Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘immunotherapy’

It’s the dog days of summer in August, traditionally a time when many of us go on holiday and while that’s more challenging in the uncertain times of COVID-19, we at BSB are taking a break for the next three weeks as we recharge/renew for a busy autumn of virtual meetings.

We won’t be writing much about topical news or recent data for the next few weeks, but instead, while we’re taking time out we’ve prepared a six-part mini-series looking at immunometabolism and its potential for cancer immunotherapy.  We’ve run this kind of series every summer over the last couple of years and they’ve worked out rather well.

One of the things we did on Seasons 3 and 4 of the Novel Targets Podcast was to look at topics involving emerging areas of complex research, where we often didn’t know all the answers yet there were emerging data worthy of time and attention. Immunometabolism is certainly a topic which meets those criteria – it’s been on our list to do a deeper dive into for a while and here we are now, with some extended time to make the most of the opportunity to do it some justice.

We’re obviously dating ourselves in that we used to write letters or send postcards to friends and family from our holidays, this mini-series is very much in that style.

To be clear, this is not intended to be a comprehensive review of absolutely everything in the landscape, instead we’ll be reviewing some of the key concepts, showcasing important papers, and highlighting data at AACR20 that caught our attention. There will also be mention of a few emerging biotech companies in the field and for good measure we have three interviews with scientists at the forefront of research, which may have excellent translational potential to the clinic.

By the end of our three-week journey together, hopefully you’ll gain a greater understanding of the new product development potential for cancer immunometabolism and be better placed to put into context new data as it steadily emerges over the coming months.

In this first post, let’s set the scene by looking at immunometabolism and the role it plays in the fate, function, and fitness of T cells.

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This weekend in the oncology conference calendar saw the ESMO Breast meeting take place.

The event was originally planned as a live event in Berlin – sadly with the pandemic it ended up as a virtual meeting on Central European time, yet you can still imagine the Berlin bear welcoming everyone regardless of format!

This is a good time to take off we we left off last week with our SERD landscape review since there was some new clinical data presented in this niche, as well as segue to the ASCO meeting on Friday where other companies will also be showcasing their early data.

Aside from SERDs, there were plenty of other highlights and commentary to consider in advanced breast cancer.

Here we explore some of the findings and offer some context for at least one commercial showdown…

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And we’re off!

Rays of hope during dark days

No, no, not to the races – and certainly not to Cheltenham – but rather it’s that time of the year when the first of our annual AACR Preview series drops.  While some cancer conferences have been postponed and even cancelled, others such as AACR and ASCO are proceeding with virtual meetings, proving that even dark times can offer hints of hope.

This is good news for both young researchers and companies alike in getting data out there and shared because life goes on as time and tide wait for no man.

The actual abstracts themselves won’t be revealed until later in the month on April 27th, but for now we get a taster of this year’s truncated event since the titles available for the first virtual meeting.

Often time, this glimpse is sufficient to garner some useful clues, so what does this year hold in store for us all?

This Preview series will be in multiple parts – a review of some of the key oral sessions from the first virtual program (targeted agents, immunotherapies, cell therapies, novel targets, translational studies etc) followed by a review of the posters in the final part.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the important presentations we can expect to hear on the first day…

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San Francisco!

San Francisco – It’s time to switch horses for some the latest conference coverage and explore some important new findings emerging from the genitourinary world of bladder, prostate, and renal cell cancers at the ASCOGU specialist meeting held late last week.

Not that many years ago, much of this niche was dominated by numerous updates in prostate cancer, with little good cheer to write about on the other two cancers – how things have changed in such a short time!

This year there’s plenty going on in all three categories, I’m pleased to say.

Here we focus on several important trials or targets and explain why they matter and what’s significant about the findings…

Some of the agents or trials selected here are likely to receive more attention going forward as more data become available, so it behooves us to set the scene now.

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Welcome to SITC19!

National Harbor: It’s time for the first of our daily highlights and review of key data that was presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).

The first day is usually taken up by some longer review sessions on key topics, intermingled with some rapid fire oral talks on emerging areas where we get to hear some young investigators talk about their ongoing projects.

This results in some broad updates, as well as some specific areas of early R&D in the IO space that often end up as key areas to watch out for over time. This year is no different in that respect…

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A rare dry spell in Barcelona as the clouds roll in bringing yet more rain

Barcelona – While the weather for the World Congress on Lung Cancer (WCLC) has been largely gloomy with plenty of rainy spells, there’s much good news to report on the clinical front.

After yesterday’s review of the Amgen KRAS inhibitor data in G12C mutation positive patients receiving AMG 510, it’s now time to turn our attention to immunotherapy developments with several important trial readouts and in-depth analyses to discuss.

We will be posting a separate summary of the key highlights on targeted therapy, but first let’s consider what we learned on the immunotherapy front, including some of the science behind it all…

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At one point not too distant in the past, all the big news seemed to flow out of advanced prostate cancer with abiraterone and enzalutamide vying for attention, followed by occasional news on ARN–509, ODM–201, galeterone (remember that one from Tokai with all the AR-V7 kerfuffle?), radium Ra–223 dichloride, cabazitaxel, denosumab, ipilumumab, PROSTVAC, brachyury, and a few others. Predictably, not all were successful, and the count is still out on some.

San Francisco

In our latest conference coverage, we take a look at what we can learn from riding the prostate cancer train at ASCO GU ahead of the presentations in San Francisco tomorrow.

We will be updating this review as more data become available with the presentations, so do grab a cup of joe and settle down for some interesting reading ahead of time… this should get you all up to speed on the journey there!

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San Antonio – As the Fall conference season is rapidly drawing to a close, it’s time to highlight some key findings on breast cancer from the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).

In this in-depth post where we explore the breast cancer landscape in terms of updates on key trials that stood out as well as highlights from several thought leader interviews on translational and clinical aspects of the disease.

We also explore some important biological and biomarker aspects to think about in future IO trials.

Are you ready? Let’s roll!

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The Bean, Chicago

Whenever the Bean photo pops up then you know it marks the start of the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Ahead of this year’s abstract data palooza, I thought it would be a nice idea to highlight some of the key sessions of interest and important abstracts within.

There are quite a few new molecules to watch out for in early drug development, plus some important phase 3 trial readouts to consider, especially on the combination front.

It will be hard act to beat or even follow the phase 3 lung cancer clinical trials plenary at AACR18 last month, but here goes…

We have selected 11 key areas that may be useful to watch out for as a starting point ahead of the abstract data dump expected tomorrow at 5pm.

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Finding patterns in the mosaic of cancer biology

In our fifth AACR preview of the annual meeting of 2018, we switch directions from a tumour type to explore a novel and emerging pathway of interest.

Each year we pick a different target to explore; this year it’s the turn of TGFβ.

There’s a lot going on here, both preclinically and clinically that should interest BSB readers who are keen to see new developments in the IO landscape.

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