At an event hosted by Lynne Clarke MD of MSC Crui

first_imgAt an event hosted by Lynne Clarke, MD of MSC Cruises Australia, MSC Cruises announced its first-ever world cruise and the construction of new vessels.The MSC World Cruise features the industry’s largest and most modern ship to offer this type of extended voyage. MSC Magnifica will depart from Genoa on 5 January 2019 and complete her around-the-world voyage back in Genoa 119 days later. Crossing six continents, calling at 49 unique destinations in 32 countries, this one-of-a-kind world cruise will be an unforgettable dream come true for even the most demanding voyagers, with the comfort and elegance that guests have come to expect from MSC Cruises and its ships.Throughout the 119-day globetrotting voyage, guests will visit some of the most historic ports, bustling cosmopolitan cities and remote, exotic island paradises around the globe. Highlights of this one-of-a-kind cruise include:• Exotic and uncharted destinations:From the warm archipelago of Tonga and the pristine waters of Bora Bora to the thriving culture of Cartagena and oasis of Aqaba, MSC Cruises has selected 49 coveted destinations across the world – many of which are only available to cruise lovers and world travellers alike via this cruise. The MSC World Cruise will also offer guests the opportunity to explore New Zealand, Fiji and the Maldives as well as an expanded comprehensive tour of “off the beaten path” Caribbean islands, with nine ports of call in the region.• Exclusive and unprecedented shore experiences:MSC Cruises continues in its commitment to providing authentic experiences to satisfy the needs of all guests with an extensive choice of excursions. Whether riding the elephants of Pinnawela, snorkelling in the lagoons of Moorea or touring the Nga Bay National Park, guests are able to immerse themselves in local culture and experience the best that each destination has to offer. Furthermore, exclusive to MSC World Cruise, guests will be able to book 15 complimentary shore excursions of their choice to really explore the globe like never before.• True discovery: In order to take advantage of the local culture and activities of each call, MSC World Cruise guests will have plenty of time to explore. With an above-industry average stay of 13 hours on shore per port of call, guests will be able to fully experience and discover at their own pace.• Extended stays in coveted destinations:For popular destinations with a range of activities, MSC Cruises has arranged extended in-port stays that no other cruise line offers, including four full days in Polynesia and three full days in both Hawaii and San Francisco, as well as two days in Los Angeles.• Quality onboard experience:Spending 118 nights on board, MSC Cruises will make guests feel at home thanks to, among others, numerous onboard discounts which include laundry services. Every little detail has been considered to ensure that it is now even easier than ever to make this the voyage of a lifetime.In addition to the immense variety of destinations and experiences to be had whilst on shore, MSC Magnifica will enable guests to travel in real comfort and style. Built in 2009, the ship boasts masterful design and relaxed refinement, with all of the features that distinguish any MSC Cruises ship, including one of the highest ratios of balcony cabins, high-quality service, fresh and authentic dining options including four restaurants and 11 bars, modern and comfortable cabins as well as a wide range of entertainment and leisure activities. From the gourmet restaurants serving cuisine prepared with fresh ingredients and authentic inspiration from around the world to the wide variety of world-class entertainment offerings including a full-scale casino, panoramic discotheque, cigar lounge, 4D cinema and much more – guests will feel the attention to detail in service and design that is a trademark for MSC Cruises.While there are plenty of activities to enjoy at sea, guests can also opt to escape to relaxation at one of the many on board havens. This includes MSC Magnifica’s award-winning MSC Aurea Spa, with traditional Balinese massages found nowhere else at sea in addition to a number of other ultramodern beauty treatments, a sauna, Turkish bath and thalassotherapy room.Under constructionMSC Cruises and STX France have agreed on all the ship specifications and now construction can commence in earnest to meet the required timings. The two next-generation ships – the largest ships ever built for a European cruise line and the second largest globally – will be delivered in October 2019 and September 2020, respectively.The MSC Cruises “Meraviglia-Plus” class is the next-level generation of ships for all seasons, at 331 metres long. Thanks to innovative maritime technology, together with their “Meraviglia” class sister ships, they will be the only ones in their class able to call at all world cruise ports.The two “Meraviglia-Plus” ships’ interior 111-metre-long promenade will feature an LED sky screen ceiling measuring 95 by 6 meters, beaming out visual events and vistas around the clock to create a unique atmospheric experience for guests. The Meraviglia and Bellissima will also feature duplex cabins with private whirlpools.Cirque du Soleil will again bring its unique brand of world-class shows exclusively to MSC Cruises two Meraviglia-Plus ships in a purpose-built dining and entertainment venue in the aft lounge.“Meraviglia-Plus” ships will also feature a unique cultural experience for guests at sea, with the first-of-its-kind classic and contemporary fine art museum. This industry-first feature will enable guests to experience masterpieces from around the globe in collaboration with the world’s premier cultural centres, classic and modern art museums as well as public and private art institutions.Additionally, the “Meraviglia” and “Meraviglia-Plus” ships will feature the latest STX France’s ECORIZON and other next-generation environmental technologies. Among other things, they will result in air emission levels that are already in line with all upcoming 2020 regulatory requirements.last_img read more

