Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘ASH 2019 Orlando’

“Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere.”  ~ Lisa B. Adams

In the first part of the review on novel targets in hematologic malignancies, we covered five key areas in detail relating to emerging new agents around BTK, BRD, BET, and E3 ligase modulators (CELMoDs).

Continuing our look at some additional novel targets and agents in early development in hematologic malignancies, in part two of this series we explore four additional areas that piqued our interest.

These mostly involve either small molecules or monoclonal antibodies.

In the next series, we shall look at emerging immunotherapy related targets, but for now there’s plenty of targeted therapies to focus on!

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The annual ASH Dash often ends up with crowds waiting for the poster halls to open up – a daily scene captured from ASH19

With coronavirus and COVID–19 pretty much dominating attention and space in the global news on a daily basis lately, I am vividly reminded that not too long ago in December we attended the annual meeting at ASH in Orlando to experience busy scenes like the one on the right…

Imagine those packed crowds now in the current context – it doesn’t bear thinking about!

Which is why all of the oncology conferences we had been planning to attend this year are one-by-one postponing or outright cancelling their events until next year. This is going to create a lot of challenges for companies in terms of data release and presentations, to be sure, but what matters more is reducing the risk of the infection spread in order to limit the risk of serious cases developing.

The good news is that we do have a huge backlog of oncology data – novel targets, new agents, and emerging companies – to write about and share with our audience. There’s always a silver lining to be had if you look carefully enough.

Here’s one such example – a novel cancer target, agents in development, and an emerging company to highlight too…

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In our latest expert interview, we depart from the usual focus on one of two particular or narrow topics and indulge in a more wide ranging discussion to explore a variety of issues facing the IO field and look at them from the perspective of a researcher who is experienced in working with antibodies in various forms.

We cover a lot of ground from CAR-T cells to bispecifics to NK cells – while many people in industry may see these approaches as separate modalities in different niches, in the future we may well see a greater convergent and opportunities for regimens and combinations rather than a more nihilistic either/or approach.

I have long been fascinated with design of molecules and how different tweaks or enhancements can change the way something works – for better or worse. Just as we have learned much from immune agonists and their biphasic curves that result from constant stimulation (and ways to fix that too), so too will we see CARs, T cell engagers, and NK cell therapies adapt and improve in terms of how they are constructed.

Who better to talk about these changes and the learnings to be had lately than someone who has built and tested many antibodies for a living and is now running his own company?

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Stacking up the various modalities – what do we find?

It’s time to talk about an particular target in AML because there are now a variety of different modalities involved since we last covered it, which makes it rather more intriguing than most. There’s antibodies, ADCs, CAR-T cell therapies, stem cells, and various bispecifics to name a few such examples.

To be clear, we’re not talking about CD123 here either, but rather an entirely different protein that is receiving increasing attention from multiple companies.

How does the evidence stack up?  Will one particular approach stand out from all the others?

Next, perhaps what makes this post even more interesting is we have an engaging interview with one of the company CEO’s in this niche to share, so we can see how they view things from the lens of looking at things in a different way from many of the other competitors.

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The start of a New Year is a good time to take stock of where we’ve come from and where we’re going in the fast-paced world of oncology new product development.

Upregulation doesn’t always mean a protein is a valid target, but in some cases it just might…

In this latest post, we’re revisiting T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-containing protein 3 – or TIM-3 in short – and taking a closer look at the evolving competitive landscape in this niche.

One company targeting it is Novartis, who have an anti-TIM–3 antibody MBG453 in development. In this post we have an expert interview with a scientist who is a pioneer in the emerging field of TIM-3 biology.

There’s also a review of some of the recent important scientific papers on TIM-3 biology, as well as commentary on data presented at ASH19 that we expect may feature in presentations at JPM20 next week, not to mention be the focus of future interim updates should the data turn out to show some promise in certain settings.

If you have an interest in targeting novel immune checkpoints and want to find out more about where the field is at with TIM-3, then this post is for you.

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Gems from the poster halls yielded some fascinating novel approaches and new twists on old targets

In this latest post ASH review, we explore some intriguing early developments from several small and large companies alike, explain why they matter and why we should be interested in them.

Sometimes the wisdom of the crowds isn’t always the best indicator of what’s coming down the pike in terms of oncology pipelines.

Part of our cunning plan this year involved going to ‘off Broadway’ sessions where we thought others would skip in favour of a more obviously popular session (the ones in the big halls) and merrily tweet them so you could easily follow along in parallel while the smaller rooms rapidly filled up and quietly closed to those desperately trying to get in late.

Our selections here include several gems from the poster halls (imagine trying to just pick a few highlights out of 4,000 poster options?!), as well as a couple of oral presentations that were missed by many – not surprising given how jam-packed the schedule was with double and even triple choices of selections in parallel to choose from!

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What do cancer drug development and Sherlock Holmes have in common?

The simple answer is that sometimes you can gain insights by looking at what did not happen.

Will belantamab mafadotin stand out in the crowded BCMA space?

In 1892 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote a short story about the disappearance of a famous racehorse the night before a race. What was curious about the incident was that there was no barking from the watchdog when you might otherwise have expected it, suggesting the dog knew the thief…

Can we follow the same inductive reasoning when it comes to cancer drug development? Are there things we would expect to see, but don’t? If so, what inferences can we draw from them?

In this post we’re taking a closer look at the latest data for GSK2857916 (now belantamab mafadotin), which in many ways was “the dog that didn’t bark” at ASH19.

Curious to find out more about the latest BCMA data, get a heads up on additional insights from our ASH commentary and implications? Subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

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ASH19 in Orlando, FL

Orlando: In the second of our ASH19 reports, we offer a comprehensive and in-depth look at important data presented over the weekend where we breakdown some of the key findings or trial readouts, which are likely of interest to many readers given the heightened attention on novel therapeutic approaches.

Whether the hematologic malignancy is myeloma, leukemia, or lymphoma, we have been rather spoiled for choice in selections for hot topics to discuss this year, so the series will likely run all week!

Here’s the second of our detailed ASH notes…

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ASH19 Targeted Therapies Preview: This year’s ASH in Orlando is very much dominated by new developments on the immunotherapy front in terms of both T and NK cell therapies, with some passing interest in BTK inhibitors as well.

It’s not always sunny in Florida…

What about targeted therapies and the science behind those developments?

It was not that long ago that these were the main lifeblood of the meeting across many, if not most, hematologic malignancies. How times have changed!

That said, outside of the CARs (T and NK cells), as well as bispecific immunotherapies, and BTK inhibitors there are still some gems to be found amongst the rest of the ASH19 abstracts.

Here we highlight an additional 10 abstracts involving early pipeline areas that encompass some novel targets, new combination approaches, or emerging science.

Please note that the novel targets can take the form of classic targets or IO ones since they didn’t fit in the prior ASH Preview topics already reviewed under separate cover

Curious to find out more about these intriguing selections and get a heads up on additional insights from our ASH19 commentary?Subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

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Orlando

Yesterday we looked at ten innovative approaches centred around T cell-based developments emerging from the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting that is taking place in Orlando next month.

Let’s not forget, however, that there are also other immune cells, including NK cells and quite a few others, which can be manipulated into cancer therapeutics for the treatment of hematologic malignancies.

Some of these are intriguing early preclinical research that may form next generation technologies in the future, while others take the form of up and coming early clinical data that readers may be interested to learn more about.

Here we highlight nine emerging immunotherapy approaches to consider that don’t involve T cells…

Curious to find out more about these novel ideas or iterations and get a heads up on insights from our ASH19 commentary? Subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

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