Karl the Fog lifts in San Francisco
The annual JP Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco is upon us with a bunch of deals, acquisitions and mergers already announced ahead of the meeting with more today now the event has opened.
Some years this meeting sets the scene for a scintillating 12 months ahead for Pharmaland, other years it’s a damp squib highlighted by the fog and rain.
What will 2019 turn out to be? It’s too early to tell but there’s certainly some intriguing elements worthy of initial discussion and review.
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After yesterday’s popular update on Ignyta where we posted our recent interview with the CEO, Dr Jonathan Lim prior to the 2Q conference call, a flood of questions have come in from eager beaver BSB readers.
Rather than add to an already lengthy article, this seemed a good opportunity to start afresh and do our latest Reader Q&A mailbag on a specific topic, namely the TRK/ROS1/ALK space.
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Tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) inhibitors are not a name that rolls off the tongue easily and yet this niche is attracting a lot of interest from observers curious to learn more about a highly targeted approach to rare oncogenes such as TRK, ROS1 and ALK that occur in several different tumour types.
Much of the focus has been on the more commonly expressed ALK-positive lung cancers with crizotinib, ceritinib, alectinib, brigatinib, lorlatinib and others. Crizotinib also targets ROS1 and is approved by the FDA in metastatic NSCLC whose tumors are ROS1-positive.
As the next part of the development in this sphere, TRK and ROS1 mutations are now in the spotlight. Indeed, we have been reporting on the data since 2014, which has been encouraging thus far, particularly from two companies, namely Ignyta and Loxo Oncology. These two agents differ in that entrectinib targets TRK/ROS1/ALK whereas larotrectinib is a specific pan TRK inhibitor.
There was a new raft of data at the recent AACR annual meeting and more data is expected at the forthcoming ASCO conference.
Here, we take a look under the hood through the lens of one of the small biotechs in this space via a candid interview with Ignyta CEO, Dr Jonathan Lim.
Dr Jonathan Lim, CEO Ignyta
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At the European Cancer Conference (ECC 2015) held in Vienna recently, a number of promising targets emerged along with new drugs in development in several different tumour types. Not all of them were from big Pharma – some were from up and coming young biotechs that will be worth watching out for.
In this first part of our ‘New Drugs on the Horizon’ mini series, we chose four interesting and largely positive studies to highlight and discuss in-depth.
In the past, there were many negative trials to pick over and ponder why they didn’t quite pan out. After all, it’s relatively easy to be an armchair critic and hindsight is a wonderful thing.
Picking only four from the many promising choices of trials presented this year available turned out to be quite hard given there were many that caught our attention – a bit like choosing only one of four out of the many schnaps to sample locally!
Today’s review looks at four very different drugs and approaches in early development from Pfizer, Stemcentrx and Ignyta – they include encouraging early data on both small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), as well as antibody drug conjugates (ADCs).
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