Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope – Image credit: NASA/ESA/P. Jeffries
With the latest Nobel Prize in Physics being awarded to three scientists (Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, and Andrea Ghez) for their work on black holes in the galaxy, it occurred to me there are some handy analogies for cancer research and development too.
As NASA aptly put it:
“Every second a star somewhere out in the universe explodes as a supernova. But some extremely massive stars go out with a whimper instead of a bang. When they do, they can collapse under the crushing tug of gravity and vanish out of sight, only to leave behind a black hole.”
Almost every Pharma company with an oncology pipeline is faced with the same fundamental challenge at some point in its life cycle – which ones are the rising stars that could explode as a blockbuster versus which compounds are doomed to vanish and be sucked back into the black hole (aka the screening library)?
Can we always tell from the basis of what are usually relatively simple allcomer trials in phase 1 with dose escalation in advanced solid tumours?
It’s fairly straightforward to tell when something is too toxic for patients to tolerate, as the number of grade 3+ serious events will quickly indicate, but activity isn’t so easy to determine. This begs an important question to be answered – what are researchers and new product professionals actually looking for and how do they interpret the data? Are they looking from a similar lens or are there differences in perception, much as a kaleidoscope changes even with the same elements included.
Here we take an in-depth look at a couple of early compounds against targets, which have garnered some attention this year and explore reactions from both sponsor and KOL angles. As anyone involved in clinical trials knows, not everyone sings from the same hymn sheet every time!
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Sunset in Puerta del Sol, Madrid
Not in Madrido – In our latest ESMO20 Preview, we take a look at five emerging areas of cancer drug development involving early stage pipelines and highlight some important features and benefits to watch out for.
These topics won’t be on everyone’s radar, especially if the focus is on the big phase 3 trial readouts, yet they can teach us much about new combinations and future pipeline evolution.
Who’s actively moving novel approaches along and who’s sitting on their laurels?
After covering biomarkers to watch out for yesterday, we now take a dive into what’s looking interesting in terms of novel targets and the fresh new opportunities for the not faint of heart…
To learn more from our oncology analysis and get a heads up on insights and commentary pertaining to ESMO 2020, 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.