Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘Boston’

Back Bay BostonNext week the Cancer Conference circuit moves on to a double-header with the AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets & Cancer Therapeutics meeting (Twitter #Targets15) taking place in Boston from November 5 – 9th, and the annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) taking place in National Harbor, MD from November 4 – 8th.

It is unfortunate that the two meetings clash, Molecular Targets is slightly later in the year than it was in 2013 when it was last in Boston. Both focus on the hottest topic in cancer drug development, which will come as no surprise… cancer immunotherapy.

In addition, in Boston there are some posters of note on other novel targets and approaches. Talking of which, Episode 7 of our Novel Targets podcast from the European Cancer Congress is now live. Do listen!

For this preview of #Targets15, we’ve taken a look at the abstracts that were published online yesterday afternoon (the late breakers and those in the press program are not available yet), and highlighted a few of interest, together with a few sessions of note.  If you have plans to be in Boston for the conference, this post will be of interest to you.

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As a heads-up, we will be at the forthcoming American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting in Orlando (Twitter #ASH15), so if you have been sitting on the fence about buying a quarterly subscription, now is a great time to take the leap and join all those folks who want the “real edge” in cancer research.

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A conference on Innovation in Healthcare is being held in Cambridge, MA on Tuesday, February 1, 2011.

The speaker list is impressive and includes Michael Porter (Porter’s 5 forces model is well known to all MBA students), John Mendelsohn (President of MD Anderson), Janet Woodcock (Director of Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at FDA) and Peter Senge (author of the Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization).

The symposium, whose lead sponsor is Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, will discuss how to to improve the system for delivering healthcare services, and how to increase the productivity of translating biomedical research into medical innovation.  The conference certainly has ambitious goals in the topics it plans to cover!

Innovation to me is about adding value, whether that be in the delivery of a service or the development of a new product by a biotechnology company.  If you are in the Boston area on February 1, this one day symposium at MIT looks well worth attending, and the registration fee is inexpensive ($50).

The news, reported by Bloomberg, last week that generic companies may be subject to stricter FDA standards in order to show therapeutic equivalence is good news for the biotech industry and consumers.

Generic companies have a pretty easy ride in obtaining product approval, and I’ve long been convinced that the formulation of a brand, and what makes it work can include the so called inactive ingredients and how it is put together.   I know of many people who have experienced side effects with generics that they don’t have with the branded product.

For this reason, branded generics from the original manufacturer have the ability to retain some market share in the face of generic competition.  Sandoz, the generic arm of Novartis uses this strategy to good effect with many mature products.   However, if companies instead want to try and maintain a premium priced brand and not adapt to the entry of generics, then they will find their market share erodes extremely fast. Not only is brand market erosion fast with generic drugs, but with biosimilars too.

As reported by Reuters, sales of generic enoxaparin sodium injection, Momenta’s copy of Sanofi’s anti-thrombotic, low molecular weight, heparin sold as “Lovenox” were $292million in the third quarter of 2010. Sandoz markets enoxaparin on behalf of Momenta. They launched the product on July 23, and achieved  $292 million of sales in 69 days. With annual sales forecast to be over $1billion, the biosimilar will be a blockbuster and make a significant dent in the $2.9 billion sales of Lovenox in 2009.

The Boston Business Journal reports that Sandoz/Momenta have captured 60% market share already, which is not good news for Sanofi-Aventis and may explain their desire to make acquisitions such as Genzyme to make up for this loss.

Biosimilars that are fully substitutable for the original product, look likely to erode brands extremely fast.  Momenta’s success is good for the biotechnology industry and highlights the future market opportunity from development of biosimilars.

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