Thursday, November 4, 2010

Biogen Idec walking away from its cancer franchise. What (new drugs) may be lost in shakeup.

Yesterday's big announcement by Biogen Idec to disinvest itself from its cancer franchise (and shut down San Diego site) got me thinking what else was in the pipeline and preclinical programs which may (probably) never see the light of a doctor's office.  Was there an Avastin-like blockbuster sitting on a shelf somewhere?  Hopefully, some of the programs will be licensed off to someone with deep pockets or belief in it.  It can happen here in San Diego and some star molecules may emerge! [...][...]

Company's Pipeline (website till yesterday) 

in Market: RITUXAN (rituximab) for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia 

in Phase 2 
GA101 (anti-CD20 MAB; ocrelizumab) for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 
Anti-IGF-1R for Solid Tumors 
Volociximab (binds and inhibits α5β1 integrin) for Solid Tumors 
Galiximab (targets CD80)  for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 
HSP90 Inhibitor for Solid Tumors  

in Phase 1: Anti-Cripto MAB for Solid Tumors 
in Preclinical: Raf Inhibitor for Solid Tumors  

(Oncology Pipeline - effective today)

But there has to be more going on (this is what I found in my quick search). . . . 
  • Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor agonists.[...]  
  • IGF-1 targeting MABs for combination therapy.[...][...]
  • Cripto and ALK4 blocking MABs.  Cripto, a cell surface protein, is overexpressed in many tumor types; signaling pathways include, MAPK, TGFbeta, Wnt and a possible crosstalk with EGFR signaling.  ALK4 is a ligand binding Cripto.[...][...]
  • CD80 antagonists (small molecule and MABs) for Hodgkin lymphoma.[...]
  • One novel strategy for tumor escape, that appears interesting, is using CD80 antagonist to modulate tumor microenvironment by depletion of CD80+ antigen presenting cells (macrophages, B cells, dendritic cells) or inhibiting Treg or Th2 helper cells that aid in tumor progression.[...]
  • Anti-TWEAK or anti-Fn14 MABs blocking the binding of Tweak to TreakR.  Tweak (TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis) is a TNF superfamily member.  It promotes angiogenesis when over-expressed.[...][...]
  • Small molecule inhibitors of PDK1 (3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1) developed with Sunesis Pharmaceuticals.  PDK-1 is involved in the regulation of several kinases, such as, AKT, S6K and protein kinase C.  Its signaling is often up regulated in many cancers, including those with PTEN mutations.[...]
  • Ret receptor targeting MABs.  Ret is a receptor tyrosine kinase overexpressed in certain neuroendocrine tumors, for example, thyroid and pheochromocytomas.

Targeting tumor microenvironment, Tweak and the likes of Cripto is what makes this a rich untapped mine. 

No comments:

Post a Comment