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Posts tagged ‘drug development strategy’

AACR 2012 meeting: a window into potential new cancer drugs

April 21st, 2012


AACR 2012 Bill Sellers Novartis Plenary 300x168 AACR 2012 meeting: a window into potential new cancer drugs

The annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), held in Chicago earlier this month, is one of the most important meetings of the year for cancer scientists, pharma/biotech drug development and new products professionals.

Bill Sellers, in the AACR plenary session, described how Novartis are using the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) in conjunction with the Broad Institute to identify promising new compounds.

As Sally Church, PhD noted on Pharma Strategy Blog in her post on the highlights of AACR 2012:

“What made the meeting exciting for me was the sheer number of new compounds emerging from late preclinical to early phase 1.”

Two of the many promising new drugs in early stages of development were highlighted on Biotech Strategy Blog:

AZD3514 (AstraZeneca), a selective androgen receptor down regulator (SARD) in phase 1 clinical trials for castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

ABT-199 (Abbott), a new Bcl-2 inhibitor (that improves on navitoclax), in phase 1 drug development for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

AACR 2012 CML Posters David Woessner 300x225 AACR 2012 meeting: a window into potential new cancer drugs

There were many noteworthy posters presented at AACR particularly from young researchers

e.g. “Overcoming resistance to EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy in non-small cell lung cancer” was a  poster that suggested the prospect of future drug development targets.

Laura Strong Quintessence Biosciences 300x225 AACR 2012 meeting: a window into potential new cancer drugs

During the high quality poster and oral sessions, we met numerous people including CEOs of baby biotechs, young researchers and clinicians with an interest in translational research, including Laura Strong, Ph.D President & COO of Quintessence Biosciences (@scientre), David Woessner who was presenting his PhD research (@pinfoto) and Philippe Aftimos, MD from Belgium (@aftimosp), all of whom were actively sharing their observations during numerous sessions via Twitter during the conference.

The annual meeting is not just about basic science though, but also drug development strategy and emerging research trends, such as the automation of preclinical drug discovery, as well as the collaboration between academia and Pharma/Biotech in combination clinical trials using two novel compounds from different companies.  This last trend, I am pleased to say, has already begun and will hopefully continue apace in the future.

If you were not able to attend AACR, then Sally Church aggregated all the #AACR tweets from the meeting on Pharma Strategy Blog.  AACR also have webcasts of some of the sessions available, including some with free access.

We’re already looking forward to AACR 2013 in Washington, DC and the timing of the meeting means it should take place when the renowned Cherry Blossom are in full bloom. Hopefully, this will provide a great opportunity for another Pharma Strategy Blog video!

Understanding the biology of colorectal cancer will lead to more rational drug development

January 31st, 2012


Cancer drug development is becoming more targeted and focused as a result of scientific advances.  The understanding of ALK gene rearrangements in lung cancer led to the development of crizotinib (Xalkori) for the subset of patients who are ALK-positive.

Sally Church, Ph.D on Pharma Strategy Blog has reviewed some of the recent advances in our understanding of colororectal cancer (CRC).

Resistance to chemotherapy in colon cancer

The transcription factor AP-2 epsilon (TFAP2E-DKK4) appears to be responsible for some of the resistance to chemotherapy that occurs during colon cancer.

As Sally noted, “the presence of the TFAP2E-DKK4 mutation may explain why some patients with colorectal cancer do better with chemotherapy than others.

Inflammation linked to the early development of colon cancer

Researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center have identified the role of inflammation and silencing of tumor suppressor genes in early colorectal cancer.

Understanding the biology of the disease could lead to the ability to identify those at high risk of developing colon cancer. Chemopreventative drugs could then be given to this subset of high risk patients to delay the onset of cancer.  An exciting prospect!

Understanding the role of CIMP in early colorectal cancer

CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) can occur in 30% of colorectal cancer patients and has been shown to be an independent predictor of survival with 5FU in early or adjuvant CRC.   CIMP may play an important role in tumor development. Expect to hear more on the link between inflammation, DNA methylation and early development of CRC.

Identifying subsets of patients will support rational drug development

Researchers have now shown that BRAF(V600E) mutations occur in 8-10% of colon cancers. The ability to identify this subset of patients could allow therapeutic options to be specifically targeted at them, in the same way that ALK+ lung cancer patients now receive crizotinib.  Previously though, we didn’t know why vemurafenib was showing lack of efficacy in this group. New research has now given us some pointers.

As Sally noted on Pharma Strategy Blog, “a combination of vemurafenib and and an EGFR inhibitor such as as erlotinib, cetuximab or gefitinib, might be a useful clinical approach to try therapeutically in patients with colon cancer harboring the BRAFV600E mutation.”

As we learn more about the biology and early development of colorectal cancer, the ability to undertake rational drug development will increase.  This is good news both for patients and for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies who want to successfully bring new products to market.

