Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘Cancer Research’

While cancer immunotherapies are definitely becoming more de rigeur these days, that doesn’t mean that good old fashioned targeted therapies have been universally abandoned or forgotten, far from it.

Making strategic choices about how to differentiate targeted therapies is never easy

At recent meetings this year, my attention was caught by one target in particular, and despite its chequered history it seems to be making a comeback of sorts thanks to a more focused and tailored approach to therapy.

There is unlikely to be one panacea for everything, but what about going back to basics and matching patients to appropriate therapy based on the underlying biology and what the patiemt’s tumour is telling us? We should have more success doing that theoretically – is that actually the case in practice?

To illustrate this, we have a few examples to share from one particular niche in oncology that readers may find interesting and useful…

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Will there be a whirlwind of new targets emerging?

It’s time to get back to basics – and also our roots – with a look at potential new targets and approaches that could emerge in the future.

Successful oncology new product development isn’t about the latest shiny new thing that’s in fashion, or everyone is following now, but is much more about the long term game of understanding the biology of disease, finding the gaps (opportunities) and developing new compounds faster than everyone else.

If truly we want to create blue ocean strategies then it begins with the science and builds out from there.

On the slate today we have four areas of interest that could yield new products or indications in the future.

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There are 5,396 posters at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) here in Orlando. Intermingled with the exhibitors (something that no doubt encourages traffic to the exhibits), the posters provide a window into the world of current cancer research and the spirit of collaboration.

Researchers from all over the world present their latest scientific discoveries, what they may have spent 3 years or more years on while studying for a Ph.D or undertaking a post-doctoral fellowship.

The research is innovative, and what’s seen at AACR is often at the cutting edge and shown prior to publication in a major journal.

What is palpable is the energy surrounding the poster discussions as experts, thought leaders and leading researchers network and share ideas with typically more junior colleagues, and in the process relate their experience to the poster being presented.

In a world of fixed term grants, the poster session is also an opportunity to showcase research to those who may be looking to hire new talent to their team.

It takes six poster sessions over four days for the 5000+ posters to be presented. I’m looking forward to the exercise!

It’s a busy day of science at the 102nd American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in Orlando, You can follow what’s happening on twitter, #AACR.  Pharma Strategy Blog has an excellent “Cover it Live” widget that shows everyone’s #AACR tweets. It allows you to go back in time, so you can see what happened earlier.  AACR also has some excellent webcasts and podcasts from the meeting.

However, what caught my attention this morning was the launch of a new journal, Cancer Discovery; preview copies were handed out to attendees at the plenary session this morning.

In a world where we are already overwhelmed by data, publications and sources of information, why is this journal both important and worth reading?

Firstly, this team has a distinguished group of editors, Lewis Cantley, PhD and José Baselga MD PhD are Editors-in-Chief.  However, what attracted me was the way this journal, in a highly readable way, covers a wide range of topics from news, updates on current research to mini reviews and research articles.

In the news section, the journal picked up on nanodiamonds for drug delivery (a topic previously mentioned on this blog), and discussed the Gilead acquisition of Calistoga from perspective of bringing PI3K delta inhibitors to market.

I liked the selected highlights of recent articles of exceptional significance from the cancer literature.  The mini review on the “stumbling blocks on the path to personalized medicine in Breast Cancer” summarized the challenges in the clinical development of PARP inhibitors. The research articles reminded me of those I’ve read in other journals such as Science, with high quality figures and tables.

If AACR and the editors can keep up the high standard of the April 2011 preview copy they have published, Cancer Discovery will definitely be on the reading list of those involved with cancer research, new product development and translational medicine.

You can find out more about Cancer Discovery and read online articles on the AACR website.

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