The post earlier today about Genentech/Roche's continued success with Avastin and Tarceva got me thinking a little more about targeted therapies in general. Why do some succeed where others fail? Why did Tarceva do well, whereas Iressa did not? Why did Avastin prove efficacious while vatalanib and others did not?
If you look at some of the successes – Herceptin, Gleevec, Tarceva and Avastin, for example, several patterns emerge:
1) Make sure you have a target to aim for.
2) Is the target valid and critical?
3) If you don't know what your target is, you won't be able to hit it!
Flickr Photo Courtesy: Matthew McVickar
As often is the case, the simplicity of the message would also apply to life in general and not just to cancer biology and drug development. It's amazing how many people miss the obvious right under their very nose though, but get the target right, the delivery for hitting it right and success will ultimately follow.