In the second part of our mini-series on immuno-oncology, I thought it would be a nice idea to share a recent interview conducted with one of Roche/Genentech’s leading researchers in this field. I was particularly interested in their approach because while BMS and Merck have clearly focused on anti-PD-1, Roche and Genentech have effectively zigged with their development of an anti-PD-L1 inhibitor. Does this matter?
Cancer immunotherapy was described in the December 20, 2013 issue of Science magazine as their Breakthrough of the Year, but really, we are just scratching the surface of what can be achieved.
Clovis Oncology ($CLVS) is one of the winners at the JPM Morgan Healthcare conference (#JPM14) in San Francisco with a dramatic increase in share price over the past several days.
Biotech IPOs were a pretty hot topic in 2013, with some of the young stars in oncology seeing very good uptake and prices. Two companies that come to mind are Foundation Medicine and Agios Pharmaceuticals. Last week, we covered Foundation Medicine (FMI) and their progress with genomic testing, which is used by a number of Pharma companies including Novartis, in their clinical trial program. Interestingly, another company using their platform is Agios (AGIO), a start up biotechnology company focusing on metabolism and its errant mechanisms in cancer related areas. Both Foundation Medicine and Agios are based in Cambridge, MA.
One of the fun aspects of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) conference last month was interviewing several thought leaders and CEOs about the latest developments that were emerging rapidly almost every single day. Now, some medical meetings can be rather dreary if there’s no new or exciting data to pique the interest of the foot weary attendees, who tend to run on coffee and adrenalin for four days, but this ASH was rather different.
Foundation Medicine ($FMI) will be presenting on Jan 15th at the J.P. Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference, which we will be following remotely on the blog.
This week the Cancer Conference Coverage moves to the joint IASLC-AACR symposium on the Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer in San Diego. Having attended previous events (this is the third one they’ve hosted) and rather enjoyed them, this year I’m following it remotely.
The share price of Exelixis ($EXEL) is starting a run-up (after months in the doldrums) in advance of anticipated results from the COMET-1 phase 3 trial in metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) for cabozantinib (Cometriq, formerly XL184).
The Inquirer yesterday reported on Philly.com that start-up Juno Therapeutics (Juno) are now in control of a legal dispute between St Jude Children’s Hospital (St Jude) and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) over chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) intellectual property that contributed to the development of CTL019, licensed by Penn to Novartis. Thanks to @lomu_j for sharing this news on Twitter.
The 2014 ASCO Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Symposium takes place in San Francisco from Jan 16-18 and is the second meeting in this year’s oncology conference calendar. GI cancers include oesophageal, gastric, colorectal and pancreatic cancers, as well as hepatocarcinoma or HCC (liver).