A decade ago Novartis and Genentech/Roche were all the rage in oncology with their small molecule, CAR-T cell therapies, and a myriad of antibody programs seemingly in the news every month then things went quiet as agents either successfully made it to market, or were dutifully dispatched to dog drug heaven.
In the meantime, other companies and various novel targets came to the fore such as various next generation agents in lung cancer, bispecific T cell engagers, KRAS inhibitors, and such like, while different companies and targets took on a new focus.
This doesn’t mean the big two aren’t active, more that they are replenishing and moving earlier compounds along and these can take a while to move through discovery and preclinical to phase 1 trials. The bridge across the two is always kept busy in large pharmas, in both directions.
With this in mind, I was keen to catch up with Novartis to discuss their new early stage pipeline. It’s both broad and deep, as you might expect, but what stands out and what’s something new to watch out for?