Immunotherapies dominate the agenda at ASCO

At this week's American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago, cancer immunotherapies are all the rage. Using the body's immune system to battle cancer is significantly extending survival times for a variety of cancers and has created the next frontier for blockbusters. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Merck (MRK), Roche (RHHBY) and AstraZeneca (AZN) are all racing to bring their offerings to market.

Some caution is warranted, however. The drugs work for only a minority of patients and they frequently have significant side effects, especially when a combination of therapies is used. For example, in a trial of BMY's Yervoy for advanced lung cancer, half of the 46 patients in the trial suffered serious side effects and three died from the drugs themselves.

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Comments (5)
  • hessmessinc
    , contributor
    Comments (36) | Send Message
    It should be noted that ONCS has an immunotherapy that works for a significant amount of patients and has ZERO, that's right, ZERO severe adverse events (SAEs).
    2 Jun 2014, 08:18 AM Reply Like
  • oscarfdz
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    Mk3475 has been working great for melanoma phase 4 patients with little side effects , hurra for merck
    2 Jun 2014, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • StevenLissner
    , contributor
    Comments (320) | Send Message
    Inovio Pharma!
    3 Jun 2014, 08:04 AM Reply Like
  • Johnnykabuki
    , contributor
    Comments (19) | Send Message
    You'll want to check out Inovio (partnering with Roche). This is the technology of the future. Inovio's approach is that they do not engineer T-cells and put them back into the body. Through the introduction of specifically targeted full length synthetic DNA construct delivered via electroporation into the cell, the encoded synthetic DNA instruct the body itself to engineer the T-cells that have reactivity against the HPV oncoprotiens (namely E6 & E7). That is the beauty of Inovio's approach. Which not only is theoretically cost effective but also personlized in a real and true sense.
    4 Jun 2014, 05:37 AM Reply Like
  • ellaruth
    , contributor
    Comments (1090) | Send Message


    Thanks for the lucidly crisp description of Inovio's encoded DNA construct that instructs the body itself to engineer oncolytic T-cells. Philosophically if beauty is that which is pleasant to apprehend, then beautiful indeed is Inovio's DNA construct.


    I will be watching future developments to ascertain if the encoded DNA construct will equal or supersede Kevetrin's ( 8th Cohort FDA 1) broad application to perhaps 50% or more of cancers. Whatever, between these two, I believe that we have found the functional cure for the majority of cancer's. Therefore the majority of the 35 billion dollar oncolytic immune system cancer drug market. At this time neither Cellceutix' nor Inovio's share prices indicate the above reality.


    Unfortunately for the readers of this article, all of the compounds mentioned have had significant SAE's. Johnny, if your right about Inovio, then it would have been better if you had written this article. What investors need are facts that rationally distinguish pharmaceutical compounds, such as your comment that Inovio's FDA clinical track record of not having any SAE's. This is the opposite of what the unknown author quotes about the big pharma immune system cancer drugs . I know Kevetrin has not had any SAE's, so we probably have two leading immune system activating anti-cancer drugs sporting a record of 0 SAE's and the author of this unknown Seeking Alpha article leaves the impression that the leading compounds for anti-cancer immune system activation all have significant SAE's.


    Please note how Ben Hirschler, forgot to mention Inovio and Cellceutix in his prelude article to the June 2014, ASCO meeting. Is there a drug being developed for convenient amnesia? If so Gina Kolata,(,
    Ben Hirschler, and this Seeking Alpha author might want to OD on it.



    21 Jun 2014, 02:51 PM Reply Like
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