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.
With the Jounce-Celgene announcement that the ICOS agonist, JTX–2011, is being returned and new priorities being pursued there is much to consider. There are quite a few nuances to this story to consider beyond the obvious that BMS already have an ICOS stimulating molecule.
Here we put together a synopsis and some commentary in looking at several relevant targets of interest in the context of the broader landscapes that are evolving.
Are Jounce left high and dry with this latest development or is there still a future in ICOS agonism?
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Cancer cells Source: Dr. Cecil Fox, NCI
As part of our ongoing mini-series on small emerging companies to watch out for, we have two quite different biotechs focusing on different aspects of immunotherapy on deck today.
We look at what we know, what we recently learned and where things are likely headed in the near to medium term future.
As always, there’s good and bad news along the way, so what are the pitfalls and what’s to be cheerful or encouraged about?
To learn more and get a heads up on our latest immunotherapy coverage, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.
With various acquisititions occurring in the wake of #JPM18 plus CAR T cell therapy being back in the news this morning following the proposed Juno acquisition by Celgene following on from the recent Kite/Gilead deal, not to mention some recent publications on the role of checkpoints in enhancing the technology, I wanted to explore a related area:
It’s time to talk about ICOS…
Before you think I’ve gone completely over to the dark side talking about blockchains, rest assured that we do not refer here to Initial Coin Offerings i.e. an unregulated means by which funds are raised for a new cryptocurrency venture, but rather to an inducible co-stimulator of T cells that is structurally and functionally related to CD28.
In short, it’s an immune stimulatory rather than inhibitory checkpoint target that is gaining attention of late and is something we are likely to hear a lot more about over the near term.
Related to this is highlighting up and coming biotechs in the IO space who are exploring novel targets beyond the obvious anti-PD(L)1 focus since we need to see what might happen with IO-IO combinations as a way to improve responses and outcomes such that more people with cancer can receive benefit from immunotherapy.
Here, we offer a look at a biotech active in this space to learn what their approach is and where their pipeline is going in the near to medium term future.
To learn more and get a heads up on our latest company interview, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.
The race to the be first to market in the United States with a CD19 directed CAR-T cell therapy is a bit like the America’s Cup Challenge Race Series – one boat/company is ahead and then another is ahead, it’s an ever changing and fluid situation…
In this post, we’re looking at questions from subscribers – so what’s in the July BSB mailbag?
* CAR T Cell Therapy: Is the recent FDA hold – that came and went in record time, a setback to Juno? Who will win the CAR-T race to market in the United States? What is the market opportunity in Europe?
* Jounce/Celgene Deal: Celgene have a reputation for doing deals with innovative biotech companies, but then what? Is the Jounce deal a good one, or is it a value destroyer?
There are a few other questions in the mail bag, but the above gives you a flavour of some of the commentary in this post.
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Cherry Blossoms and Iwakuni Bridge
We’re continuing our countdown to the 2016 AACR annual meeting in New Orleans with a look at anti TIM-3 and LAG-3 inhibitory checkpoints and highlighting some of the companies with noteworthy abstracts.
In case you missed it, yesterday AACR announced that Vice President Biden will be delivering remarks on the final day of the meeting, Wednesday, April 20th in the “Highlights 2016: Vision for the Future” Plenary Session. As conference diehards, we will be there in person, but AACR have announced they plan to livestream it to the world. It’s a fitting finale to what is set to be a “must attend” meeting for those with an interest in cancer new product development and in particular, cancer immunotherapy.
What can we learn from AACR abstracts on TIM–3 and LAG–3?
There is some early clinical data that we will be checking out (no pun intended) on TIM-3 and LAG-3.
Subscribers can read Day 2 of our “Road to AACR 2016” coverage by logging in, or you can purchase access.