New Orleans, American Queen
After yesterday’s enlightening conversation on novel ways to jumpstart the immune system including OX40, vaccines, and STING with a self-confessed radicalist aka cancer immunologist (Dr Bernard Fox), we now turn to a self-described optimist for an industry perspective on oncology R&D and Part 2 of our anti-OX40 mini-series:
- What ideas and challenges need to be considered in order to develop a new agent against a novel target, alone or in combination with another unapproved agent?
- We know that mouse models and biomarkers aren’t optimal yet, so how do those issues and other factors influence decision making and clinical trial design?
- It’s not so easy as many think – there are way more unknowns than knowns – so how do companies go about tackling them?
- What can we learn from the readouts?
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New Orleans – Tuesday is the last full day of the 2016 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and the last day of our #AACR16 rolling blog posts.
What struck me at this meeting has been the explosion in cancer immunotherapy research. It’s worth remembering that where we are today is the result of pioneering work done over the last 15 years by researchers, many of whom struggled for funding and recognition as they laid the foundation for where we are today.
Tomorrow, the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, will fly in to address the closing plenary session of the meeting. Mr Biden’s remarks will be live streamed by AACR (link to information).
There’s a lot happening at AACR today and tomorrow; and as conference die-hards we’ll be here to the end in order to capture some really interesting data that’s on the program.
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New Orleans – it’s Day 3, Monday, at the 2016 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Attending AACR for the first time can be a daunting prospect, with a full program of activities from dawn to dusk.
For those of who don’t regularly go to large medical meetings, it’s all too easy to forget the sheer scale of the event and how mach walking is involved up and down long corridors – it’s easy to clock up 15,000+ steps on your Fitbit!
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It’s Day 6 of our Countdown to the AACR 2016 annual meeting in New Orleans. We’re at the halfway, 6 posts written and 6 more to go! Then it will be daily Live blogs from the meeting.
There’s a lot of cancer immunotherapy at AACR this year, so after yesterday’s post on GITR we’re continuing our mini-series with a look at another immune agonist.
Today, we’re moving onto OX40 (CD134) as a novel immuno-target. Regular readers will know that we’ve been following this target for some time.
Immune agonists such as GITR, OX40, CD40, CD27 and 4-1BB help to rev up T cells. As Dr Tom Gajewski (Chicago) told us last year, in an interview published on the blog and excerpted in Episode 6 of the Novel Targets Podcast: Stepping on the Gas:
…there are inhibitory receptors on activated T cells that are involved with shutting immune responses down. There are also activating receptors that help to rev up those T cells. You might question whether you can push an activator and block an inhibitor, and maybe get a good anti-tumor response going as well.
When we drive a car, we both lift our foot off the break and we step on the accelerator. We have really beautiful data in animals that that this is exactly the case, that if you hit one of those strong positive regulators, and block just one of the negative regulators, you can have complete disappearance of the tumors in mice.
Several of those positive agonistic antibodies against costimulatory receptors are in the clinic. One of them is anti-OX40 that a couple of groups have in the clinic. We’re working with Genentech, that has one of those agents in phase I.
What does the OX40 competitive landscape look like?
In those post we’ve provided commentary on some of the new products in development from companies and highlighted a surprising number of abstracts that you’ll want to watch out for at AACR 2016 if you’re on the cancer immunotherapy track.
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