Resilience in purpose and openess in strategic direction are key dual features in the DNA of strong biotechs which succeed in the long run and live to survive the roller coaster ride that is oncology R&D.
Setbacks are to be expected, but what matters more is not that they happen, but the mettle and toughness to deal with them over time.
There is no doubt Clovis Oncology encountered a major setback with the abandonment of rociletinib in lung cancer, while the rise of PARP inhibitors meant they were well placed with the rucaparib development.
Beyond these events, what next?
It’s time to take a bigger picture look at what’s happening with the pipeline and where they might be heading since there could be some surprises in store…
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Boston: The 2019 AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics is underway (#Targets19). It’s long been one of our favorite meetings, particularly when held in Boston, and this year there’s a raft of early ideas on offer as to where the targeted therapy field may be going.
Alison Schram, MD. Credit: MSKCC
The success of Ignyta’s entrectinib (acquired by Roche) and Loxo Oncology’s larotrectinib (acquired by Lilly) in targeting NTRK gene fusions has raised interest in targeting other gene fusions, even if they are rare. A new target in a similar vein that has attracted interest recently are fusions involving the neuregulin 1 gene (NRG1).
At this year’s Molecular Targets meeting, Dr Alison Schram, a medical oncologist in the Early Drug Development Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) presented clinical proof of concept data for MCLA-128 (Merus), a bispecific HER2/3 antibody therapy in NRG1 fusion positive cancers.
What did we learn about MCLA-128 and NRG1 at Targets19?
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