Over the last few days, we’ve covered data from the leading checkpoint inhibitors from BMS, Merck and Roche, but what about other agents in development in immuno-oncology? One of the companies that burst on the scene in Chicago at ASCO 2014 with solid data was AstraZeneca with their anti-PD-L1, MEDI4736.
To put progress in context, last year Merck had one single abstract for MK–3475 (pembrolizumab), whereas this year MEDI4736 debuted with 7 abstracts, including several Trials in Progress posters in combination with their anti-CTLA4, tremelimumab, plus some important oral presentations too.
The last morning of the final day of the ASCO conference has not exactly been well attended in past years, especially in Developmental Therapeutics. This year was different – the large hall was jam packed and it was standing room only. I was lucky to get one of the last seats in the front row a good 15–20 mins early!
As we were waiting for the proceedings to start, the Japanese doctor sitting next to me turned and said:
“What do you think of this compound? I’m not expecting much, and they are behind the others already!”
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Chicago – it’s the last day of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. There’s been a record attendance this year with over 30,000 people coming to Chicago to hear the latest news and research on cancer treatments.
The message I am left with is the considerable hope it offers cancer patients around the well as researchers harness the latest techniques in genome sequencing and through a deeper understanding of cancer biology, develop new targets and ways of attacking this disease. Attacking the immune system (immuno-oncology) is one of the most exciting areas in cancer drug development.
I only wish other areas of biomedical research where there is an unmet need e.g. new and effective treatments for neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, offered such hope and focused research activity.
It’s the final day of ASCO 2014 and only the diehards are left (or those who couldn’t get a plane out early). We hope you’ve enjoyed the “live” blog and our notes from the road each day.
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