October 30th, 2013
The 15th World Conference on Lung Cancer is drawing to a close in Sydney, Australia. By all accounts it’s been a successful meeting with several thousand delegates from all over the world.
We were not able to make it to Sydney, so have been following the meeting remotely. For us the Fall conference circuit this year has been ECCO in Amsterdam, AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets in Boston and we’ll next be at annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in New Orleans.
At World Lung, AstraZeneca and Clovis Oncology presented new clinical data for their anti-EGF compounds against the T790M mutation in patients refractory to at least one prior EGFR therapy. This is a hot topic and potential good news for patients given their are no effective therapies on the market that target this mutation.
At the recent ECCO meeting in Amsterdam, AstraZeneca came out of left field to stun the audience with some exciting late-breaking data on AZD9291. By the time we reached Molecular Targets in Boston, they had ramped up the phase 1 trial from 1 site in Manchester to 28 around the world!
In Sydney, Malcolm Ranson from the Christie Hospital provided an update today on progress with AZD9291, while Jean-Charles Soria (Gustave Roussy) presented the Clovis CO-1686 data on Monday, including early results from the new formulation.
You can read more on Biotech Strategy Blog about what is one of the most promising drugs in the AstraZeneca pipeline.
October 15th, 2013
The annual Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics meeting returns to Boston later this week and from the program and abstracts we’ve reviewed it looks like it will be an exciting meeting that will offer insights into many new cancer drugs in development.
Sally Church, PhD describes it as her favourite cancer meeting of the year. It’s a must attend for anyone in oncology new product development.
Jointly organized by AACR-EORTC-NCI, like the Ryder Cup it alternates between America and Europe. According to an AACR press release:
“The meeting, focusing on cancer drug development, draws nearly 3,000 attendees and gathers academics, scientists, and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry to discuss the effects new discoveries in cancer therapeutics and target selection have in molecular biology.”
You can read more coverage of the meeting on Biotech Strategy Blog.
September 19th, 2013
Sally Church, PhD has published an insightful post on Pharma Strategy Blog that provides an update on KRAS and NRAS mutations in colorectal cancer (CRC).
The blog post discusses in detail a recent paper by Douillard et al, published in the New England of Journal Medicine (NEJM) that shows a clear benefit of adding anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody panitumumab (Vectibix) to standard chemotherapy in patients without RAS mutations.
Dr Douillard concludes that better selection of patients in 1st line treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer based on mutational status will lead to better outcomes. Lung cancer specialists routinely use mutational analysis to make treatment decisions, so this conclusion is perhaps not surprising, and only shows that CRC treatment has lagged behind. It remains a disease where more effective treatment options are needed.
Do read Sally’s Pharma Strategy blog post (open access) if you’d like to learn more about how mutational analysis impacts anti-EGFR therapy in CRC.
September 18th, 2013
Next week sees the start of the 2013 European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam.
ECCO have announced that King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands will attend the opening ceremony, which is impressive.
Now that most of the meeting abstracts are available online we are starting to focus on what data may be hot at the meeting.
On Pharma Strategy Blog Sally Church, PhD has published her ECCO 2013 preview of late-breaking abstracts and those on PI3-kinase.
In addition to updates on PD-1 and PD-L1 data presented at ASCO, those that have attracted her attention include:
- T-DM1 for HER-2+ metastatic breast cancer
- Exploratory biomarker observations from the BOLERO-3 trial
- FLT1 gene variation in NSCLC
- Long-term survival data for ipilimumab in unresectable melanoma.
The PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway is dysregulated in 80% cancers and Sally says it’s one of her favorite pathways. Ph1/2 data will be presented on GDC-0032, a next generation PI3K inhibitor.
Preliminary data showing early promise for GDC-0032 in breast cancer was presented at the 2013 AACR annual meeting.
You can read more about what may be interesting at the 2013 European Cancer Congress on Biotech Strategy Blog. Check it out! If you have plans to be in Amsterdam we hope to see you there.
September 17th, 2013
Today, Biotech Strategy Blog launched a paywall where insights from cancer conferences will be available to subscribers who pay a fee for access. It’s the first in a series of online digital and print products that we will be launching in coming months.
The aim in setting up a paywall is to offer added value to a select group of readers. It’s no longer sustainable to generate quality content for free. Many online media outlets have already come to the same conclusion.
In the next three months, premium content subscribers on Biotech Strategy Blog will gain access to exclusive coverage from the European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam, AACR Molecular Targets Meeting in Boston and ASH annual meeting in New Orleans. We will also be sharing insights from a series of interviews on the FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation.
We hope that the financial support of blog readers will allow coverage of more cancer meetings in 2014. It’s an exciting time to be at the vanguard of online media, and many are watching our new business model with baited breath as to whether they should move in this direction too…we expect they will join us before too long, it’s a matter of economics.
— Don Shimoda (@zDonShimoda) September 17, 2013
July 10th, 2013
It’s the dog days of summer in much of the United States, “stupid hot”, but it’s not too early to be planning ahead for the fall cancer conferences coming up.
If like us, you don’t like staying out by the airport when you attend a conference, it’s often necessary to book your accommodation early.
