Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘BCMA CAR T cell therapy’

CAR T cell therapy for solid tumours is the cancer new product development equivalent of the quest for the “Holy Grail.” It remains one of the cell therapy challenges of the coming decade.

Light inspires and illuminates

In this post we shine the light on one of the world’s leading cell therapy experts who is taking on that challenge.

Most of our posts are what is known in the business as “long-form” and this one is no exception; it’s over 7,000 words long and offers a veritable smorgasbord of insights into new cell therapies for blood cancers and solid tumours, novel targets, as well as future directions, including a company in stealth mode…

Curious to learn more about this important topic on cracking the code and the quest to find solutions?

Then consider supporting independent science journalism by joining an exclusive group of readers around the world in academic medicine and industry who read BSB premium content.

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With the startling news this morning that Poseida Therapeutics are abandoning their IPO plans and pursuing a different tack with a $142M investment from Novartis to fund clinical trials for their BCMA-directed CAR T cell therapy program in multiple myeloma, our attention is focused yet again on the highly competitive BCMA niche.

Poseida’s data was revealed at ASH last December and with an ORR of 63%, the initial efficacy was a bit lower than we have seen from rivals Bluebird Bio and Legend/JNJ, although the Penn/Novartis construct reported disappointingly lower responses in a small cohorts of patients, which may explain Novartis’s interest.

There are also other companies/products in this niche including GSK’s ADC, GSK2857916, and Amgen’s T cell bispecific, AMG 420, plus plenty of others with BCMAxCD3 bispecifics who have earlier skin in this increasingly highly competitive game.

Is BCMA enough though?  Is it really the answer to multiple myeloma or are there other approaches that might be better?

Putting new CARs in the spotlight

What of the future for CAR T cell therapies in myeloma beyond the initial generation 2.0 constructs?

We saw a vision for how this market might evolve and sought out some experts to learn more about what they are doing in this niche – what they had to say was really interesting.

After all, as Wayne Gretsky would say, don’t skate to where the hockey puck is (now) but where it will be… that’s a great analogy one cannot resist borrowing for the future of cell therapy in multiple myeloma.

In our latest article, we go beyond BCMA to explore where we think the field might be going and why a tunnel focus on BCMA might not be such a great thing…

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We have covered BCMA-APRIL approaches in multiple myeloma for a couple of years now and it’s time for a much needed update and look at where this niche is.

The BCMA market is heating up

Beyond Bluebird’s bb2121 BCMA CAR T cell therapy, there are now a raft of different products across multiple companies including CARs, bispecific antibodies, and even ADCs.

What was a new target three years ago now is rapidly becoming a very crowded space indeed and the pressure will be on companies to differentiate their product in some way, otherwise they risk being a me-too or just another bowl of red chills…

As a new target is validated, it doesn’t take long for another ten companies to immediately try to capitalise on it in the ever increasing race to market with new product development.

Here, we take stock of where things are at.

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The calm before the #ASCO18 storm

Saturday 2nd June was the first day of ASCO for me this year, so continuing our annual tradition, we post a review of the daily highlights and topics or issues that caught our attention.

This can be useful for those of you sidetracked by off-site meetings and unable to actually get to the conference centre to hear talks – yes, it happens, more commonly than many realise!

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Happy New Year!

Immunotherapy treatment for multiple myeloma has been around for several decades, first in the form of stem cell transplantation, then augmented by the addition of IMiD immune modulation drugs such as thalidomide, lenalidomide or pomalidomide. In due course, along came immune checkpoint blockade in solid tumours and it was only a matter of time before they would be evaluated in hematologic malignancies, albeit with mixed results.

The proteasome inhibitors and IMiDs are unlikely to go away any time soon, but other targets have also emerged including CD38, SLAMF7/CS1, BCMA/APRIL, PD–1/L1 and a few others that are being currently investigated in the clinic.

Where does this leave us and what looks really promising?

In our latest thought leader interview undertaken at the recent American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in Atlanta, we asked a global expert for his candid views and were not surprised at some of the hard hitting comments that emerged from the in-depth discussion of several key issues…

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Snow at GWCCAtlanta – it’s day 2 of the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting here in a chilly and snowy Atlanta.

I have to confess snow is not something we normally associate with southern States such as Georgia, but a cold snap has taken it’s toll on the ASH meeting, with many presentations cancelled as a result of travel delays.

Sunday at ASH is well known for the plenary session that takes place in the afternoon, but what else is hot at the meeting today? We’ve been talking to thought leaders, spending time in the vast poster hall and hearing some oral abstracts. There’s been been a surprising amount going on today at ASH in Atlanta.

If you are at ASH then you’ll know that all the sessions end at the same time, resulting in a massive movement of people as they go to the next session, as we saw today:

 

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ASH 2014 San FranciscoThe 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) (Twitter #ASH15) in Orlando has a bumper crop of interesting data.

ASH is one of the my favourite meetings on our conference calendar. I’ve been attending for many years, starting with when I was a commercial account manager for Hematology, Immunology, Transplantation and Oncology in the UK, then at Novartis in the US, when I was part of the team that brought Gleevec to market.

Hematologists make for an interesting group of people to talk to!  They are very focused on the science behind a disease and how translational research can move the needle forward and generate better outcomes for their patients.

As part of our continuing preview of #ASH15, I’ve taken a quick look at the late-breaking abstracts that were released today. We will have more in-depth coverage after we’ve heard the data presented in the 7.30-9.30 am session on Tuesday December 8.

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If you’re not already a subscriber, but what to know “What’s hot at ASH15?” then you should purchase access.  Additional ASH previews are already planned.  By the time you’ve read them, you should “hit the ground running” in Orlando.

As Warren Buffett famously said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” I couldnt agree more. We have subscribers who just purchase our ASH coverage every year, so do check it out if you haven’t done so already.

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