Coming wave of new Cancer drugs
The hottest area in cancer drugs is going mainstream this year.
If 2014 proved that the most promising new group of oncology drugs in generations could work, 2015 brings a crowded field that sees winners and losers in a market eventually worth $30 billion a year or more in the next decade.
The treatments, known broadly as immunotherapies or immune-oncology, fall into two major categories -- drugs that help take the brakes off the immune response, going after solid tumors like melanoma and lung cancer, and customized treatments that modify immune cells to combat blood malignancies.
“I think 2015 is the end of the beginning in the story of immunotherapy,” said Michael Giordano, head of development of oncology and immunology at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. “2015 will be a pivot point where I-O will be mainstreamed beyond melanoma and we’ll start seeing it approved and used in large tumors.”
There are 374 experimental cancer drugs in mid-stage trials, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics’ global outlook report published last year. That’s more than twice as many drugs as for nervous system disorders, for example. Of the experimental cancer drugs, about 25 percent to 30 percent are immunotherapies, according to IMS.
In trials, Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers’ drugs showed long-lasting effects in some patients that oncologists have called dramatic.
There a huge unmet medical need from patients, for whom many new treatments extend lives by years, rather than months. And the financial reward for drugmakers is huge. The drugs have annual costs of $150,000, and a slate of personalized treatments are expected to carry even higher price tags.
Kite Pharma Inc., Juno Therapeutics Inc. and Bluebird Bio Inc. have gathered interest from investors for their therapies to modify the immune system cells and retrain them to attack blood cancers, a technique known as CAR. Kite and Bluebird rose more than fourfold in the last year, while Juno’s shares have more than doubled since their initial public offering last month. All three companies are scheduled to present at the JPMorgan Health Care Conference in San Francisco next week.
Kite plans to file for regulatory approval for its treatment by end of 2016, according to spokesman Justin Jackson. Juno plans to file an application by late 2016 or early 2017, according to company filings.
Bristol-Myers and Merck, meanwhile, are racing to expand their drugs beyond melanoma. They expect approvals in lung cancer this year, and are testing on a wide range of solid tumors.
They’re also pushing related immune-oncology drugs through their pipelines that will used in combination with one another. While their drugs have only shrunk tumors in about 30 percent of the population, combinations may help broaden their use.
They’ll have competition. In 2015, AstraZeneca Plc, Roche AG and Merck may all release data on new immune system mechanisms, according to Seamus Fernandez, an analyst with Leerink Partners. In combination treatments, AstraZeneca “has now advanced from ‘dark horse’ to ‘major contender,’’ Fernandez said. ‘‘Real leadership remains wide open.’’
Roche has more than 20 molecules in its immunotherapy pipeline, and looks to leverage the broad portfolio to craft combination therapies, Daniel O’Day, chief operating officer of the drugmaker’s pharmaceuticals division, said in an October conference call.
Large drugmakers are also joining forces with biotechnology companies for their boutique blood cancer treatments. While questions linger about the cost and scalability of the CAR therapies, bigger biotechs and pharma companies are jumping into the fray nonetheless.
There have already been four licensing deals adding up to more than $1 billion, including an agreement between Amgen Inc. and Kite valued at as much $525 per therapy, plus royalties.
Celgene Corp. has a pact for as much as $225 million per product with Bluebird Bio, and Pfizer Inc. has promised Paris-based Cellectis $80 million upfront and milestone payments of as much as $185 million to share in their CAR program. Novartis AG is also working on the therapy.
‘‘A new pillar of cancer care is now firmly established,” Fernandez wrote in a Dec. 29 note to clients. As treatments begin to hit the market and new drug combinations and cancer types are explored, “things are just getting interesting,” he said. Less
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hdwrsft • 2 minutes 58 seconds ago
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......lets pass 'em all!!!!!!!!! Lol!
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chinaman.nyc2003 • Jan 3, 2015 6:35 AM Flag
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chinaman-you have told me before I have good insight and knowledge. Here is my insight and knowledge: you are both a pumper and a shorter depending on the day and company. This can be seen by your incessant pumping here, followed by your negative comments after taking your profits as well as your negative comments at NWBO. Yes, the other company you are currently investing in, ADXS, has a lot of potential. But that means nothing to CTIX. So please take your useless, incendiary, and stupid comments and leave. 1) There is no reason whatsoever to believe there is a trial delay. 2) I don't care if there is one. All that the management has done here is manage to make an investment on our behalf (B) that once the trial is complete will be shown to worth many billions as per the recent Merck merger. If he wanted to delay 6 months, my 30,000 shares would vote yes because I want it done right and frankly all of his decisions have benefited my long term interests thus far.
Please take your bipolar stupidity and leave. Less
Run along now chinaman, go back to pumping the living #$%$ out of ADXS on the ADXS board....lol...we dont mind negative posts here as long as they have substance...
forarmy -- ur an idiot and will be crushed by being short this name. I know ur not smart but if you u were u would cover now before your losses become catastrophic
In for 4000 shares now or about 50% of what I planned to invest. Will buy 4K more next over the next 2-3 weeks. I like our chances. BTW very long BLUE since $35--check my posts.
again! Celgene is smart and they partnered with a leader.
I would submit that once he became privy to the results in December, it would have been illegal to sell. Besides he wanted to surprise the Mrs. with a new Lexus, lol. This lawsuit wont go anywhere and he left a ton of money on the table. Good grief, the ambulance chasers must have had a tough year.
I don't think they would sell this for under $200 a share....possibly $250
QIDP and Cubist buyout were game changers Recommend not listening to the fudsters...looking forward to $5's and 6's soon..much to like with this little bio
R U kidding me? I'm up several hundred thousand dollars in BLUE. Gapped from 49 to $83 in one day. No intention of selling and yep 2.65 million shares @$85 bucks after hours....now they can rewrite biotech history
Next week FDA gives the green light to run P3 and within 2-3 weeks they announce a very favorable partnership with a BP company, we uplist to Nasdaq in Q1-2015, and trade at $8-9 short term...double digits 2nd half of 2015. This opinion doesn't account for upside surprises in K or Prurisol which may in fact prove my forecasts to be on the low side. All IMO of course, but I intend to hold for at least another year and watch the story develop...and am not discounting one bit an outright purchase of CTIX for $15-20 per share.
Sentiment: Strong Buy
I still watch SGEN and should the sentiment change will return. Wish good things for the company and shareholders
Ps; BLUE will rewrite medical history though imo. Has the potential to go to $1,000