After a challenging period, bispecific antibodies (bsAbs) are making a comeback in hematology as they become a prominent drug class and a major threat to CARs. Continue reading
Crucial ADC readouts at WCLC 2019
The coming months will be very important for the ADC industry which has been struggling to bring forward effective treatments, especially for solid tumors. While there have been some positive news (mostly utilizing Seattle Genetics’ technology like the recent update on GSK’s BCMA program in multiple myeloma), existing platforms are still limited by side effects. In order to address this need, the industry has to find new technologies that would minimize off -target toxicities.
To me, the most intriguing ADC platform today is that of Daiichi Sankyo, which has been quietly developing its next generation ADC platform at a time when most of its peers de-prioritized their ADC programs. Continue reading
Gene therapy – M&A picking up, imminent crucial update from Biomarin
In Q1, the gene therapy space saw one big acquisition (Roche/ Spark (ONCE)) and several smaller deals including Biogen/Nightstar (NITE), Pfizer/Vivet and J&J/MeiraGTx (MGTX). These deals demonstrate the industry’s appetite for gene therapies with an emphasis on liver and ophthalmology as validated domains. CNS (primarily AAV9) and muscle (primarily AAVrh74) are the two other popular domains
What I find interesting in these deals is the fact they weren’t done from a position of strength (as opposed to the Novartis/Avexis deal, for example). Spark was struggling with its HemA program and did not have near term catalysts with other programs. Nightstar was trading around its IPO price with initial XLRP data that were hard to interpret at higher doses. MeiraGTx’s stock also hasn’t performed well and the company was facing an imminent fundraising. Continue reading
After being the industry’s graveyard for over 20 years, there is finally room for optimism in CNS (central nervous system) disorders. The void created in the field is now being filled by small companies which are using novel therapeutic (gene therapy, antisense, antibodies) and development (genetic validation in humans, biomarkers for patient selection) approaches. While clinical results are early and sparse they may represent the beginning of a new innovation cycle in CNS. Continue reading