Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘monalizumab’

It’s a Bank Holiday weekend on both sides of the pond, which is always a good excuse for some shorter snippets as everyone will be enjoying the break outside, weather permitting!

In our latest Preview series, we address some pertinent questions that have come in from BSB readers on several topics in between AACR and ASCO, including tumour mutation burden (TMB), the PACIFIC trial, monalizumab, renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

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Every year for our annual AACR Preview coverage we like to mix things up and explore what’s happening with different targets, pathways, and even companies.

In this latest post for #AACR18, we take a look at a company that has historically been involved in R&D associated with the innate immune system. As new molecules have evolved against different targets, researchers have begun to realise that we can actually target both the innate and adaptive immune systems together rather than one or the other.

We have covered several clinical developments from Innate Pharma on lirilimumab, but they are actually more than a one compound biotech and have a growing pipeline of antibodies against several novel targets, some of which are unique to the company.

This isn’t just about the science behind the pipeline as we also explore facets of corporate strategy and where the company is headed in the near to medium term future.  While in London earlier this month, we caught up with Dr Mondher Mahjoubi (CEO) and Prof Eric Vivier (CSO) for a candid and detailed fire side chat.

There was plenty to discuss and some interesting new developments to highlight…

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While in Marseille for the scientific meeting to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML), I had the pleasure to interview Hervé Brailly PhD, the CEO of Innate Pharma, a leading biotech company in the Marseille Immunopôle.

dr-herve-brailly-innate-pharma-ceo

Innate Pharma (@InnatePharma) was founded in 1999 by six immunologists: Hervé Brailly, Eric Vivier, Marc Bonneville, Alessandro Moretta, Jean-Jacques Fournié and Francois Romagné.

Yesterday’s blog post on “Why Target the Innate Immune System? An interview with Eric Vivier” sets the scene for today’s post.

Innate Pharma, as the name suggests, has pioneered targeting the innate immune system. The company has leveraged the research undertaken at CIML by Professor Vivier and others in the field of innate immunity.

Innate is leading the way in immuno-oncology by targeting checkpoint receptors on natural killer (NK) cells. In 2011 Innate signed a licensing deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb for the development and potential commercialization of lirilumab.

In a recent financial report (link to Sept 8 press release) the company announced that several clinical trials would read-out in the forthcoming months.

Without disclosing any material non-public information, Dr Brailly kindly spoke with BSB and talked about his vision for Innate, what data readouts we are expecting, and the inflexion point the company is now at.

This post was updated on Feb 6, 2017 with the announcement that the EFFIKIR AML trial failed to meet it’s primary endpoint.

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After looking at one important poster yesterday on multiple myeloma, it’s time to explore other equally interesting targets in other tumour types.

Some years reflect the inertia that hit oncology R&D with a lot of old data rehashed or they can be flooded with many me-too compounds.  Not this year, there’s a lot to talk about and review… so much so that we may well have enough for three rounds of Gems from the Poster Halls, time permitting as ASCO is fast approaching!

Without much further ado, for round 1 we have explored eight posters spanning four companies with a variety of different targets including chemotherapy, targeted therapies and immunotherapies.  I will say though, that the lines are being blurred as all of these modalities can impact the immune system, sometimes in unexpected ways.

What’s in store for today?  A focus on biotech companies doing intriguing cancer research.

Companies mentioned: Infinity, Innate, Incyte, Agenus

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