ASCO 2013 What’s hot in CLL?

At ASCO 2013, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), was probably one of the hottest topics at the conference after the anti PD-1/PD-L1 monoclonal antibodies.

CLL is a disease of the elderly, with an average age in the late 60’s to early 70’s range.  For years, the mainstay of treatment has been chemo-immunotherapy with or without rituximab.  People living with this indolent disease are prone to infections due to the immunosuppression that occurs over time. Fatigue and bulky adenopathy are also common as the disease progresses.

Over the last year or two, we’ve begun to see some exciting new possibilities emerge, with a number of new agents being evaluated in early phase clinical trials that target CD20, as well as the BTK and BCL2 pathways.

With several interesting new agents coming through the pipeline, Sally Church, PhD discussed the latest developments in CLL with Dr Susan O’Brien from MD Anderson. Recorded at ASCO 2013, the video interview is available as premium content on Biotech Strategy Blog,

In her video interview, Dr O’Brien discusses several new agents – the first two already have Breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA:

  • Obinutuzumab (GA101) – Roche/Genentech
  • Ibrutinib – Pharmacyclics/J&J
  • Idelalisib (CAL-101) – Gilead
  • IPI-145 (INK128) – Infinity
  • ABT-199 – AbbVie/Roche

You can read more about CLL on Pharma Strategy Blog, and in addition on Biotech Strategy Blog there is a pre-ASCO piece on the “CLL Runners and Riders in Race to Market.” For those interested in learning more about the CLL market, a report will be available over the summer.

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