Bayer and Onyx appear poised to expand sales of Nexavar (sorafenib). Investigators told the crowd at ASCO Sunday morning that their therapy almost doubled progression-free survival of treatment-resistant thyroid cancer patients, from a median 5.8 months in the control arm to 10.8 months in the treatment group.
Now that we know that a single immunotherapy can slow cancer, it stands to reason that two can do better. And that's what investigators say happened when they combined Sanofi's white blood cell booster GM-CSF with Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy.
As investigators narrow their search for effective remedies for more narrowly defined patient populations, clinical trials in oncology have sometimes begun to look more like the investigative work you find in the rare-disease arena. And nowhere was that more evident than in an ASCO presentation on the efficacy of AstraZeneca's selumetinib for rare cases of advanced melanoma in the eye.
Interim results from Amgen's Phase III trial demonstrated the ability of talimogene laherparepvec, the oncolytic virus known as T-Vec, to shrink tumors while delivering some early signs of improved survival rates for melanoma patients.
Bristol-Myers Squibb arrived at ASCO with one of the most closely watched experimental immunotherapy drugs in the pipeline. And racing against some major league rivals, the biopharma company will leave with its frontrunner reputation for nivolumab intact.
The FDA's oncology chief, Richard Pazdur, used his turn in front of the press mob at ASCO today to make some very public vows about his commitment to the newly launched breakthrough-drug program, that intriguing new classification for certain stellar therapeutic programs that will be extended VIP status at the agency.
The industry is abuzz about the breakthrough potential of new immunotherapies to restore immune attacks on cancers
Even before the ASCO meeting opened today, the industry has been abuzz about the breakthrough potential of new immunotherapies to restore immune attacks on cancers.
Just a year or two ago, analysts and investors were in a frenzy over the frantic race to develop a new set of hepatitis C drugs that promised to change the standard of care. Now, as the leaders in that race approach the first round of likely marketing approvals, a new R&D competition has grabbed analysts' feverish attention as the next big thing in biopharma. And the leading players in this field may once again be betting on a mega-blockbuster payoff.
With the big American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting coming up in two weeks, anticipation about the coming onslaught of data is mounting. Last night, ASCO released some key abstracts for studies to be presented at the meeting, offering an aperitif to oncology-drug followers. Here is a sampling of news, some from our sister publication FierceBiotech.