Spring cherry blossoms
It’s twelve working days until the start of the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in New Orleans. This is a meeting we’re especially looking forward to this year, not only for the cool science on offer, but also the Louisiana Coastal Cuisine!
Next year, AACR 2017 returns to Washington DC, at what hopefully will be a perfect time for cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin.
In this post, I’ve taken a closer look at one cancer immunotherapy approach with new data at AACR – bispecific T cell engagers. Amgen’s blinatumomab (Blincyto) is interesting because it was the first T cell engager antibody to be approved by the FDA for the treatment of Philadelphia-negative ALL and refractory B-cell precursor ALL, thereby offering proof of concept that such an approach could be safe and effective. There are, however, some challenges associated with it (which you’ll read about).
Can we improve on blinatumomab?
This post will address the question in three parts:
- A look at what we know about blinatumomab to date
- Where the competitive landscape is evolving with potential solutions
- An interview with a scientist actively working in this field for their perspective.
For those attending AACR, I’ve put in links to some of the sessions and presentations to watch out for if you have an interest in bispecifics (there are a surprising number of them in R&D) – we’ll be writing more about some of the noteworthy data after it has been presented.
Subscribers can login below or you can purchase access to Day 1 of our Road to AACR mini series…..
Picture Credit: @gene_antibody
For much of the last two years, one of the hottest topics around has been T cell manipulation, which can happen in many different forms.
This is just one area that we have covered extensively in the immuno-oncology space from Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapies to checkpoint inhibitors, as well as various antibodies, including the first bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE) to CD19 that recently approved by the FDA called blinatumomab (Blincyto) from Amgen.
Not all cancer patients respond to all these approaches though.
Why is that and what approaches or novel targets can we explore next to address this vexing issue?
At the SITC and SABCS meetings, I saw some really interesting and unusual presentations, together with some recent publications on topic, that really piqued my interest in this challenge. They are early signs of the new directions some of the research in this field could go. Overcoming resistance and understanding different aspects of immune escape will likely be very instructive in developing the next generation of combination studies that could make a positive impact on patients.
Today’s post touches on some of these exciting developments and includes an in-depth interview with Dr Ira Mellman, the scientist behind Genentech’s immunology research program at gRED.
Interested readers can log-in to read more about the exciting new developments that are happening with different types of antibodies in the immuno-oncology space.