Pharma Strategy Blog

Commentary on Pharma & Biotech Oncology / Hematology New Product Development

Posts tagged ‘mTOR’

Next I’ll be off to the European Cancer Congress (ECC) in Amsterdam. This meeting alternates each year between ECCO and ESMO hosting the event at a different European city.

The last couple of years have seen some nice data that missed the ASCO deadline, other years can bring an update of the already familiar ASCO data. I suspect that this year will be one of those events, with updated PD-1 and PD-L1 data.

If you missed my colleague Pieter Droppert’s ECCO highlights yesterday, you can catch them here, including details of the iPad app and abstracts.

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!


One of the great things about following the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) on Twitter, is that they regularly share technical open access articles from their journals for scientists to read.  Of course, many will have access through their institution subscription, but there are also probably quite a few interested community oncologists and scientists like me that don’t. The idea of sharing some of their really important scientific research with the broader public is a great one – a little bit of goodwill goes a long way and furthers their cause too.

That was the quaint phrase used by one of the presenters at the recent AACR-EORTC-NCI Molecular Targets meeting in San Francisco.

Apparently, some drug or two was considered, too toxic (fair enough) or lacking in efficacy, hence the requisite binning of a multi-million dollar program to the scrapheap.

Yesterday’s post, however, reminded me that maybe sometimes, it’s not that the efficacy was lacking but the clinical trial design or tumor type or even line of therapy was the best one.  Let’s consider a couple of recent ideas here:


Earlier this year, I announced that there were two people I was hoping to interview next as part of the ongoing Making a Difference series, where thought leaders share their ideas and vision on emerging and important topics in cancer research. Previous discussants have included the following:


It’s that time of year in the dog days of summer when many people in the industry are either incredibly busy, heads down, rolling out new things for the third quarter or else it’s a pleasant lull between the strategic and tactical phases and a good time to catch your breath.  Here in the Icarus office, we’re busy creating and writing a new series of syndicated reports in a variety of different tumour types and pathways.  I have hundreds of snippets and notes saved electronically from various cancer meetings this year, making it a great opportunity to collate and process them into broader insights. If you have any particular needs in this area, now is a good time to let us know, so do email me and your wishes may get added to the list.

One of the challenges of triple negative breast cancer is that it is defined by what it is not (ie ER/PR-, HER2-), rather than what it is.  This broad subgroup of breast cancer is therefore more heterogeneous in nature than many people actually realise.  It also means that unless we uncover the various driving mutations underlying it, we are sadly doomed to the world of repeatedly poor response rates.  We can do better than this.

The other day I saw a new paper in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (open access) that caught my eye:


This weekend I’m heading off to Chicago for the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).  I’ll be writing some in depth pieces and daily highlights from the conference, but in the meantime, many of you will be wondering what might be interesting amongst the 5,000 or so abstracts.

Here’s a quick snapshot of some data I’m looking forward to catching up on – there’s no clapperboard or guy with a teleprompter behind the camera, just a few ideas and some things to watch out for:


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“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games.  26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls

Source: wikipedia

Continuing the sporting metaphors this week, I was catching up on blog reading last night and noticed that Jim Lefevere put up a nice post on Digital Strategist about how:

Domain Expertise + Work Ethic + Time = Success

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One of the hallmarks of cancer is that even within different tumour types, there is an enormous degree of heterogeneity. Ultimately, in simple terms this means that individual patients will respond to different therapies depending upon their underlying biology.   The challenge, therefore, is defining and categorising the subtypes and working out which are the passenger and driver oncogenes, since the latter will cause aberrant tumour growth and survival, while the former may result as a consequence of changing pathway activity.

This morning I was researching gliomas and came across this old paper (March 2006) that looks at molecular subtypes of gliomas i.e. glioblastomas and astrocytomas.  The article concluded:

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