Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘Idera’

Unlike last year, rain in San Francisco wasn’t a feature in 2019

If there’s anyone who hasn’t got fed up looking for somewhere to sit and chat or have a meeting in San Francisco at the 2019 JP Morgan Healthcare conference this week, then don’t be surprised…

With meeting space continually at a premium and many attendees unwilling to pay exhorbitant table rental prices, you now see people resorting to the lobby steps at the Sir Francis Drake, while the ladies have the advantage over the gents of access to the powder room in the Westin (with plugs!)

There’s also a movement from the chic to the shabby:

JPM is as much about informal meetings, pitches and confabs about new ideas, as it is about the actual CEO presentations, and so this situation is likely to continue in future years.

Meanwhile, we continue to dive in with our latest daily blog and put a bunch of companies through their paces.  If day 1 is all about the big pharmas, by day 3 the focus is much more on up and coming or mid sized biotechs…

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gaylord-national-harbour-md

National Harbor, MD

Despite remarkable results with cancer immunotherapy to date, we do need to keep out feet on the ground and remember that response rates are relatively low to modest (10–30%) and the majority of patients do not respond or see a benefit with these approaches.

As we start moving beyond checkpoint monotherapy, the realisation has fast hit many researchers and companies that we really don’t know as much about the tumour microenvironment (TME) as we would like.

No doubt we will learn a lot more about it from the combinatory approaches, but be aware that this also means higher risk associated with such developments – we will likely see a lot of failures – and hopefully, some successes too.

This is where the little biotech companies have an opportunity to shine… they may have some intriguing IO compounds in development but not an anti-PD1/L1 backbone, meaning they can collaborate with a big pharma company to explore novel combinations in small phase 1/2 trials to determine what works or not. This is much lower risk (and R&D costs) for both parties and we get to see more quickly where things shake out.

At the annual Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) meeting last week, there was a whole day devoted to New Immunotherapy Drug Development.  

Some of these agents look worthy of watching out for and following their progress.  A variety of data in different targets and MOA were presented from big and small companies alike.  We selected a few of the promising ones for further review and discussion.

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