Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

Posts tagged ‘Avila Therapeutics’

The chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) landscape has been one of the most dynamic and exciting over the last 12 months, with many new therapies emerging against different targets from CD20 to BCR signaling, Bcl2 to the PI3K pathway. Other new targets may also soon emerge.

The annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in New Orleans sets the scene for the rollout of more mature data and affords an early evaluation of where the various companies competing in this space may shake out.  Given that we are moving beyond traditional chemoimmunotherapy to evaluate several newer classes of therapy including B cell receptor (BCR) and PI3K signaling, anti-CD20 antibodies, anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T cell technology (CART) it looks to be shaking out to an exciting conference.

Companies mentioned: Roche/Genentech, Gilead, Pharmacyclics, Abbott, Celgene, Infinity, Incyte, ONO, Amgen, TG Therapeutics, Novartis

Products discussed: rituximab, bendamustine, obinutuzumab, idelalisib, ibrutinib, ABT-199, CC-292, GS-9973, IPI-145, ONO-4059, INCB40093, AMG 319, TGR-1202, CTL-019

In my final post about the 2011 American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting, I want to highlight a few of the 4000+ posters that appeared to attract a lot of interest.

American-Society-of-Hematology-2011-Meeting-Poster-SessionThe three ASH poster sessions in the equivalent of an aircraft hangar, had a lot of interesting science and clinical data.

All the posters had merit in order to be selected for publication, so my selection is entirely subjective:

Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK)

Two posters on products targeting BTK attracted a lot of traffic:

#3485 Clinical Development of AVL-292; A Potent, Selective Covalent Btk Inhibitor for the treatment of B Cell malignancies 

#3688 Activity of Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (Btk) inhibitor PCI-32765 in Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL) identifies Btk as a Novel Therapeutic Target

ASH-2011-Abstract-3485-Avila-AVL-292-TBKSally Church on Pharma Strategy Blog has written an in-depth piece on Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors in B-Cell Lymphomas and talks about the above two abstracts.

She also discusses the oral presentation at ASH by Dr Susan O’Brien on the phase I/II data for PCI-32765 in CLL.

Dr Anas Younes from MD Anderson Cancer Center also picked BTK as a hot lymphoma topic on his blog about the ASH meeting.  On Facebook he notes,

“There is a lot of buzz about the promising clinical results with the oral small molecule inhibitor PCI-32765, which inhibits an enzyme called Bruton kinase (BTK).”

PI3-Kinase Pathway

PI3-Kinase was another topic I noticed there was interest in, and several posters were presented at the meeting.  In particular, those on CAL-101 attracted a lot of attention, I have highlighted a couple below:

#1787 A phase I study of the Selective Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase-Delta (PI3K∂) Inhibitor, CAL-101 (GS-1110), in Combination with Rituximab and/or Bendamustine in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

#2699 A Phase 1 Study of the Selective Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase-Delta (PI3Kδ) Inhibitor, Cal‑101 (GS-1101), in Combination with Rituximab and/or Bendamustine in Patients with Previously Treated, Indolent Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (iNHL)

CAL-101 is an inhibitor of the PI3K delta isoform, which is thought to play a key role in lymphomas.

I overheard several people comment that the PI3K space was now becoming very crowded.

With multiple companies including Gilead, Novartis, Roche/Genentech, Sanofi-Aventis, Pfizer and Intellikine to name a few, interested in this target, it will be interesting to see how this market segment develops.

Update December 21, 2011

Little did I know how hot PI3K inhibitors were when I wrote the above with the announcement in the past 24 hours of two PI3K related deals:

  • Takeda/Millennium have acquired Intellikine. This deal shows you can still build a biotech company and make money. Congratulations to Intellikine CEO Troy Wilson.
  • Exelixis entered into a licensing deal with Merck for their PI3K-delta inhibitor (XL499) that is still in preclinical development.

Interesting contrasts in the two deals: one a total acquisition of the company, the other a licensing deal, but both highlight the potential strategic importance that companies see in having a PI3-kinase inhibitor in their pipeline.

Sally Church on Pharma Strategy Blog has written more about the Intellikine & Exelixis deals in her lymphoma update from the 2011 American Society of Hematology annual meeting.

error: Content is protected !!