Biotech Strategy Blog

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

About MaverickNY

Here are my most recent posts

Posts by MaverickNY

It’s time for some commentary and insights regarding important emerging data from the AACR meeting.

The route to success in oncology R&D is always paved with gold, after all, although big ticket acquisitions may take some of the sting out of the tail.

As always, there were some hidden gems in the AACR21 program — in the first of our post meeting critiques, we take a careful look at the what’s behind the veneer.

We have a round baker’s dozen of early new product development compounds and explore them all to find out what interesting, as well as where there are potential pointers for future challenges which may need to be addressed…

To learn more about the AACR21 data and get a heads up on our oncology commentary and insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

This content is restricted to subscribers

The first virtual 2021 AACR annual meeting starts tomorrow in earnest and we’ll be posting throughout the conference with various highlights and analysis.

There’s an explosion of new targets, novel combinatorial partners, expanding strategies and even an increasing number of companies entering the bispecific niche beyond the regular players we have covered in the past.

In our final Preview post we’re highlighting some of the AACR21 presentations which caught our attention, the science behind them, and some of questions we hope to see answered.

Stay tuned for our conference coverage and post meeting interviews!

To learn more about the hot topics at AACR21 and get a heads up on our oncology commentary and insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

This content is restricted to subscribers

In our latest AACR21 Preview — you can check out the whole series here — we turn to some intriguing new product developments coming along the pike.

For many scientists, the lure of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting isn’t about the glossy phase 1 or 2 clinical readouts, but rather about the early science.

We can think about questions such as are there any new competitors coming along in a particular niche, are there novel targets of interest which can be drugged, what’s rising in the cell therapy space, are there other cells which are seeing interest, and so on.

We cover all of these and more in this review…

To learn more about the hot topics at AACR21 and get a heads up on our oncology commentary and insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

This content is restricted to subscribers

What stands out as a possible new cancer target to therapeutically drug?

Every year as part of our AACR Preview series, I pick a novel target to illustrate where innovative ideas are coming to the fore based on new and often early scientific evidence.

There is also the hope they might lead to future clinical drug development and emerging pipelines.

Some of these targets can turn out to be tough to drug for various reasons, including narrow therapeutic windows limiting the dosing schedule that can be realistically achieved (bromodomains come to mind), while others lead to some intriguing compounds which end up going further than expected.

Here’s the sixth article in this year’s series where we identify and discuss an early novel target of interest…

To learn more about the AACR21 data and get a heads up on our oncology commentary and insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

This content is restricted to subscribers

Imagine the DDR pathway as a mass of many different notes and targets all interconnected…

We’re on our fifth AACR Preview already this year and there’s plenty more science and clinical topics to cover yet as we go through the emerging topics up on deck.

In this latest update we take a look at the growing field of DNA damage repair – not just old targets, but a raft of emerging ones too, some of which are still in early preclinical development while others are in early phase 1 trials.

We also have some expert commentary on some of these new targets – what stands out, what’s validated and just as importantly, what’s not?

It’s time to get to the centre of things in PARP-land…

To learn more about the hot topics at AACR21 and get a heads up on our oncology commentary and insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

This content is restricted to subscribers

Who, and importantly, what is in the spotlight at AACR21?

In our third Preview of the AACR21 annual meeting series, it’s time to highlight some early or promising new categories, some of which involve some elegant or cool science concepts.

Here we selected our Top 8 emerging areas of innovative research in targeted therapies.  The immunotherapy developments will be covered separately.

So what ideas should you be looking over your shoulders at and which ones might make you shudder in horror?

After all, oncology R&D is very much a game of Yin and Yang – for every great new idea that comes along there’s always something in the category which makes you go, “Huh?!”

Hurry along and see what’s in the spotlight this year…

To learn more about the hot topics at AACR21 and get a heads up on our oncology commentary and insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

This content is restricted to subscribers

A modular approach to bolting on different combination partners might be useful

In this second AACR 2021 Preview, we take a broad and deep look at the KRAS niche, with respect to both molecular glues (SHP2) and covalent inhibitors (G12C, RAS::SOS1 etc).

There’s a lot to cover here in terms of basic and translational science, as well as clinical learnings and also plenty of intricate interactions coming to the fore.

Where are we going – and just as importantly – shouldn’t be going with combinations? Not all of them will work out and not all combination partners are the same, which certainly adds to the spice and interest!  There’s the additional issue of which strategies might be useful yet haven’t been considered by the KRAS players.

Every time we look at this rapidly growing niche there is something new or important to discuss…

To learn more about the latest AACR21 data and get a heads up on our oncology commentary and insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

This content is restricted to subscribers

A bold move?

Over the last couple of years we have been quietly interviewing the various biotech and pharma players in the protein degradation niche and exploring their numerous approaches and pipelines.

In the latest company interview, we take look at C4 Therapeutics (C4T), who are a relatively young company with preclinical data at AACR next month, plus their first clinical trial opening imminently, both excellent achievements in a relatively short space of time.

So what are C4T about and where do they seem themselves positioned? What are their goals and what should we be expecting to see/hear from them?  Do they have a shot at achieving their lofty aims?

To find out drop in and catch up on our latest CSO interview…

To learn more about C4 Therapeutics and get a heads up on our latest oncology commentary and insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

This content is restricted to subscribers

Saw this arrangement in a local orchid garden, which reminded me of the blobs used to illustrate E3 ligase – protein complexes

In the first of our new season AACR Preview series, we continue to explore what’s happening in the protein degradation and molecular glue niche.

Yes, it’s still early days and there’s much we don’t know but it should be useful to follow the developments and see what can be learned.

Perhaps a few observers might be surprised at the sheer range of targets being evaluated in R&D pipelines since some of these are definitely not of the every day kitchen sink kind of variety.  There is no doubt in my mind some will be easier or much harder than others, but what is intriguing is the depth of the details which are starting to emerge of late.

So what’s in store and which abstracts stood out this year in this niche?

To learn more about the AACR21 data and get a heads up on our oncology commentary and insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

This content is restricted to subscribers

It’s a good time to take stock of an early but important niche where the basic concept is the hijacking of the natural ubiquitin-proteasome (waste disposal) system for protein degradation therapeutics.

Traditional targeted therapies involve a small molecule or an antibody (in monoclonal or bispecific format) to inhibit an oncogenic target thereby shutting down the activity of the tumour, at least for a while.

Getting to the centre of things

What if we could find a way to biologically destroy oncogenic proteins instead – especially those which are hard to reach in normal circumstances such as protein-protein interactions?

The inherent potential for this concept would extend what we could do in terms of the proteome, but can it be done in people?

We have, after all, seen the selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs) evolve with one drug approved and several companies developing third generation versions in early stage clinical trials, so why not other targets too?

The simple truth of the matter is this elegant idea – while simple in theory – is technically quite challenging involving quite different obstacles from what we have seen with TKIs and antibodies.

Nevertheless, the difficulty has not fazed companies from trying and in looking at the broad landscape, we found 24 companies actively involved in protein degradation research in a multitude of targets and cancers. These span publicly traded biotechs, privately held companies, and of course, big Pharma.

Who are they and what can we learn from them in order to anticipate some of the issues to be addressed?

To learn more about the protein degrader landscape and get a heads up on our latest oncology insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

This content is restricted to subscribers

Free Email Updates
Subscribe to new post alerts, offers, and additional content!
We respect your privacy and do not sell emails. Unsubscribe at any time.
error: Content is protected !!