Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘KIT’

Palace guard in Stockholm

Stockholm, Sweden – The annual meeting of the European Hematology Association (EHA) is in full swing with updated data from two blue companies, Blueprint Medicines and bluebird bio of interest to BSB readers.

There is often beauty and simplicity to be found in nature that also applies to oncology R&D.

One of those aspects can be found in the concept of targeting particular aberrations or molecular rearrangements that driven oncogenic activity.  Once you connect the dots to arrive at these key targets, you can develop therapeutics that inhibit the activity, resulting in cessation or reduction in proliferation.

In our latest post, we focus on an update on Blueprint Medicine and take a look at their various programs in early clinical development, as they have quite a lot going on with multiple targeted compounds in different areas, including hematology.

To learn more from our latest analysis and get a heads up on our oncology insights, subscribers can log-in or you can click to gain access to BSB Premium Content.

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No ASH pre-conference coverage would be the same without a shout out to Dr John Leonard (Weill Cornell). For 10 days prior to the annual meeting he counts down each day with a lymphoma study that caught his attention and tags it #LeonardList. The first one went up yesterday:

Do follow Dr Leonard and his lymphoma selections on Twitter – there are usually surprising ones in the middle that are quirky or interesting that makes you stop and think more carefully.  He also appeared on the #ASH16 Novel Targets podcast in Season 2 explaining his choices and why they mattered if you want to get a flavour.

Our #ASH17 series we have already covered aggressive lymphomas and also developmental therapeutics.

Atlantic Olympic Sculpture

Up next in our third ASH17 Preview, we take a broad look at the wealth of abstracts available and highlight ten key presentations, irrespective of tumour type, which readers should be watching out for.

Some of these ‘Champions’ may not be immediately obvious and include interesting preclinical findings, intriguing new products in development, as well as eagerly awaited mature data from recently approved therapies. It’s an eclectic mix, to be sure.

There are definitely some early trends and interesting new molecules emerging from company R&D pipelines that are worthy of further consideration in this year’s batch of abstracts.

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At the recent Triple (EORTC-NCI-AACR) and ASH meetings, Blueprint Medicines (Cambridge, MA) presented data on some of their targeted compounds in early clinical development including data in KIT, PDGFα and FGFR4 driven cancers.

While many observers attention is currently distracted on cancer immunotherapies, let’s not take our eye off the ball and forget that when we do find driver oncogenes in rare tumours, the activity of TKIs can still be superior in these situations and offer exquisite sensitivity, leading to exceptional responses.

Here, we take stock with a look what Blueprint are doing, where they’re going and also offer some perspectives from senior company executives, whom we interviewed last month.

Which reminds me, someone recently asked why we do so many interviews, “You do a prodigious amount of interviews on BSB, why is that?”

The answer is very simple – to learn faster and share that knowledge with other like minded souls. Charlie Ambler, author of Daily Zen, sums it up well in an essay about Talk Less:

“In Zen tradition, I’d like the kill the Buddha that is Lao Tzu and revise his ancient saying. It’s not that those who talk don’t know and those who know don’t talk— it’s that talking often inhibits us from knowing.”

Thus, the corollary here is that if you undertake interviews with scientists and researchers regularly then you have the pleasure of talking less – the person in the hotseat naturally talks more – and you learn faster.

What’s not to like? We all learn different things depending on our perspective and knowledge base. Sometimes, I even find re-reading old interviews a year or so later while preparing for a new one a related topic teaches me something new I didn’t see or realise before, simply because my own understanding has improved. Hopefully that is also true for subscribers!

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