Pharma Strategy Blog

Commentary on Pharma & Biotech Oncology / Hematology New Product Development

Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ category

A couple of recent controversies in the field of angiogenesis have fascinated scientists and clinicians alike, namely:

  • Does VEGF inhibition lead to more aggressive tumours?
  • What drives metastases and invasion?
  • What is the role of tumour hypoxia in this process?

Data was originally presented in glioblastoma by Rubenstein et al., (2000), showing that anti-VEGF antibody treatment prolonged survival, but resulted in increased vascularity caused quite a stir.  Several other groups subsequently demonstrated in preclinical models that VEGF signaling shrinks tumours, but also results in increased invasion and metastases (see Casanovas et al., (2005), Ebos et al., (2009), Paez-Ribes et al., (2009), for examples).


One way to potentially improve long term cancer statistics is earlier detection, and in high risk patients, appropriate initiation of earlier treatment, since it is well known that the survival in stage II or III breast cancer is noticeably better than that for stage IV metastatic disease.

A critical question then, is how do we improve earlier detection?

There are a number of ways to achieve this:

  1. Imaging techniques
  2. Prognostication
  3. Diagnostics
  4. Biomarkers

Palm trees in downtown San Diego

Greetings from the annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting in San Diego!

The palm trees and warm sunshine here were a most pleasant welcome after the bitter chill in Texas.

Having just arrived here from the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, I thought it would be a nice idea to do a quick preview of some of the new and interesting data that I’m interested in at this conference and share some of the hot topics that I’ll will be following over the weekend:

  • Ponatinib in refractory CML
  • In myelofibrosis, rixuluximib and CYT-387

From an oncology perspective, the big drama played out in advanced high risk prostate cancer at this meeting. There were three new approvals in US last year and approval of some of them in Europe is immiment, including sanofi-aventis’s cabazitazel (Jevtana), which was approved by the EMEA at the EAU conference.

2010 and 2011 are therefore promising to be great years for increased patient and physician choice.

We took a quick look at the new data and what new therapies will likely impact the landscape for this disease in the near term, including abiraterone:


Last night at the AACR keynote session at Colorectal cancer: biology to Therapy, I listened to Bert Vogelstein’s talk on the cancer genome as applied to colorectal cancer.   It was a deja vu moment of sorts, as I started my current Moleskine at AACR earlier this year with keynotes from Charles Sawyers and Bert Vogelstein. It therefore seemed most apt to finish the current volume of science notes with another talk from the same person at another AACR meeting.


It’s a while since I’ve written about multiple myeloma, but after this interesting paper popped up in The Lancet Oncology, I couldn’t resist.

Many cancers occur more frequently in the elderly, a testament to the extended lifestyle many of us now enjoy compared to ancient times.  This offers many challenges compared to treating younger fitter people, not least are performance status and managing toxicities.

A standard induction treatment in untreated multiple myeloma is now the combination of bortezomib (Velcade), melphalan and prednisone (VMP), which has been shown to be superior to MP alone.  In elderly people with multiple myeloma, however, the side effects can be difficult to tolerate.

1 Comment

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. . . . While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”


The crazy ones are the ones who make things happen and get things done… in business, in Pharmaland, in clinical research even.

Long live the crazy ones!

(Hat tip: @mona)

Our lives are filled with the shadows of stories unwritten. Our lives are filled with waiting and hoping and putting off and stuffing the cracks with papers from other people’s lives.

If you KNEW without a doubt that your decisions were the measure of who you are – and make no doubt that they are – are you PROUD of your decisions? Are you living the story you want to live?

And what will you do with tomorrow that you haven’t done with today? What lighthouse will you point yourself towards? And what flag will you fly?

"Aprepitant is the first commercially available drug of a new class of neurokinin-1–receptor antagonists for treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The dominant ligand for the neurokinin-1 receptor is substance P. An increase in the number of neurokinin-1 receptors on keratinocytes has been found in patients with chronic pruritus." 

 Source: NEJM

This was an interesting Letter to the Editor in the New England Journal of Medicine that I came across while looking for a different letter on JAK2 mutations and coronary ischaemia.

In an effort to be more visible to the public, the FDA now publishes its own 'transparency blog".  This post deals with their role in regulating orphan drugs in service of the 7000+ rare diseases.

Link here.  


Posted by Bruce Lehr June 22nd 2010.


Saw this on Bruce Lehr's Big Red Biotech blog, which I'm a fan of.

Interesting video on the FDA blog via the link his post too.

1 Comment
error: Content is protected !!