With the continued noise in cancer immunotherapies all too often focused on the now well established checkpoint blockade and CAR-T cell therapies, with bispecifics often seen as the next up and coming area, it is all too easy to forget or perhaps not be aware of plenty of other promising approaches in biotech pipelines.
Who would have guessed a decade ago that any of those three approaches would have ended up as becoming mainstream in the oncology space?
At ASCO in 2010 I distinctly recall writing enthusiastically about early phase 1 data on ipilimumab, plus BMS–936558 (nivolumab), MK–3475 (pembrolizumab), and MPDL3208A (atezolizumab), while many others were more into eulogising vaccines such Dendreon’s sipuleucel-T (Provenge) and Celldex’s CDX–110, and mainstream outlets explored late stage clinical updates on BRAF inhibition (PLX4032, vemurafenib), targeting ALK (crizotinib), or even Sunesis’s voreloxin (remember that?) – fun times! Many people thought it was crazy to get excited about initial phase 1 data on the immunotherapy antibodies back then and few would have imagined them subsequently garnering a billion dollars a month in revenues back then either.
It’s now time for the horses to change as we continue our look at emerging biotechs with quite different scientific approaches to immunotherapy, which we think are well worth looking at. These are young companies going places with early clinical pipelines and a fresh approach to R&D.
After all, the checkpoint inhibitors mentioned earlier started at the beginning too – look how they turned out, not too shabbily either.
In this latest example, we take a look at a promising biotech’s immunotherapy pipeline through the lens of a CSO’s perspective and chat about the basic immunological underpinings that are driving their scientific innovation… it is well thought out, in my view.