Boston: The 2019 AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics is underway (#Targets19). It’s long been one of our favorite meetings, particularly when held in Boston, and this year there’s a raft of early ideas on offer as to where the targeted therapy field may be going.
Alison Schram, MD. Credit: MSKCC
The success of Ignyta’s entrectinib (acquired by Roche) and Loxo Oncology’s larotrectinib (acquired by Lilly) in targeting NTRK gene fusions has raised interest in targeting other gene fusions, even if they are rare. A new target in a similar vein that has attracted interest recently are fusions involving the neuregulin 1 gene (NRG1).
At this year’s Molecular Targets meeting, Dr Alison Schram, a medical oncologist in the Early Drug Development Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) presented clinical proof of concept data for MCLA-128 (Merus), a bispecific HER2/3 antibody therapy in NRG1 fusion positive cancers.
What did we learn about MCLA-128 and NRG1 at Targets19?
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Spring cherry blossoms
It’s twelve working days until the start of the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in New Orleans. This is a meeting we’re especially looking forward to this year, not only for the cool science on offer, but also the Louisiana Coastal Cuisine!
Next year, AACR 2017 returns to Washington DC, at what hopefully will be a perfect time for cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin.
In this post, I’ve taken a closer look at one cancer immunotherapy approach with new data at AACR – bispecific T cell engagers. Amgen’s blinatumomab (Blincyto) is interesting because it was the first T cell engager antibody to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of Philadelphia-negative ALL and refractory B-cell precursor ALL, thereby offering proof of concept that such an approach could be safe and effective. There are, however, some challenges associated with it (which you’ll read about).
Can we improve on blinatumomab?
This post will address the question in three parts:
- A look at what we know about blinatumomab to date
- Where the competitive landscape is evolving with potential solutions
- An interview with a scientist actively working in this field for their perspective.
For those attending AACR, I’ve put in links to some of the sessions and presentations to watch out for if you have an interest in bispecifics (there are a surprising number of them in R&D) – we’ll be writing more about some of the noteworthy data after it has been presented.
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