We will be at three meetings in the busy September – December period after everyone returns from their summer holidays:
2013 European Cancer Congress in Amsterdam (twitter: #ECC2013)
Abstracts for ECCO 2013 will be published online approximately two weeks before the meeting.
Over the last two years in Vienna and Stockholm we have seen companies present noteworthy clinical data that missed the early cut-off for the ASCO annual meeting. It’s truly become a global meeting. If you have plans to be in Amsterdam, we hope to see you there.
Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Boston (twitter #Targets13)
The annual AACR-NCI-EORTC international conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics alternates between the United States and Europe, and this year it’s being held in Boston from October 19-23, 2013.
Boston is rapidly becoming the world’s leading location for early-stage oncology drug development, so we are expecting some outstanding science at this meeting that will have a major impact on cancer drug development.
If anyone doubts the potential of what a poster at this meeting can do, it’s worth remembering that the idea for Abraxane in pancreatic cancer came from a preclinical poster presented at the Molecular Targets meeting in 2009, when it was last in Boston.
Boston is one of our favorite cities and the Hynes Convention Center is a convenient location for what should be one of the best scientific meetings of the year. Here’s a link to the preliminary program.
2013 ASH annual meeting in New Orleans (twitter #ASH13)
The last of this year’s cancer conferences that we will be attending is the American Society of Hematology annual meeting that takes place in New Orleans from December 7-10, 2013.
There was a lot of data at ASCO this year in Chronic Lymphyocytic Leukemia (CLL). If you missed it, the video interview with Dr Susan O’Brien from MD Anderson Cancer Center is well worth watching.
We expect this year’s ASH annual meeting to be one of the best ever in light of the pipeline of new treatments in lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma for which data is expected. Book your hotel rooms early in New Orleans – we already have – the city is small and we expect it will be a sell out meeting hotel-wise!
June 12th, 2013
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.
May 28th, 2013
Sally Church, PhD has just published her annual pre-ASCO video, in which she discusses what’s hot in oncology new products at the 2013 ASCO annual meeting (ASCO 2013) that takes place in Chicago from May 31 to June 4, 2013.
The video is available on Biotech Strategy Blog as premium content for subscribers.
If you have plans to be in Chicago later this week, then Sally highlights many of the noteworthy oral presentations and posters. Topics covered include developments in: PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapy, CLL, Breast, Lung and Pancreatic Cancer.
Some of the new drugs in development mentioned include nivolumab, lambrolizumab, ibrutinib, LDK378 and obinutuzumab, all of which received FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation earlier this year.
May 28th, 2013
The annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (twitter hashtag #ASCO13) is fast approaching. Later this week over 30,000 attendees will head to Chicago to hear the latest data on new cancer drugs and the results of clinical trials.
The expected highlight of the ASCO 2013 meeting will be data on PD-1 and PD-L1 immunotherapies: nivolumab (BMS), MPDL3280A (Roche) and lambrolizumab (Merck).
As Sally Church, PhD notes in her ASCO 2013 PD-1 PD-L1 highlights post on Pharma Strategy Blog when considering these new immunotherapies, important questions need to be answered:
- How much of a prolonged effect with PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapies have over 5 years?
- What will be their effect on subsequent therapies?
- Will they boost or hinder sequencing and in which tumour types?
- Is there a biomarker of response?
- Is a diagnostic necessary?
Sally says “it continues to be an exciting area of oncology” and she’s “really looking to the presentations on PD-1/PD-L1.” We expect this to be the data of the meeting.
Another hot topic with a lot happening at ASCO 2013 is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). Earlier this year the FDA granted it’s new Breakthrough designation to two drugs in development with CLL indications: ibrutinib from Pharmacyclics and obinutuzumab (GA101) from Roche/Genentech.
Other CLL new drugs with data at ASCO 2013 include idelalisib (GS-1101) from Gilead, IPI-145 from Infinity and ABT-199 being developed by Abbvie & Genentech. A cloud hangs over ABT-199 after the death of 2 CLL patients due to tumor lysis syndrome and this is likely to be a topic of discussion at ASCO. You can read more about the companies in the race to market in CLL on Biotech Strategy Blog.
Finally, you can now watch Sally Church’s video preview of what’s hot at ASCO 2013, it’s available for free, but you do have to sign-up on Pharma Strategy Reports to obtain the access link and password. Check it out!
May 21st, 2013
The 2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is fast approaching, and for many in cancer drug development, it is one of the landmarks of the year.
This year, there’s a lot of interesting data on PD-1 and cancer immunotherapy, something we picked up on before the annual meeting last year. Sally Church, PhD is in the process of finalizing her pre-ASCO video and it will be available soon.
For a meeting that is typically orientated around solid tumors, there is a lot of data at the meeting on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).
The CLL landscape is set to change, with new treatment options on the horizon. Ibrutinib received FDA Breakthrough designation earlier this year in three different indications, and we will be writing more about this market in a forthcoming Pharma Strategy Report.
For those clients and potential clients interested in learning more about our capabilities or discussing our services, we will be in Chicago for ASCO – please do contact us if you would like to meet up.