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Drug Combinations and New Approvals Delivering Optimistic Results in Oncology Stocks

FN Media Group Presents USA News Group News Commentary


Vancouver, BC –December 8, 2021 – USA News Group  –  Growing at a healthy CAGR of 14.1%, the Cancer Immunotherapy Market is being projected to hit nearly $310 billion by 2030, according to Allied Analytics. Over the past decade, cancer drug revenues increased 70%, according to a retrospective analysis. Last December, biotechs working on breast cancer treatments saw their shares soar. This year has continued that momentum, with multiple biotech companies driving progress in the fight against cancer, including from Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ:ONCY) (TSX:ONC), Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY), BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ:BCTX), Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY).


Coming up between December 11-14, 2021, Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ:ONCY) (TSX:ONC) will give an update at the upcoming 63rd American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition (ASH 2021) on its Phase II Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Trial—known as the IRENE study, which is evaluating the company’s flagship product pelareorep, an immunotherapeutic agent that turns “cold” tumors “hot”, in combination with the anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, retifanlimab, from Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY).


Accompanying the IRENE study, Oncolytics Biotech’s pelareorep is being evaluated for multiple cancer types, of which the company recently updated the market on, including its AWARE-1 breast cancer study, BRACELET-1 breast cancer trial, a phase 1/2 GOBLET trial for treating gastrointenstinal cancer,


“Over the past few months, we achieved key milestones that have advanced pelareorep’s development programs and further highlighted the advantages of its broadly applicable mechanism of action,” said Dr. Matt Coffey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oncolytics Biotech. “These milestones include the reporting of new clinical biomarker data from our AWARE-1 breast cancer study, which we are pleased to be announcing today. These data further demonstrate pelareorep’s immunotherapeutic effects and its ability to synergize with checkpoint inhibition. It also indicates that changes in peripheral blood T cell populations may be predictive of patient response. This exciting finding could improve our chances of success in subsequent studies by allowing for early identification of patients most likely to benefit from pelareorep therapy. We are evaluating this hypothesis as part of our BRACELET-1 breast cancer trial, which is assessing the safety, efficacy, and pharmacodynamic effects of pelareorep with and without checkpoint inhibition to support the advancement of our lead program to a registrational study.”


So far there have been several potential suitors for pelareorep, including from Roche, Merck, Merck KGaA, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Pfizer Inc., all of which make oncology drugs that are being evaluated in combination with pelareorep.


Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ:INCY) will also be presenting at the ASH 2021 Meeting and Exposition, with numerous oral presentations highlighting data for tafasitamab, parsaclisib, ruxolitinib, pemigatinib, itacitinib and ponatinib to be highlighted during the Congress.


“We are excited for the opportunity to present, along with our partners, more than 35 abstracts and share progress from Incyte’s oncology portfolio at this year’s ASH meeting,” said Peter Langmuir, M.D., Group Vice President, Oncology Targeted Therapeutics, Incyte. “The oral presentations, including new data from the CITADEL program evaluating parsaclisib in three types of lymphoma as well as results from the RE-MIND2 study of tafasitamab plus lenalidomide in patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, highlight the strength of our robust oncology portfolio and underscore our commitment to addressing urgent medical needs for people with cancer.”


BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ:BCTX) recently announced that the Mary Crowley Cancer Research center in Dallas, TX is now actively screening and enrolling advanced breast cancer patients in the Phase I/IIa combination study of the biotech developer’s lead candidate, Bria-IMTTM, also with Incyte’s checkpoint inhibitors, retifanlimab and epacadostat.


Leading the study as the clinical site’s Principal Investigator is Dr. Minal Barve, the Executive Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer for Mary Crowley Cancer Research center and Board-Certified in medical oncology and internal medicine.


“We are delighted to add Mary Crowley Cancer Research center with Dr. Barve as Principal Investigators to our team,” stated Dr. Williams, BriaCell’s President and CEO. “Dr. Barve’s leading knowledge and experience in biological therapies and immunotherapies for cancer will be highly valuable to us. We look forward to working with her team in our advanced breast cancer clinical trial to accelerate patient recruitment.”


BriaCell had previously reported 12 months average overall survival in advanced breast cancer patients in its Phase I/IIa combination study, which also included 13.4 months in patients with 2+ HLA matches and 12.5 months in patients with Grade I/II tumors, compared with 7.2-9.8 months survival in historical comparison treatment studies. Among those, the top responder patient showed 21.4 months survival plus 100% resolution of ‘eye-bulging’ orbital tumor.


Trodelvy from Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) recently became one of the newest antibody-drug conjugates approved to treat metastatic triple-negative breast cancer in Europe. Marketed as a first-in-class antibody and topoisomerase inhibitor conjugate, Trodelvy is directed to the Trop-2 receptor, a protein that is overexpressed in several tumours including metastatic TNBC and is associated with poor survival and relapse.


Trodelvy is already approved in multiple countries worldwide in second-line metastatic TNBC, including Australia, Canada, Great Britain and Switzerland as well as the USA where it’s also approved for metastatic urothelial cancer.


“At Gilead, we push boundaries to deliver transformative science and novel treatment options that address urgent medical needs,” said Merdad Parsey (MD, PhD), Chief Medical Officer of Gilead. “We understand how difficult metastatic TNBC is to treat and we’re proud that Trodelvy can now offer a second-line treatment option with the potential to bring longer life to people living with this aggressive disease.”


Following a decision by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), adults with advanced RET fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) will now have access to Retsevmo (selpercatinib) from Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY), via the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) in England.


Under the trade name Retsevmo, the targeted treatment option is recommended for use within the Cancer Drugs Fund as an option for treating RET fusion-positive advanced non-small-cell lunch cancer (NSCLC) in adults who need systemic therapy after immunotherapy, platinum-based chemotherapy for both.


“The development of this targeted oral therapy is thanks to advances in our scientific understanding of the role of RET alterations,” said Dr Jeff Yang, senior medical director, Northern Europe, Eli Lilly and Company. “I’m delighted by the news that NICE have chosen to recommend selpercatinib as the first targeted therapy for RET fusion-positive non-small cell lung cancer, offering new hope to people with this rare type of lung cancer.”


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USA News Group


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