A promising new cancer drug has hit a major setback raising questions

first_img The results from smaller, phase II trials don’t always predict how a cancer drug will do in a randomized phase III trial. But the epacadostat data “were pretty compelling,” says Yale University immuno-oncologist Mario Sznol, who expected to see some benefit to patients. (Sznol was not involved in any of the trials.) Compared with a checkpoint inhibitor alone, however, epacadostat made no difference for the roughly 350 patients receiving both drugs in Incyte’s phase III trial. “The results are disappointing and clear,” Incyte Chief Medical Officer Steven Stein in Wilmington, Delaware, said on a conference call announcing an early end to the trial. “The drug didn’t perform.”Researchers at the company and elsewhere are baffled. Is IDO simply a bad target? Is Incyte’s particular chemical compound flawed? Or were the wrong tumor types or patients treated? “You could go through the whole list of reasons,” Sznol says. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Ken GarberMay. 9, 2018 , 3:00 PM STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE SOURCE A class of drugs meant to help unleash T cells (blue) on cancer cells (red) stumbled in a recent trial. The surprising failure last month of a large clinical trial of a promising cancer immunotherapy drug from the biotech company Incyte has quickly reverberated across the pharmaceutical industry. Three companies have canceled, suspended, or downsized 12 other phase III trials of the compound, epacadostat, or two similar drugs, together slated to enroll more than 5000 patients with a variety of advanced cancers.The companies say they aren’t dropping the potential drugs, designed to unleash the immune system on cancer cells by blocking an enzyme called indoleamine (2,3)-dioxygenase (IDO). But the retrenching suggests that the frenzy to combine novel drugs with the wildly successful immunotherapies known as checkpoint inhibitors is outpacing the science. The IDO strategy, says neuroimmunologist Michael Platten of the University of Heidelberg in Germany, “has been moved to randomized clinical trials too fast, and now we realize [the enzyme is] still a black box.”A year ago, the future of IDO inhibitors looked bright. At the June 2017 meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, doctors reported that epacadostat, given with the approved checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo, shrank tumors in 25 of 40 of melanoma patients—roughly double the historical response rate of Opdivo alone. A second epacadostat trial of 63 additional melanoma patients was also impressive, and the drug seemed to work well in other tumor types. A promising new cancer drug has hit a major setback, raising questions about whether the field is moving too fast CompanyDrugCancer CompanyIncyte (nine trials)Drugepacadostat (INCB24360)CancerMelanoma, lung, head and neck, urothelial, kidney CompanyBristol-Myers Squibb (three trials)DrugBMS-986205CancerMelanoma, lung, head and neck CompanyNewLink Genetics (one trial)Drugindoximod (NLG8189)CancerMelanoma Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Mass exodus Three companies have suddenly suspended, canceled, or downsized 13 trials of indoleamine (2,3)-dioxygenase inhibitors (in combination with drugs called checkpoint inhibitors). The field still generally agrees that IDO makes sense to target, in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. Those drugs release a molecular brake on tumor-killing immune T cells. But the unleashed cells then stimulate the production of IDO, which, in a negative feedback loop, shuts them down again. IDO does this mainly by indirectly activating a protein inside immune cells called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). Suppressing IDO should therefore make checkpoint inhibitors work better.But much about IDO remains unknown, Platten says. Exactly how IDO stifles the immune system is unresolved, nor is it clear which immune cells are most involved, he says. Even the idea that IDO blunts the antitumor effects of checkpoint inhibitors is suspect. “The evidence that this is really happening in the clinical situation … is very slim,” Platten says.The drug, not the target, might be the problem. Some IDO inhibitors bind the AHR and thus could suppress the immune system, the opposite of the drug’s intent. NewLink Genetics reports that its drug does activate the AHR, but in a way that it still believes promotes a strong immune response against tumors. Both Incyte and Eli Lilly and Company say their drugs do not affect the AHR.Levi Garraway, Eli Lilly’s senior vice president of oncology global development and medical affairs in Indianapolis, says that going forward the company will try to select patients who are most likely to respond to IDO inhibitors, using unspecified biomarkers. At a recent cancer meeting, immuno-oncologist Tom Gajewski of the University of Chicago in Illinois noted that biomarker analysis in the IDO trials has been “lagging.” The epacadostat trial failure, he added, is “a good wake-up call to make sure all the boxes are checked” for new combination therapies. But companies may still be tempted to press ahead with limited data. “There can be a sense of, ‘I’d better act now,’” Garraway says.Sznol agrees that companies probably moved IDO inhibitors into phase III trials too aggressively. But he cautions against making too much of the epacadostat trial failure. “Sure, the field needs a little bit of cold water—no question,” he says. “But it shouldn’t reduce the enthusiasm that much. … One negative trial doesn’t wipe out all the positive results we’ve seen up to this point.”last_img read more