Cancer Rates Surge: Key Biotech Stocks Leading the Charge in Oncology Drug Development

USA News Group News Commentary – According to the American Cancer Society, 2024 will be the first year the USA expects to have more than 2 million new cancer cases. In order to respond to the rising rates of cancer, the National Cancer Institute is making calls for change in how cancer clinical research is performed “Because our patients can’t wait.” According to Spherical Insights, the Global Oncology Drugs Market is projected to grow by 11.5% CAGR through 2033 to US$564.5 billion, highlighting the need for more effective therapies and incentives for those who develop them. The biotech sector is actively addressing this need, with recent notable developments from several companies, including: Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCY) (TSX: ONC), GSK plc (NYSE: GSK), Guardant Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: GH), Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL), and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD).

The article continued: According to the World Health Organization, the global cancer burden is growing amidst a mounting need for services. As well, an alarming trend is emerging, where cancer cases in younger people are rising sharply.

Oncolytics Biotech® Announces Productive FDA Type C Meeting on its Metastatic Breast Cancer Program

Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCY) (TSX: ONC), a leading clinical-stage company specializing in immunotherapy for oncology, today announced that the Company received productive feedback from its Type C meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), supporting the planned potential registration-enabling trial for pelareorep in HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer (mBC). The FDA supports progression-free survival as the primary endpoint of the study, with overall survival as a key secondary endpoint. The Company’s proposed study will enroll patients who have failed hormonal therapy and have received no more than one line of antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapy.

“Aligning with the FDA on key design elements and objectives of our planned registrational trial for pelareorep marks a critical step towards bringing this innovative treatment to patients,” said Thomas Heineman, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer at Oncolytics. “Our de-risked program builds on compelling data and key learnings from two randomized studies, BRACELET-1 and IND-213, which demonstrated clinically meaningful benefit in patients receiving pelareorep and paclitaxel compared to paclitaxel alone. Additionally, translational data from the AWARE-1 study highlights pelareorep’s immune-mediated mechanism of action in breast cancer patients. We are now well-positioned to deliver on our mission of making pelareorep available to breast cancer patients in need of better treatment options.”

Wayne Pisano, Interim CEO and Chair of the Board of Oncolytics, commented, “We are appreciative of the thoughtful dialog with the FDA and are pleased to have reached an important regulatory milestone that provides a clear path forward for pelareorep’s advancement towards registration in HR+/HER2- mBC. Looking ahead, initiating a registration-enabling trial has become a major corporate objective, and in parallel, we remain on track to report survival data from the BRACELET-1 study in HR+/HER2- mBC in the second half of the year. We believe these data will further bolster our compelling data package and underscores the therapeutic potential of pelareorep. We remain committed to improving the standard of care and addressing the high unmet medical needs of these patients.”

CONTINUED… Read this and more news for Oncolytics Biotech at:

In other industry developments and happenings in the market this week include:

GSK plc (NYSE: GSK), a global biopharma company, recently released positive results from an interim analysis of the DREAMM-8 phase III head-to-head trial evaluating belantamab mafodotin, in combination with pomalidomide plus dexamethasone (PomDex), versus a standard of care, bortezomib plus PomDex, as a second line and later treatment for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. As per the release, the drug combination reduced the risk of disease progression or death by nearly 50% versus standard of care.

“With the robust results from the DREAMM-8 phase III head-to-head trial, we now have consistent data from two phase III trials supporting the potential for belantamab mafodotin combinations to redefine the treatment of multiple myeloma at or after first relapse,” said Hesham Abdullah, Senior Vice President, Global Head Oncology, R&D, of GSK. “This is exciting news given the high unmet need for new and efficacious combinations once patients relapse or stop responding to initial treatments. We continue to share data and discuss our path forward with regulators.”

Guardant Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: GH), a leading precision oncology company, recently announced the launch of a new version of its Guardant360 TissueNext test that expanded the number of genes it identifies in a tumor tissue sample to 498. In addition to the panel expansion, Guardant has improved the test’s operational workflow for a faster turnaround time.

“The launch of the new Guardant360 TissueNext test is another step forward in our mission to conquer cancer with data,” said Helmy Eltouky, Chairman and co-CEO of Guardant Health. “In addition to identifying guideline-recommended biomarkers, the upgraded test now provides more comprehensive gene coverage, so oncologists can make better informed decisions about the optimal treatment strategy for their patients with advanced cancer and help improve their outcomes.”

Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL), a globally ambitious oncology company innovating next-generation medicines and regimens at the forefront of cancer care, recently settled two patent litigations with Cipla Ltd. and Cipla USA, Inc. (collectively Cipla) in response to Cipla’s Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) seeking approval to market generic versions of CABOMETYX® (cabozantinib) tablets prior to the expiration of the applicable patents.

Prior to the settlement earlier this year, Exelixis also announced detailed results of its Phase 3 CONTACT-02 pivotal trial evaluating the above-mentioned cabozantinib in combination with atezolizumab in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer at this year’s ASCO GU 2024 event. As per the results, the combination reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 35%.

Given there are limited options after progression on novel hormonal therapy, we recognize the need for a regimen that can delay disease progression, that has an acceptable tolerability profile and that is widely available to patients who may not have the means or desire to travel to specialized centers for other therapies,” said Amy Peterson, M.D., Executive Vice President, Product Development & Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer, Exelixis. “We look forward to discussing these important results with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and to learning more in the next analysis of overall survival, anticipated this year.”

Through its recently-acquired Kite subsidiary, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) recently announced results from three new analyses for Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) in relapsed/refractory (R/R) large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL), including both new clinical research and real-world evidence highlighting manufacturing and product characteristics of Yescarta, and outpatient administration of both Yescarta and Tecartus® (brexucabtagene autoleucel) at the 2024 European Hematology Association (EHA) Annual Congress, June 13-16, Madrid.

“We are committed to improving survival outcomes for people living with difficult-to-treat blood cancers,” said Ibrahim Elhoussieny, Vice President, Medical Affairs, of Kite. “These new data support the potential benefit of utilizing Yescarta in earlier lines of treatment, both in terms of manufacturing success and product characteristics. Additional data support the safety and feasibility of administering CAR T-cell therapy in the outpatient setting. These data contribute to the body of evidence for efficient utilization and delivery of Yescarta and Tecartus and further support our ambition for patients.”




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