Lung Cancer Molecular Targets in a Competitive Landscape

Lung Biology. Image Source: National Cancer Institute

Source: National Cancer Institute

Lung cancer and the molecular targets associated with it have been the theme for posts by Icarus Consultants’ “Dr Sally” on Pharma Strategy Blog this week.

Sally Church has a keen interest in lung cancer and serves on the board of Seattle based non-profit GRACE (Global Resource for Advancing Cancer Education).

Pharma new products professionals have a challenging role as they need to not only understand the science of new pathways and molecular targets, but how to apply this information in a dynamic, competitive landscape.

Bringing new products to market is not easy, and choosing the right molecular target is key to success.  Clinical trials are costly not only for company resources, but use up valuable clinical trial subjects.

If you are not an avid reader of Pharma Strategy Blog, here’s a brief overview of the topics around lung cancer molecular targets that Sally wrote about this week:

Does chemotherapy improve PFS in non-squamous lung cancer?

Sally discusses new phase III data on whether it was safe and effective to continue pemetrexed as maintenance therapy for patients with advanced NSCLC.  Her analysis of the data, is that “it looks to be a safe and viable option, albeit with a small additional increase of 1.3 months in survival.

MET amplification and Resistance to EGFR therapy in lung cancer

Researchers have shown that MET amplification leads to resistance with EGFR inhibitors such as gefitinib (Iressa), raising the possibility that combining a MET inhibitor with erlotinib might be a good combination.

Sally discusses what the future holds for two of the leading compounds in phase II/III ARQ-197 and METMab. If you are interested in the answer to the question “What does the data with MET inhibitors mean?, check out Pharma Strategy Blog.

Update on new targets in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung

Acccording to Sally, “there are no approved targeted therapies specially for squamous cell carcinoma.”  However, there is a potential new molecular target on the horizon: DDR2 (discodin domain receptor 2). “What does this new research on DDR2 tell us?” The answer is in Sally’s insightful post.

Update on EGFR inhibitors, KRAS and T790M mutations in lung cancer

This post has a really useful table of current EGFR inhibitors that are approved and in development. Some of the inhibitors in phase III trials include necitimumab and nimotuzumab. Try saying those words after a couple of beers. According to Sally, many people call them “Nessie” and “Nimo”.  Sally brings to life some of the other new products in development including, PF299804.  She discusses in detail the challenges that have to be overcome in targeting T790M mutations.

Update on emerging therapies in ALK+ lung cancer

Within adenocarcinomas, EFGR isn’t the only potential target mutation. Recent research with crizotinib has highlighted the role ELM4-ALK translocations have to play.  As Sally notes, the development of crizotinib by Pfizer is “an exciting development.” There are, however, other ALK inhibitors in development including IPI-504, LDK378, ASP3026 and AP26113.  “This is a small, but rapidly growing niche.”

FGFR1 mutations in squamous cell lung cancer

Sally discusses recent research using Pfizers pan-FGR inhibitor PD173074.  You can read more about this on Pharma Strategy Blog.

The landscape in lung cancer is rapidly changing as new molecular targets are identified and new-targeted therapies are developed.

If you would like to know more about this market, the molecular targets and where your new product may have the most opportunity, please contact us.

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