The dog days of summer are usually quiet on the Pharmaland front, although this year has been a bit of an exception, being notable for a batch of deals being completed and announced already.
The cell therapy space is one area that has courted both controversy and new collaborations, for example. Nary a week seems to pass without something appearing in the news! This has proven pretty interesting for a number of subscribers, who write in asking plenty of astute questions.
Today’s questions from BSB readers therefore encompass allogeneic cell therapies and what’s going on in that fast moving dynamic space. Not all of the announcements may be what they seem though, and some are much more riskier than others.
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It’s the end of April and just in time for two important things here on BSB…
A) Season 2 of our Novel Targets podcast has now kicked off!
The first show (sponsored by Genentech) explores the cancer immunity cycle (CIC), how it can help see the bigger picture and how this framework can be used to help figure out what areas are missing when patients don’t respond to immunotherapy.
There are also predictions about what we will see coming up in the next year – will the crystal ball be accurate – or not?
Crank up the Sonos, grab a coffee, pen and paper – you’ll find the latest podcast show here (Link), which is open access for anyone who wants to listen.
B) Reader Q&A Mailbag: we tackle your latest tough questions that are top of mind and offer insights on the hot topics people want to know about.
We have a broad range of topics to cover today including:
- The battle for PD-1 sales
- What are the IO bottlenecks where we can expect to see new research focus
- Sanofi-Medivation bid
- AbbVie snapping up StemcentRx
To learn more, Subscribers can log-in or you can purchase a subscription.
Cherry Blossoms and Iwakuni Bridge
We’re continuing our countdown to the 2016 AACR annual meeting in New Orleans with a look at anti TIM-3 and LAG-3 inhibitory checkpoints and highlighting some of the companies with noteworthy abstracts.
In case you missed it, yesterday AACR announced that Vice President Biden will be delivering remarks on the final day of the meeting, Wednesday, April 20th in the “Highlights 2016: Vision for the Future” Plenary Session. As conference diehards, we will be there in person, but AACR have announced they plan to livestream it to the world. It’s a fitting finale to what is set to be a “must attend” meeting for those with an interest in cancer new product development and in particular, cancer immunotherapy.
What can we learn from AACR abstracts on TIM–3 and LAG–3?
There is some early clinical data that we will be checking out (no pun intended) on TIM-3 and LAG-3.
Subscribers can read Day 2 of our “Road to AACR 2016” coverage by logging in, or you can purchase access.
It’s that time of the month where the BSB readers get their chance to put us on the hot spot!
Here, we take a look at reader questions that have been submitted and argue the toss – is there evidence preclinically or clinically that is useful or instructive?
We can’t promise to answer every question, sometimes there simply isn’t any data to help either way.
This week, the topic is CAR T cell therapies, a subject that seems to be very high on many people’s minds and many of you had similar questions, so here goes…
Subscribers can log in to learn more insights…
The news, reported by Bloomberg, last week that generic companies may be subject to stricter FDA standards in order to show therapeutic equivalence is good news for the biotech industry and consumers.
Generic companies have a pretty easy ride in obtaining product approval, and I’ve long been convinced that the formulation of a brand, and what makes it work can include the so called inactive ingredients and how it is put together. I know of many people who have experienced side effects with generics that they don’t have with the branded product.
For this reason, branded generics from the original manufacturer have the ability to retain some market share in the face of generic competition. Sandoz, the generic arm of Novartis uses this strategy to good effect with many mature products. However, if companies instead want to try and maintain a premium priced brand and not adapt to the entry of generics, then they will find their market share erodes extremely fast. Not only is brand market erosion fast with generic drugs, but with biosimilars too.
As reported by Reuters, sales of generic enoxaparin sodium injection, Momenta’s copy of Sanofi’s anti-thrombotic, low molecular weight, heparin sold as “Lovenox” were $292million in the third quarter of 2010. Sandoz markets enoxaparin on behalf of Momenta. They launched the product on July 23, and achieved $292 million of sales in 69 days. With annual sales forecast to be over $1billion, the biosimilar will be a blockbuster and make a significant dent in the $2.9 billion sales of Lovenox in 2009.
The Boston Business Journal reports that Sandoz/Momenta have captured 60% market share already, which is not good news for Sanofi-Aventis and may explain their desire to make acquisitions such as Genzyme to make up for this loss.
Biosimilars that are fully substitutable for the original product, look likely to erode brands extremely fast. Momenta’s success is good for the biotechnology industry and highlights the future market opportunity from development of biosimilars.