Vismodegib best abstract at ECCO 2011 Stockholm Cancer Congress

Next week sees the start of the 2011 Stockholm Cancer Congress – a joint multidisciplinary meeting of ECCO, ESMO and ESTRO.

What’s likely to be hot news from Stockholm? On Biotech Strategy Blog, Pieter Droppert has highlighted the phase III data to be presented at ECCO 2011 on Alpharadin (radium-223 chloride) in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC).

The prostate cancer market is set to become interesting from a commercial and marketing strategy perspective, with several new products in late phase development for CRPC including MDV3100, TAK-700, lenalidomide, Alpharadin, custirsen, Prostvac to name but a few.  The Alpharadin data from the ALSYMPCA trial will be presented as a late breaking abstract in the presidential session on Saturday September 24th.  Based on the interim data previously released, positive data is expected.

The best abstract at ECCO 2011, however, is the data on hedgehog pathway (Hh) inhibitor, vismodegib in advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC).  This will also be presented in the presidential session on Saturday 24th.

Sally Church on Pharma Strategy Blog has written extensively about hedgehog inhibitors and earlier this week wrote about the news that Roche had filed for FDA approval of vismodegib. Given the accolade of “best abstract” and the data presented in the plenary session at the AACR annual meeting earlier this year, we can expect good news for patients who at present have no treatment options.

As Sally notes, vismodegib (GDC-0449) if approved by the FDA, “will offer the first proof of concept for the role of Hedgehog and Smoothend Inhibition in the treatment of cancer.”

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