Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Roche, BMS And Merck Showing Good PD-1 Immuno Data -- In Bladder Cancer Too

Again out of Madrid -- and the big cancer confab -- the Anti-PD-1 immuno-oncology candidates look promising.

Separately, BMS is in a tight race on lung cancer (graphic at right, from ASCO back in June) with AZ's combo candidates (and AZ's candidate looks a little better on the side effect profile there). We will watch that one closely. Merck is running third there, at the moment -- and that is a massive burden cancer. Here's the bladder studies update bit:

. . . .Merck & Co's Keytruda and Roche's experimental antibody MPDL3280A have both achieved durable responses in patients with advanced bladder cancer, raising hopes of the first new therapy for the aggressive disease in more than 30 years. . . .

Data from early stage trials reported at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) conference in Madrid this week reveal that Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and MPDL3280A - both of which act on the programmed death-1 (PD1/PDL1) pathway - have encouraging activity in advanced urothelial cancer.

A phase Ib trial of Keytruda revealed that as a monotherapy the drug achieved a 24% overall response rate in patients with PDL1-positive tumours, with three of the 29 patients in the small study achieved a complete response. At the time of analysis, patients had shown responses of between 16 and 40-plus weeks. . . .

Very encouraging! And the big picture here is that we are taking major strides -- against largely intractable cancers. Heady stuff, indeed.

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