A saying for the ages from Albert Einstein
Oncology R&D is – perhaps surprisingly – very much like the bicycle analogy Albert Einstein described.
There are many ways we can see this happening at meetings such as AACR and ASCO as companies struggle to finesse the therapeutic window and balance efficacy with toxicity, for example.
Or how about finding creative ways to extend and broaden a particular drug class?
Another approach might be to take an entirely different angle to tackling a tumour type by targeting an antigen few others are pursuing. Just because the herd is going in one direction doesn’t mean you should follow them down the same path as well.
Then there’s switching modalities, orthosteric versus allosteric inhibitors, or how about some med chem magic where researchers seek to enhance the good properties and minimise the weaknesses while still hitting a target selectively?
All of these methods require some kind of balancing act if you want your pipeline to move forward rather remain still or fall over in the doldrums.
Today’s post has all of this and more – there are some novel compounds and targets, emerging biotechs and big pharmas, as well as innovative thinking to make a difference. Several of these agents are first-in-class, which means the rest of us can learn much from the lessons they have shared.
What’s not to like?
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As we continue to follow the emerging KRAS niche longitudinally, we can easily imagine the kind of roller coaster ride that ensues with new product development in oncology R&D.
Early last year we posted an interview with Mirati’s CEO, Dr Chuck Baum, discussing their selective KRASG12C inhibitor. A year on much has happened in the intervening time – additional competitors and potential collaborators have entered the clinic, a few mechanisms of resistance identified, and numerous combination partners have been suggested. The company have also aired their own phase 1 data and new trials are expected to open during 2020.
This time around we talk to both Dr Baum and the company’s CSO, Dr James Christensen, about their experiences in the front line in terms of translating the preclinical data into clinical trials, their thoughts on important scientific data as well as the competition, and what to watch out for going forward.
This field is going to not only go fast judging by the emerging research published to date, but it’s also going to get way more complicated than many observers realise.
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