Continuing our ASCO20 coverage with another Preview in the pre-meeting series, we turn our attention to a particular modality of keen interest to many of our readers.
In this latest article, we highlight ten areas within the niche and include an array of companies, both big and small, across Pharma and Biotechs.
Some of them have some nice data to share, others will be footnotes to the meeting, but who fits into what category and what can we learn from the abstracts upfront?
To find out more, we looked very carefully at the hints and nuance which inevitably grace the writer’s pen – it’s time to hone in on where are the flourishes and the crossings out this year?
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Some of the upcoming coming small biotechs caught our attention and may turn out to be future stars
National Harbor – There were quite a few gems in the poster halls and oral presentations from up and coming small cap biotechs at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) meeting this year.
Who were they and what did we learn from them?
In the latest part of our latest SITC coverage we highlight 13 presentations – 11 from small biotechs and 2 academic abstracts – that caught our attention, explain what’s intriguing about them and why they matter.
There’s not a single big Pharma included (unless as a reference point or given in combination) since the focus is mainly on up and coming companies with their novel approaches.
The list is quite selective and not at all random from a list of over 850 abstracts.
So what stood out and what was special about them?
Some of the selections are likely hidden sleepers that few will be familiar with… they also cover a wide range of approaches, targets, different modalities and even strategic intent.
Even if you were at the SITC 2019 meeting, increasingly there were more business meetings taking up valuable time than sessions attended, so this is a great way to catch all the highlights for your trip report 😉
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Cancer cells Source: Dr. Cecil Fox, NCI
As part of our ongoing mini-series on small emerging companies to watch out for, we have two quite different biotechs focusing on different aspects of immunotherapy on deck today.
We look at what we know, what we recently learned and where things are likely headed in the near to medium term future.
As always, there’s good and bad news along the way, so what are the pitfalls and what’s to be cheerful or encouraged about?
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Much has been written about the impact of cancer immunotherapies, particularly the twin pillars of checkpoint blockade and CAR T cell therapies, but beyond that lies a huge wealth of alternative approaches that may come in very useful indeed.
Just as we have seen oncogenic escape witth targeted therapies, there is also a related phenomenon called immune escape. Likewise, this can occur as either primary or secondary resistance.
It’s very important to consider this issue, because, after all, the vast majority of cancer patients with solid tumours do NOT see durable clinical benefit with immunotherapies when given as single agents. Some don’t respond at all (primary resistance), while others may see an initial response, then relapse (secondary resistance).
Understanding the mechanisms involved in resistance may help us design better combination trials to address the underlying biology as well as develop biomarkers to help select appropriate patients for each regimen. Clearly resistance can vary, not only by tumour type, but also by lesion and patient, making it a very complex situation to research.
Some interesting new information has recently come to light that is worthy of futher discussion and analysis, particularly in the context of other published data in this niche.
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