Insights from AACR Molecular Targets Meeting

November 22nd, 2011


San Francisco Transamerica Pyramid © Pieter Droppert 225x300 Insights from AACR Molecular Targets MeetingThere was a lot of interesting science at the recent AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics international conference in San Francisco.

In particular, the poster sessions offered the opportunity to discuss pre-clinical and early drug development work, and share insights into pathways and mechanisms of action. If you are in new product development, it’s a key meeting to attend.

What was the news at AACR molecular targets?

Sally Church on Pharma Strategy Blog aggregated the live tweets from the joint AACR-NCI-EORTC meeting, although the absence of wifi in the plenary sessions meant that there were fewer tweets than might have been expected.

Sally has written about some of the data presented on breast cancer at the meeting. In her insightful post she reviews the Syndax data for entinostat in second-line ER/PR+ breast cancer, and also asks whether ALK is a new target in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)?

From what was heard at the meeting, there will be a lot of new breast cancer data at the forthcoming San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) that Sally will also be attending.

More insights from AACR molecular targets will be available on Pharma Strategy Blog in the next few days.

Meanwhile on Biotech Strategy Blog, Pieter Droppert has written about some of the sessions he attended in San Francisco on:

Next year’s 2012 molecular targets meeting will be in Dublin, good news for all those who like Guinness!

AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets Meeting San Francisco

October 14th, 2011


The favorite scientific meeting of Sally Church, PhD is the American Association for Cancer Research AACR-NCI-EORTC Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics international conference that alternates each year between Europe and the United States.

AACR Molecular Targets Cancer Therapeutics Meeting Banner AACR NCI EORTC Molecular Targets Meeting San FranciscoThis year it is being held in San Francisco from November 12-16, 2011, and already AACR has announced that a lot of new data will be presented on early stage new products in development.

On Pharma Strategy Blog, Sally notes the “luminaries” in personalized medicine that she is looking forward to hearing from in San Francisco.

You can read more about the fall cancer conferences that Sally will be attending on Pharma Strategy Blog.

Pieter Droppert on Biotech Strategy Blog also mentions the Molecular Targets conference and his interest in the plenary session chaired by Frank McCormick on “rational cancer drug development for targeted drugs.”

The potential for academia to facilitate combination trials with drugs from different companies was highlighted in Sally Church’s recent video interview with Gordon B Mills, MD PhD from UT MD Anderson Cancer Center.

If you have plans to be in San Francisco for the Molecular Targets conference do let us know. In addition to hearing about great science – networking and meeting people is one of the big reasons to attend.

Personalized Medicine and Cancer Drug Development Strategy

October 5th, 2011


Making a Difference to the Lives of Cancer Patients

Sally Church has written over 900 blog posts on Pharma Strategy Blog about oncology and hematology new product development.

One series of posts stands out, and that is the “Making a Difference” interviews with thought leaders and business visionaries who are making a difference to the lives of cancer patients.

The latest in the series has just been published – a video interview with Dr Gordon B. Mills MD, PhD of MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Sally interviewed Dr Mills in Stockholm at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress where he gave a keynote presentation on personalized medicine in the presidential, plenary session of the meeting.

Anyone interested in cancer drug development strategy, personalized medicine and how industry and academia can collaborate together in drug development should watch this video.

The other interviews Sally has undertaken in the “Making a Difference” series are with Alain Moussy, Ross Camidge, Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Charles Sawyers.

We look forward to many more in the future.


New drugs will change the Prostate Cancer market

April 8th, 2011


As marketing strategy consultants, it’s fascinating to watch the dynamics of a pharmaceutical market in rapid evolution.

With three new therapies for prostate cancer approved last year (cabazitaxel, denosumab, sipuleucel-T) and the approval of abiraterone acetate expected this month, the prostate cancer market is a fast changing one.

This is really good news for patients, and for a disease that effects 1 in 6 men in the United States, and is the most common non-skin cancer.

AACR 2011 Annual Meeting Banner 150x150 New drugs will change the Prostate Cancer marketPieter Droppert on Biotech Strategy Blog has some commentary from the recent annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) on additional new products in development that may change the landscape of this disease further.

You can read more about this on Biotech Strategy Blog.

What do cricket and cancer research have in common?

March 9th, 2011


Cricket picture 300x135 What do cricket and cancer research have in common?

Source Prescott Pym via Flickr

To answer that fascinating question you will have to read Sally Church’s post on Pharma Strategy Blog.

Sally, a former junior England and Kent County ladies cricketer knows her sport. Since coming to America she has embraced NFL football, and is an avid fantasy player.

Sally discusses the current cricket world cup, and whether playing cricket can be used as a metaphor for cancer drug development, notwithstanding the current England failure of losing to Ireland!

What does the future hold for oncology drug development? Sally makes five predictions that can be read here.