Upregulation of ligands and receptors provides handy targets for antibodies and ADCs
Anyone who has been casually following oncology R&D over the last five years might be forgiven for thinking the gold rush and panning for nuggets in IO might have overtaken company interest in targeted therapies, whether they be small molecules, antibodies, or ADCs.
As hematologic malignancies evolve, proteins are upregulated on the surface of the cancer cells, providing a variety of novel targets to aim at therapeutically.
For those in the know, however, the quality of research in the targeted niche remains at a very high level with some serious research going on behind the scenes in terms of novel targets, focused clinical developments (i.e. not treating a targeted agent in an untargeted fashion), and even enhanced design of next generation molecules coming to the fore…
To learn more from our oncology analysis and get a heads up on the latest insights and commentary pertaining to the ASH20 virtual conference — including our second meeting Preview — subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.
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.
This week the conference cycle continues with the annual meeting of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) (Twitter #ASGCT20).
Due to the ongoing travel challenges and need for social distancing as result of Covid–19, one key annual immunology meeting originally slated for this month was AAI in Honolulu, which was sadly cancelled. Fortunately, ASGCT is being held as a live virtual meeting instead, so do check it out if you have a keen interest in this field.
One area we’re hoping to learn more about at ASGCT20 is cell therapy using natural killer (NK) cells. It’s an exciting and emerging area, which is attracting a lot of interest of late.
Those following the NK cell space will no doubt have seen the recent announcement of the collaboration between Kite/Gilead and Melbourne based oNKo-innate, co-founded by Prof Nick Huntington (@Dr_Nick_Bikes) and Dr Jai Rautella (Link to PR).
Other NK focused companies in the news include the licensing by Avectas of the CAR-NK cell therapy from Galway based ONK Therapeutics, founded by Prof Mike O’Dwyer (@MichaelodwyerMD) (Link to PR).
It’s definitely an exciting time to be an NK cell biologist!
In our ongoing series of expert interviews, we caught up with Prof Huntington from Melbourne to talk about the potential of CAR-NK cell therapies.
To learn more from our oncology analysis and get a heads up on insights and commentary emerging in the NK cell niche, including our latest expert interview subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.
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…
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What questions are BSB readers sending in to us this month?
I wanted to take a moment out of AACR Previews and catch up on some recent news that is intriguing or perplexing subscribers. All questions are anonymous and in many cases, the same questions were actually sent in by multiple people, a testament to what’s top of mind in oncology lately.
Today, we cover a Q&A on a variety of topics on Kite Pharma (the Genentech collaboration and their TCR in solid tumours), a discussion about EGVRvIII in glioblastoma, and Gilead’s woes with idelalisib and an IO pipeline.
So let’s get started – subscribers can sign-in…
It’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.
Subscribers can login to read more.
The 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) (Twitter #ASH15) in Orlando has a bumper crop of interesting data.
ASH is one of the my favourite meetings on our conference calendar. I’ve been attending for many years, starting with when I was a commercial account manager for Hematology, Immunology, Transplantation and Oncology in the UK, then at Novartis in the US, when I was part of the team that brought Gleevec to market.
Hematologists make for an interesting group of people to talk to! They are very focused on the science behind a disease and how translational research can move the needle forward and generate better outcomes for their patients.
As part of our continuing preview of #ASH15, I’ve taken a quick look at the late-breaking abstracts that were released today. We will have more in-depth coverage after we’ve heard the data presented in the 7.30-9.30 am session on Tuesday December 8.
Subscribers can login to read more.
If you’re not already a subscriber, but what to know “What’s hot at ASH15?” then you should purchase access. Additional ASH previews are already planned. By the time you’ve read them, you should “hit the ground running” in Orlando.
As Warren Buffett famously said, “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” I couldnt agree more. We have subscribers who just purchase our ASH coverage every year, so do “check it out“ if you haven’t done so already.
In today’s post, it’s time to address a bunch of questions we’ve received over the last few weeks from subscribers about the latest and – not so greatest – in cancer research.
ASCO 2015 Chicago
Sometimes these queries are fairly straightforward to answer, other times requires some sleuthing and hunting down thought leaders for some additional context and insights… For obvious reasons, these folks are best caught in person at cancer conferences such as AACR and ASCO. The feedback isn’t always sparkly and positive though, it can also be gloom and doom, just like the inclement weather!
So here goes, questions on the following are covered in the article below:
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As 2013 draws to a close, I though it would be a good time to add one last ASH post before finishing for the year. More to come in the form of the tumour summaries in January.
One of my favourite activities at conferences is finding interesting gems in the poster hall. In New Orleans this year there were not one, but two huge halls! That’s a lot of shoe leather involved in order to browse, chat with investigators or researchers and cover them all.
So what nuggets stood out to me this year?
Companies mentioned: KBIO, Gilead, Incyte, Seattle Genetics, Array, Amgen
Drugs covered: KB004, momelotinib, ruxolitinib, idelalisib, brentuximab (Adcetris), filanesib (ARRY-520), carfilzomib
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Now that the last of the 2013 cancer conference season is finally over, we’re going to run a couple of post meeting summaries this week from ASH as a few subscribers have asked for the Cliff Notes version of what was hot – or not in the context of the market.
New treatments for Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) was one of the hot topics at the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in New Orleans.
Hot on the heels of Roche’s recent FDA approval for Gazyva (obinutuzumab/GA101) in CLL, other companies in the race to market including:
- Pharmacyclics and Johnson & Johnson (ibrutinib)
- Gilead (idelalisib, GS-9973)
- Infinity (IPI-145)
- AbbVie and Roche (ABT-199/GDC-0199)
- Novartis (CTL019).
Here’s my subjective and personal assessment of the winners and losers based on the data presented: