The French city of Marseille has staked its claim for a corner of the booming immunotherapy R&D ecosystem. And the plan has some big-name backers, with Sanofi and Innate Pharma both signing up as founders of the MI-mAbs immunotherapy research center in the city.
Checkpoint inhibitors, designed to help the immune system better identify and attack cancer, have become the consensus next big things in oncology. But startup Surface Oncology is looking beyond their transformative promise with eyes on the next generation of immunotherapies, chasing some newly identified targets and raising $35 million to get rolling.
Seattle's Juno Therapeutics managed to top the already superlative expectations for its Wall Street debut, grossing about $264.6 million and pulling off the Nasdaq's biggest 2014 biotech IPO in the waning days of a huge year.
Patrick Soon-Shiong, billionaire physician and biotech entrepreneur, wants in on the hottest field in oncology, forming a joint venture with Sorrento Therapeutics to develop therapies that harness the body's immune system to fight cancer.
Amgen's cancer vaccine candidate may be awaiting FDA and EMA approval as a melanoma monotherapy, but like many of its peers, it's also looking to explore its prospect's potential as part of an immunotherapy duo, and now it's kicked off a trial combining its treatment with Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy that should help it do just that.
In biotech, here are the top 10 news stories of the year so far, based on web traffic.
Adaptimmune's pioneering approach to cancer immunotherapy has charted some impressive results in a small study. And while the biotech is quick to point out that it's early days yet, the data underscore the potential of a therapy that has convinced GlaxoSmithKline to bet up to $350 million on its future.
When John Vansteenkiste of Belgium University Hospitals Leuven reported the full results of GlaxoSmithKline's MAGE-A3 failure at the European Society of Medical Oncology's annual congress last weekend, he wasn't the first to outline a cancer vaccine flop. But he did offer a way out from under the dark cloud hanging over the field, and it's one that some cancer vaccine makers are already embracing.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and Celgene are joining forces on a cancer combination treatment, testing the former's highly anticipated immunotherapy in tandem with an on-the-market chemo drug against a host of tumor targets.
AstraZeneca's internal forecast for a bright future is heavily dependent on a cache of new cancer immunotherapies, and the U.K. drugmaker is planning to test its lead oncology treatment in more and more tumor types with hopes of delivering on a $6.5 billion peak sales estimate.