Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘Calithera’

One only has to look at the number of clinical trials to recognize that cell therapies are one of fastest growing areas in terms of cancer new product development.

Over the past several years we’ve seen many changes and improvements in continuous innovation regarding the development of CAR T cells.

What metabolic “treats” do T cells like?

There has been no shortage of novel ways to enhance their targeting, durability, efficacy, or ease of administration. Most of the early strategies have yet to translate into commercial products, but it remains an area an attractive area to investors hoping to repeat the returns seen with Juno and Kite as more competitors enter the field.

In the fifth post in our mini-series on novel approaches in the emerging immunometabolism niche, we’re looking at ways to metabolically reprogram CAR T cells, as well as what the future may hold for the next generation of CAR T cells in this context.

Like a postcard from one’s summer holiday, it’s an opportunity to offer a snapshot at a moment in time from our journey.

We were fortunate to have the opportunity to talk with a researcher who is actively at the forefront of this area. Dr Roddy O’Connor is working with Carl June along with various colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, and he kindly spoke to BSB about his work.

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The past year has seen hype and hope over targeting KRAS mutant cancers and many challenges still remain to be addressed. We’ve seen the emergence of selective G12C inhibitors, as well as others targeting SOS1:RAS upstream and even related pathways to address cross-talk such as SHP2 and ULK1, for example. The oncology R&D ecosystem is beginning to motor again as new competitors start entering the niche.

Riding the KRAS wave

To put things into broader perspective, however, despite all the positive news in lung cancer, consider the colorectal carcinoma data was less impressive than lung because of more complex, heterogeneous disease.

Meanwhile, Lilly recently announced the discontinuation of their selective G12C inhibitor, LY3499446, due to adverse toxicity, so clearly it is not all going to be plain sailing in this landscape!

Let’s also not forget the G12C mutation is not the only viable target in this context. People with advanced lung cancer can also present with one or more of several co-occurring mutations such as the serine/threonine kinase 11 gene (STK11) and kelch like ECH associated protein 1 gene (KEAP1), for example.

Unfortunately those presenting with both STK11 and KEAP1 mutations – independent of KRAS status – often have a poorer prognosis and there remains an unmet medical need for effective new treatments.

In this fourth postcard in our summer mini-series on the potential of immunometabolism for cancer immunotherapy, we’re taking a look at a novel way to target KRAS mutant lung cancer and, in particular, those with an STK11 and KEAP1 mutation who tend to do poorly on current therapies.

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This is the second postcard in our mini-series on the emerging field of immunometabolism and the translational potential for cancer new product development.

Over the course of three weeks, we’ll be sharing six postcards from our journey, three of which are based around interviews with scientists at the forefront of research in this niche.

What did we learn about immunometabolism at AACR20?

In this latest post we’re taking a look at some of the signals at this year’s virtual AACR annual meeting, which as usual had a wealth of data on offer, offering as it does a window into the future of cancer drug development.

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National Harbor, MD – Day 2 of #SITC17 brought some interesting highlights on a number of fronts, not all of which may be apparent at present, but there are a few readouts that will have a broader impact going forward.

SITC 2017 Stars?

As we move into an era where we see more combinations evolve in immuno-onology, things are likely to get more confusing rather than less so and it could well be another 3-5 years before things truly settle down and more concrete trends emerge.

Here, we reviewed 10 different areas of interest with a strong clinical relevance and explored the topics further.

Please note that some of these will also have follow-on posts with thought leader interviews and related poster reviews.

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With the annual meeting of Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) fast approaching this week, it’s time for a look at some of the final highlights to watch out for.

National Harbor from Gaylord HotelIn this latest conference preview, we have chosen a dozen key topics of interest that readers may find worth checking out plus an honourable mention for early compounds in development that we may well hear more about going forward.

Some of the early warning signs were offered up in the earlier Previews and with the abstracts now available, things are getting very interesting indeed…

How are things panning out so far with the abstract drop and are the new products in development living up to the hype and expectations?

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