Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘Celgene’

When the boat comes in

Much has been written about new and emerging immuno-oncology targets where we can add new targeted agents to existing immunotherapies – after all, quite a few have already tried and failed in clinical trials to shift the survival curve upwards and to the right.

Can it be done?

I firmly believe so, but this endeavour is going to take the whole field much time and energy, as well as quite a few iterations in molecule and trial design.  No one knows what the next big target is though, but when they do it will be a bit like when the boat comes in – you know it when you see it.

In the spotlight today is a relatively obscure target we have written about perhaps once or twice before and now there is suddenly burgeoning interest in this subniche with a couple of players already active in the space.  Will there be others? Maybe, it will likely depend on how the phase 1 trials pan out.

We have attempted to cover a couple of key questions:

  • What can we learn about the science and research conducted thus far?
  • Why is a big biotech company suddenly interested in this target?
  • Which tumour types look like being important?

Most importantly, though, a long time reader wrote in and asked why on earth is there sudden interest?  Will start a new stampede?  Who are the competition?

Good questions, and now we get to set the scene to explain what’s what and why the target matters…

To learn more from our oncology analysis and get a heads up on insights and commentary emerging on an emerging IO target, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

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San Francisco – This week is mostly about business news as pharma and biotech companies congregate around the JP Morgan Healthcare conference.

It’s JPM time!

As of today (January 13th) I think a lot of investor and journalistic observers have probably been rather disappointed with no news of any major M&A activity, as this seen as setting the tone for the year ahead. I don’t personally see things that way because there’s always plenty of interesting small deals, new early funding, new science and even newco’s forming.

Indeed, Allogene already announced a new clinical collaboration with SpringWorks Therapeutics to evaluate their investigational anti-BCMA allogeneic CAR-T cell wherapy with their gamma secretase inhibitor in multiple myeloma.  They clearly see this as one way to address the shedding problems that have led to relapse with BCMA therapies.

As in previous years, we have a rolling live blog each day at JPM to highlight some of the scientific and company findings that emerge during the meeting…

To learn more from our oncology coverage and get a heads up on our latest insights from the JPM annual meeting, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

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With the Jounce-Celgene announcement that the ICOS agonist, JTX–2011, is being returned and new priorities being pursued there is much to consider. There are quite a few nuances to this story to consider beyond the obvious that BMS already have an ICOS stimulating molecule.

Here we put together a synopsis and some commentary in looking at several relevant targets of interest in the context of the broader landscapes that are evolving.

Are Jounce left high and dry with this latest development or is there still a future in ICOS agonism?

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Karl the Fog lifts in San Francisco

The annual JP Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco is upon us with a bunch of deals, acquisitions and mergers already announced ahead of the meeting with more today now the event has opened.

Some years this meeting sets the scene for a scintillating 12 months ahead for Pharmaland, other years it’s a damp squib highlighted by the fog and rain.

What will 2019 turn out to be? It’s too early to tell but there’s certainly some intriguing elements worthy of initial discussion and review.

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A path through the CD47 wilderness?

Continuing the third part of our ongoing CD47-SIRPα mini-series, we move on from the science and the competitive landscape to look at what CEOs in this niche have to say. There are many different approaches being evaluated at present, mostly in preclinical development, which makes it an intriguing area to potentially follow over time as new data emerges.

Not all of these molecules will be successful and the target is certainly not the easiest to attempt, although not as diffcult as MYC or RAS either!

When all is said an done, what do key players in this field think when they are developing compounds and how do they see the emerging challenges?

In this latest post, we have not one, but two CEOs, who were willing who share their candid thoughts and perceptions on the CD47-SIRPα space…

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Choose your clinical gateway!

When an oncology R&D landscape starts getting crowded and highly competitive, how do you go about working out clinically meaningful differences between compounds in development?

After all, there are often a myriad of small differences and nuances in the preclinical approach that may or may not be useful when it comes to the clinic.

Sometimes design matters, whether this be in the way the molecules are built or function, perhaps in tumour types that are selected for study, while at other times trial design can impact outcome.  In short, much like a 3D chess game it can get complicated pretty fast.

One such area that has been receiving increased attention lately and also has a lot of complexity to consider is the CD47-SIRPα pathway.

Last week we covered some of the key basics in a primer exploring the science in Part 1 of this mini-series.

Tomorrow we will post Part 3, which focuses on candid comments from researchers and CEOs in this niche, but before we get there it’s time to look at key clinical perspectives, as well as some of the nuances from related pathways that may be important factors to consider.

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After regularly reporting here at BSB on several readouts in terms of antibodies and CARs since ASH last year, it’s reasonable to conclude now that there has been growing interest in BCMA–APRIL as a target in multiple myeloma (MM). The CAR T cell therapies have generally focused on BCMA or BCMA-TACI as a target, while antibody approaches such as Aduro’s, BION–1301, target APRIL.

T cells attacking a cancer cell

T cells attacking a cancer cell

These new therapies have all been either preclinical in nature or preliminary phase 1 studies in a very limited number of patients, meaning that the best we can characterise them is that old reliable chestnut, ‘promising but early’… to do otherwise would be rather extravagant and hopeful at best.

Given the data from several CAR T cell therapy studies were being presented at two meetings on two separate continents only a few days apart, it makes sense to review them as a whole.

It’s therefore time for a detailed update, including a review of the differences in the key studies, a look at where we are now, as well as tips on what to look for going forward.

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Iron Men of CrosbyThis is the third in our mini-series previewing the forthcoming European Society for Medical Oncology 2016 Congress in Copenhagen (Twitter #ESMO16).

In this post we’re taking a look at what’s hot in head and neck cancer.

It’s not a cancer type we typically hear a lot about, but there’s an unmet medical need for effective new treatments.

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The race to the be first to market in the United States with a CD19 directed CAR-T cell therapy is a bit like the America’s Cup Challenge Race Series – one boat/company is ahead and then another is ahead, it’s an ever changing and fluid situation…

Americas Cup Portsmouth

In this post, we’re looking at questions from subscribers – so what’s in the July BSB mailbag?

* CAR T Cell Therapy: Is the recent FDA hold – that came and went in record time, a setback to Juno? Who will win the CAR-T race to market in the United States? What is the market opportunity in Europe?
* Jounce/Celgene Deal: Celgene have a reputation for doing deals with innovative biotech companies, but then what? Is the Jounce deal a good one, or is it a value destroyer?

There are a few other questions in the mail bag, but the above gives you a flavour of some of the commentary in this post.

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San Francisco JPM16 Day 1It’s Day 1 of the annual pilgrimage to San Francisco for the JP Morgan Healthcare conference. In light of the success of the daily rolling blogs we’ve done around the conferences we cover, for the first time we’re doing a rolling blog for each day of #JPM16.

Throughout the day (schedule permitting) we’ll be updating the post with commentary around noteworthy news.

Company presentations mentioned in this post include: $PBYI, $CELG, $GILD, $INCY, $SGEN, $MDVN. There’s also commentary on several of the deals announced by Roche, Juno, Novartis, Sanofi, AstraZeneca & Merck.

If you want to follow along yourself, here’s the link to the JPM16 webcasts & conference agenda.

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