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

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Fishing for oncology new product gems

One of my favourite exercises at conferences is exploring new or emerging targets in the the poster halls, either in the context of preclinical or early phase 1 data.

Undoubtedly it often ends up as a bit of a fishing expedition – you have all the anticipation and excitement upfront and just as in real life, sometimes you go home empty when nothing bites as happened to a couple of guys I was watching fishing in the bayou last weekend!

Much to their frustration, the mullet gleefully jumped around them without going near.

Assessing early stage oncology pipeline development is a bit like this too.  After following this particular niche for a while, it was time to take stock with a new clinical readout available.

Did the data live up to expectations or not?

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Vive La France! 

Despite the raft of negative trials presented in Paris this year, it wasn’t all bad news, although for a while it certainly seemed this way with quite a few phase 3 trials missing their primary endpoints.

It’s time for our ESMO review where we highlight no less than 10 trials offering positive vibes and encouraging signals, particularly in early stage development.

So what were the standouts and why do they matter?

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Et tu, Brutus?

Perhaps the most controversial readout from ESMO22 this week was the phase 3 readout on Amgen’s pivotal trial for their KRAS G12C inhibitor in second line non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Instead of being an obvious shoo-in, quite a few surprising issues came to the fore – almost in a perfect storm fashion – acting to hobble the results in an unexpected fashion.

Here we review the issues and challenges facing sotorasib and also explore the potential impact on the field at large…

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Which direction should we go in early stage RCC?

The battle for early stage RCC at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) is turning out to be quite a humdinger this year with quite a few unexpected surprises in store given the variety of trials with different agents and combinations generating a disparate variety of readouts.

Why is this and what can we do/learn from the findings?

In this post, we offer an in-depth discussion and commentary from various GU and IO experts…

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A familiar Paris Metro sign

To get around Paris efficiently, we might start off at one particular Metro station and need to change lines or direction several times in order to arrive at our destination on the other side of the city.

Similarly, I’ve often wondered if repeating endocrine or hormonal therapies in breast or prostate cancers is a big like staying on the same line and never getting to where we really need to go.

Just as CDK4/6 inhibitors revolutionised the treatment of HR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer by allowing physicians to target a different pathway or axis, should we be rethinking new approaches to an old problem?

In our latest story from the ESMO22 conference, we explore some of the emerging evidence…

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Time for some commentary and review of ESMO highlights and lowlights from Paris

One of the fascinating aspects of the PARP inhibitor niche is how often the results across several different company trials have gone the same way more often than not.

This has been a rather unusual streak, let’s face it.

At some point I was half expecting the wheels to fall off the wagon and the trend to be bucked, to much consternation from outside observers.

It’s already starting to happen, although perhaps not in the way we might have anticipated.

After all, you can’t enroll patients willy nilly and expect to see a positive result every time because patient selection can and does matter over the long run.

Here, we discuss some of the emerging controversies coming out from ESMO…

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Which early stage agents will stand out or crash at ESMO22?

In part one of our ESMO preview series on developmental therapeutics last week we highlighted some key immunotherapy presentations to watch out for.

This time around it’s the turn of early stage targeted therapies to be put in the spotlight.

Traditionally these have been a particular strength on the ESMO programme, although they have been rather over-shadowed over the last five years or so by the rise of immunotherapy this and that.

This year heralded a new crop of agents to evaluate, as well as a bunch of compounds with updated expansion phase or phase 2 readouts at the recommended dose, which should give us a much better idea of how well they are performing.

Not all of these selections will make it to phase 3, however, and will likely be destined for the dreaded dog drug heaven although the good news is some are looking pretty encouraging thus far…

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In our latest ESMO conference preview it’s time to pick some early stage immunotherapy highlights to watch out for.

Which ones look promising, which might be duds?

You can’t always tell from abstract titles, even if the trial has been selected for oral presentation so right now we’re flying by the seat of our pants somewhat if the top line result hasn’t been formally announced yet.

Our selections include a variety of different modalities such as monoclonal antibodies, cell therapies, bispecific antibodies, fusion proteins, and even small molecules across a wide range of targets…

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Gastronomic delicacies in Paris

In our second ESMO 2022 Preview we take a look at some of the key trials being presented in gastrointestinal cancers and highlight what to watch out for on this front.

While a few readers will no doubt be keen to skip to the KRAS section to learn more about sotorasib and adagrasib in colorectal cancer, make no mistake there’s plenty going on in new product development in several other GI cancers too, both with targeted therapies as well as immunotherapies.

Curious to learn more?

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Time to make your selections!

This year seems to be going all to quickly as we have arrived in time for the annual ESMO Preview series.

This year we have a lot of topics to cover from a review of various solid tumour types, novel targets and developmental therapeutics, hematologic malignancies, as well as various IO and cell therapy related readouts.

As always, the goal of our previews is to not only provide some context for what to expect, but also to highlight potential success and failures since not all of the trials have been headlined by the companies concerned.

It’s all to easy to forget agents in the same class of therapeutics can produce quite different outcomes despite similarly looking trial designs, as we will find out…

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