Every once in a while a completely new modality comes along, which turns things on their head and changes how we think about cancer drug development.
The first chemotherapy, the first TKI, the first monoclonal antibody or bispecific antibody… the list goes on.
Each one creates a new race and bunch of companies and molecules quickly follow the trendsetter.
How about the first protein degrader to show initial evidence of clinical activity in men with a particular type of cancer?
This is exactly what Arvinas have done with their novel PROTAC molecule, ARV–110, in men with advanced metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer who have received prior hormonal therapy.
What can we learn from the data due to be presented at ASCO and from what lens of the kaleidoscope should we be really be looking at? To find out more, I spoke to an expert in this niche, the scientist who developed the technology, Dr Craig Crews.
What he had to say and how he got there is well worth listening to. I doubt doubt he quietened a few sceptical researchers along the way who likely thought it wasn’t possible to do in patients having heard a few of them in Q&A sessions at various conferences over the last five years. One of them (who will remain nameless) when asked what he thought of the idea actually scoffed at me in a coffee break, “It’s a preposterous idea – it’s fine in mice I suppose, but it’ll never be done in patients, mark my words!”
During my convivial chat with Dr Crews, I was remembering the moment from the past and wondering what he might be thinking now… to the brave and creative scientists go the spoils of victory.