Pharma Strategy Blog

Commentary on Pharma & Biotech Oncology / Hematology New Product Development

Posts from the ‘Conferences’ category

It’s that time of the year – the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago begins in earnest with Friday being the main travel day for many people before they hit the ground running for the poster sessions this afternoon.

This year, in addition to insights and analysis here on PSB, I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be writing some posts for the Chemical and Engineering News (C&EN) blog, The Haystack after the meeting (links to follow).

This month has brought a flurry of regulatory activity in the prostate cancer landscape with several companies seeing noticeable action in the new product development area:


While thoughts have already turned to the forthcoming ASCO 2012 meeting and today I am off to AUA 2012 in Atlanta, the annual meeting of the American Association Association for Cancer Research (AACR) last month continues to generate insights.

At AACR I was delighted to meet up with Philippe Aftimos, MD, a Clinical Research Fellow at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels, Belgium.   Philippe is medical coordinator of the Clinical Research Unit and someone who I met through social media (@aftimosp), so it was a pleasure to meet in person.

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It’s that time of the year again where we cogitate and contemplate on what might be hot at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) before the abstracts are available (they’re released online tomorrow at 6pm ET).

This year, while interesting early data from up and coming small biotechs is likely to be eagerly presented in poster sessions, the focus is more likely going to be on big Pharma with various phase III and also late phase II trials that are due to report data.  Unfortunately, not all of these will produce overwhelmingly positive results though!


Many of you will remember PSB reader Dr Al Lalani of Regeneron’s guest blog post around this time last year with a quick summary of the key clinical trials at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting based on the study acronyms, which turned out to be highly popular.

Fortunately, Al has kindly sent in a review of this year’s trials in a very creative fashion, as you can see below (PSB: Thanks, Al!).

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At the recent American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting, I had the pleasure of meeting several interesting young scientists and physicians either in the poster halls or in various scientific sessions.  It seemed a great idea to encourage some of them to contribute some guess blog posts here on PSB.

Laura Strong, Quintessence Biosciences

Dr Laura Strong, Photo courtesy of Pieter Droppert, Biotech Strategy Blog

Amongst the people I met was Dr Laura Strong, President and COO of Quintessence Biosciences.

Aside from the already published Part 1 and Part 2 blog posts about AACR here on PSB, you can also find some more coverage, including summaries of other topics, on the companion Biotech Strategy Blog, such as the following:

The 2012 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting in Chicago was interesting for several reasons.  While there were no truly ground breaking data such as in previous years as with, for example:

  • vemurafenib in BRAFV600E melanoma
  • vismodegib in basal cell carcinoma (BCC)
  • crizotinib in ALK+ lung cancer

there were a lot of encouraging signs for the future.

What made the meeting exciting for me was the sheer number of new compounds emerging from late preclinical to early phase I – clearly companies are looking to restock their pipelines with the threat of major patent cliffs imminent.  Not everyone is chasing new compounds to license in!  The sheer breadth and depth of the pathways targeted by the new compounds took me a little by surprise.


Today marks the kick off for one of my favourite conferences on the oncology-hematology calendar, with the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) being held in Chicago.  It’s all about the science and basic research here, although there are clinical sessions, usually on strategy and early emerging phase I/II data.

Wifi is usually pretty good at the AACR annual meeting, although it can be more variable at the smaller meetings.  Like many attendees, wifi permitting, I’ll be tweeting from the conference and blogging some of the interesting highlights over the next few days.

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Amazingly, it’s been a year since I started doing conference highlight videos, with the first one rolling out at EAU meeting in Vienna last March. They’ve proven to be much more popular than expected! The good news is that the video recording, production and presentation skills have improved along the way.

Unlike last year, the 2012 EAU Congress wasn’t lit up with excitement about new data (abiraterone and MDV3100 dominated last year).  Instead, there were more reflective discussions about how to consider sequencing and combinations in a more crowded castrate resistant prostate cancer market going forward as well as some mention of new up and coming targets outside the androgen receptor (AR) such as ERG and Src.

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