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9 Notable Biotechs Presenting At This Year's ASH Meeting

Shanthi Rexaline

One of the biggest biotech conferences of the year is around the corner. The 59th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, or ASH, is Dec. 9-12 in Atlanta. It's likely to serve as a make-or-break catalyst for many companies researching blood-related diseases and disorders.

About 3,000 scientific abstracts are accepted from the 5,000 submitted each year to the conference. The top six abstracts are selected for presentation at the Plenary Scientific Session. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, abstracts earmarked for presentations at the ASH were released, creating some ripples in the markets.

A late-breaking abstracts session is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 12, where some key and groundbreaking data that were not available by the general abstract submission deadline are given an opportunity to present.

1. Bluebird To Present On LentiGlobin

Bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ: BLUE) is scheduled to present data on LentiGlobin, its treatment candidate for beta thalassemia, a debilitating blood disorder. Bernstein analyst Vincent Chen highlighted two abstracts bluebird released for LentiGlobin in sickle cell disease, with one abstract, No. 538, showing higher peripheral VCN and HbA for patients treated with the new manufacturing process.

The data is encouraging, Chen said. 

Abstract No. 990 showed promising results from plerixafor mobilization, the analyst said.

2. ZIOPHARM To Make Five Presentations

ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIOP), which develops gene and cell-based immunotherapies for cancer, said five abstracts that underlined data on its adoptive-based therapeutic programs have been accepted for presentation at ASH 2017.

Data from ongoing clinical and pre-clinical studies further validates Ziopharm's Sleeping Beauty platform in chimeric antigen receptor modified T cell therapy, the company said. The results demonstrate the potential for rapid T cell production with point-of-care technology, according to the biopharma company.

3. Bellicum To Make Oral Presentation On Lead Product Candidate

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: BLCM) said it will make an oral presentation on its lead product candidate BPX-501, as well as three poster presentations.

The developer of cellular immunotherapies for cancers and orphaned inherited blood disorders said the oral presentation will review data from the ongoing European Union BP-004 study. The data showed rapid immune recovery in pediatric patients receiving treatment with BPX-501 following an alpha/beta-depleted haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

4. Spark To Present On Hemophilia A Treatment

Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ONCE) is set to present an update on its SPK-8011, used to treat hemophilia A. The relevant abstract, No. 604, did not have any incremental data, since an update was recently presented on Spark's second-quarter earnings call Aug. 2, according to Bernstein. 

Spark said it will focus on the full data presentation at the ASH to see whether the patients continue to progress.

5. Rival BioMarin To Present Data on Its Version Of Hemophilia A Drug

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN) is scheduled to update on BMN270, its treatment candidate for hemophilia A. Bernstein said data on the 4e 13vg/kg cohort in the abstract pertained to July 28, 2017, while investors have updated data from the company's Sept. 18 R&D day.

6. Juno's Multiple Abstract Presentations

Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: JUNO), which specializes in cellular immunotherapies to treat cancer, said 15 abstract presentations containing updated clinical and pre-clinical results from it and its collaborators will be presented at the ASH.

The presentations will detail promising data from Juno's pipeline of CD19- and BMCA-directed CAR T cell product candidates, the company said.

7. Novartis' Full Hematology Prowess On Display

Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE: NVS) will present data from across its hematology portfolio at the ASH, with plans to present more than 75 abstracts, the company said in a statement. 

Novartis launched Kymriah, the first CAR-T therapy to be approved by the FDA. The company said it would present additional data on this new approach to cancer treatment, as well as new analysis of crizanlizumab, an investigational therapy for SCD.

8. Geron to Present Data on its Bone Marrow Disorder Therapy

Geron Corporation (NASDAQ: GERN) is due to present four abstracts related to the telomerase inhibitor imetelstat, meant to treat myelofibrosis. Myelofibrosis is a bone marrow disorder affecting the production of blood cells, causing anemia, fatigue and spleen enlargement. 

Geron plans to make a poster presentation on data from the first 32 patients enrolled in part one of IMerge, an ongoing Phase 2/3 clinical trial with patients who have lower risk myelodysplastic syndrome.

Additionally, three abstracts by academic collaborators that add weight to the previous studies investigating imetelstat's effects and mode of action in pre-clinical models of hematologic myeloid malignancies are also set to be presented. 

9. Immunogen Plans Presentation of Data on Novel Antibody Drug

ImmunoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMGN), which specializes in antibody-drug conjugates, or ADCs for treating cancer, will present abstracts on two of its experimental ADC therapies, namely IMGN632 and IMGN779.

The former, which targets CD33, has entered Phase 1 testing for treating acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, while the latter targeting CD123 is being tested pre-clinically for hematological malignancies, including AML and blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm.

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