Bristol-Myers Squibb's closely watched checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab managed to wow analysts this morning with impressive survival results in a Phase II study of patients with advanced squamous cell non-small cell lung cancer. Of all the patients in the drug arm, 41% were alive at the one-year mark, while investigators tracked an overall response rate of 15%.
Among the scrum of drugmakers racing forward with a new class of cancer treatments, Bristol-Myers Squibb was the first to win a global regulatory nod and is now first in line for approval in lung cancer, a particularly lucrative indication for the group of promising oncology drugs.
Roche's Ventana Medical Systems and MedImmune said they will jointly develop an assay to help test a MedImmune immunotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer.
Another newly discovered biomarker is now under consideration as a tool to help evaluate and treat disease. When the body expresses it, it appears to be tied to better survival chances in both non-small cell lung cancer and head and neck cancer.
After nearly 25 years at biotech GTx, CEO Mitchell Steiner has stepped down from the top spot, leaving behind a drug developer working to salvage its pipeline after a devastating late-stage setback.
Less than two weeks ago, after its cancer vaccine flopped in a Phase III lung cancer trial, GlaxoSmithKline said it would continue looking for improvements among patients with a certain genetic makeup. But no longer: The British drugmaker has put the kibosh on the trial, establishing that it won't be possible to ID a subpopulation that will benefit.
Just days after announcing that investigators had red-flagged a high-profile Phase III study of the cancer vaccine MAGE-A3 after failing to hit two primary endpoints for non-small cell lung cancer, GlaxoSmithKline has decided to bring a last-stab effort to find a subpopulation of patients who could benefit from the therapy to a halt. GSK says it was not possible to find a genetically defined group of patients who responded.
Biodesix scored itself a CE mark that will help expand access to its personalized lung cancer treatment test, a big milestone in the Colorado outfit's push to bring the product into more widespread use.
More than two years ago Roche CEO Severin Schwan picked the cancer drug MetMAb out of the pipeline as one of the company's top blockbuster prospects. But on Monday its oncology R&D arm at Genentech was forced to halt a Phase III combo study matching MetMAb with Tarceva in a failed effort to block metastasis in non-small cell lung cancer after an independent monitoring group flagged the attempt for futility.
GlaxoSmithKline's MAGE-A3 cancer vaccine was viewed as a long shot by some analysts even before it missed its first co-primary endpoint last year. Yet while analysts lowered expectations in the wake of the weak data in melanoma patients, GSK is continuing to promote its prospects.