelaide.

Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported that he worked with a security guard who contracted the virus at a quarantine hotel at the centre of the outbreak, which prompted South Australia to go on high alert on Monday.

When asked by reporters if the shop may need extra security because of public anger, Mr Stevens said: “There are all sorts of things we are considering at this point.”

The state’s outbreak follows neighbouring Victoria’s success in crushing a second wave of coronavirus which caused about 800 deaths.

Victoria has recorded 21 consecutive days of no cases or deaths after its capital, Melbourne, emerged from a strict four-month lockdown.

Australia has recorded about 900 deaths and 28,000 infections in total.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55011790

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