Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘Arvinas’

It’s time for another landscape review of a particular class of drugs in early development.

Here we take an in-depth look at the emerging SERD landscape in ER+ metastatic breast cancer. There’s a lot going on the ER+HER2- niche these days after a bit of a lull once we saw the CDK4/6 inhibitors approved so it’s a good opportunity for some extended colour commentary on what could become a hot area in oncology over the next couple of years.

Overcoming or delaying the onset of therapeutic resistance is going to be important, but how do we go about achieving this?

Historically we have seen some success in inhibiting the activity of the estrogen receptor (ER) as a driver of oncogenic activity, but what if we could degrade the aberrant protein instead? Would this approach yield some further benefits for people with advanced breast cancer?

There are quite a few companies, big and small, involved in this space so there’s still much to play for, especially in terms of figuring out what the ideal drug should look like and which combinations might be most useful. We also highlight key upcoming conference presentations to watch out for – hint: there’s quite a lot of them!

To learn more from our oncology analysis and get a heads up on insights and commentary emerging from the ASCO and second AACR virtual meetings, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

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Every once in a while a completely new modality comes along, which turns things on their head and changes how we think about cancer drug development.

The first chemotherapy, the first TKI, the first monoclonal antibody or bispecific antibody… the list goes on.

Each one creates a new race and bunch of companies and molecules quickly follow the trendsetter.

How about the first protein degrader to show initial evidence of clinical activity in men with a particular type of cancer?

This is exactly what Arvinas have done with their novel PROTAC molecule, ARV–110, in men with advanced metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have received prior hormonal therapy.

What can we learn from the data due to be presented at ASCO and from what lens of the kaleidoscope should we be really be looking at? To find out more, I spoke to an expert in this niche, the scientist who developed the technology, Dr Craig Crews.

What he had to say and how he got there is well worth listening to. I doubt doubt he quietened a few sceptical researchers along the way who likely thought it wasn’t possible to do in patients having heard a few of them in Q&A sessions at various conferences over the last five years. One of them (who will remain nameless) when asked what he thought of the idea actually scoffed at me in a coffee break, “It’s a preposterous idea – it’s fine in mice I suppose, but it’ll never be done in patients, mark my words!”

*Coughs*

During my convivial chat with Dr Crews, I was remembering the moment from the past and wondering what he might be thinking now… to the brave and creative scientists go the spoils of victory.

To learn more from our oncology analysis and get a heads up on insights and commentary emerging from the ASCO meeting, including our latest expert interview subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

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The BET Bromodomain market is a meaty epigenetics topic we have followed for several years now, including a look at the space back in 2013 on the old Pharma Strategy Blog (Link). The last update on this was ironically at AACR last year when we discussed MYC and bromodomains (Link).

Nawlins Mardi GrasIn a remarkable tale of two cities in real life, two companies we discussed in those posts – Constellation Pharma and Tensha Therapeutics – have had markedly different fortunes since then. Roche decided to end their collaboration with the former and went on to acquire the latter instead.

Since we first wrote about bromodomains and BET inhibitors, the niche has exploded in a wildly stunning way… More drugs in the pipeline, more tumour targets being explored, and even novel combinations being evaluated preclinically for synergistic or additive effects. Even I was surprised by how competitive this niche has become based on the offerings at AACR this year.

With all the wealth of new data at the AACR annual meeting and also some other recent presentations I’ve attended elsewhere, it’s time for a more in-depth look at the BET/Bromodomain landscape.

Who are the new players, which tumour targets are now being evaluated, which combinations might be useful?

A word to the wise – this is neither a nerdy science post nor a comprehensive literature review – instead we take a look at the emerging landscape from a new product development perspective.

Science has been absolutely critical to success in all of the cancer therapeutics from targeted therapies to immunotherapies that have emerged in the last decade.

It really doesn’t matter whether you come from a marketing and commercial organisation or the investment community – if you want to make great decisions, you need to understand the basics of the science underpinning the R&D, where the strengths and weaknesses are. The alternative is play Roulette and put everything on Black 11 as a euphemism for whichever company/product/target you have an interest in.

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