Analysts, Companies Highlight Key ASCO Research

Pharmaceutical industry analysts and companies have been weighing in on their selections for the most noteworthy research to be presented during the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Amid an avalanche of abstracts, pharmaceutical industry analysts and companies have been weighing in on their selections for the most noteworthy research to be presented during the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting that opens Friday.

The level of interest reflects the impact that ASCO research has not only upon clinical practice but also upon the financial fortunes of the companies developing the drugs.

Kantar Health, an oncology consulting company, has culled nine “top picks” from the more than 4500 abstracts that ASCO posted online this year (

Kantar’s list includes presentations on abiraterone acetate (Zytiga; Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) in castrate-resistant prostate cancer (abstract LBA4518); afatinib (Boehringer Ingelheim) in advanced lung cancer (LBA7500); bevacizumab (Avastin; Genentech) in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (LBA5002) and in colorectal cancer (CRA3503); cabozantinib (Exelixis) in medullary thyroid cancer (5508); dabrafenib (GlaxoSmithKline) in BRAF-mutant melanoma (LBA8500); T-DM1 (Genentech) in HER2-positive breast cancer (LBA1); tivozanib (Aveo/Astellas) in renal cell carcinoma (4501); and trametinib (GlaxoSmithKline) in BRAF-mutant melanoma (LBA8509).

Adam Feuerstein, a biotech analyst for The Street website, also cited nine key areas in his list of cancer research to watch. (

His selections include cabozantinib and tivozanib as well as these abstracts: brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris; Seattle Genetics) in CD30-positive hematologic malignancies (8027, 3069) as well as in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (8070); carfilzomib (Kyprolis; Onyx) in multiple myeloma (8035); ibrutinib (PCI-32765; Pharmacyclics/Johnson & Johnson) in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (6507); ponatinib (Ariad) in chronic myelogenous leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (6503); PX-866 (Oncothyreon) in glioblastoma (2051); selumetinib (Astra Zeneca/Array) in non-small cell lung cancer (7503); and tivantinib (ArQule/Daiichi Sankyo) in hepatocelluar carcinoma (4006).

In addition to stock-watchers, drug development companies are seeking to call attention to the research that they consider most significant from their pipelines. The announcement from major companies include these releases:

  • Bayer HealthCare intends to discuss phase III results concerning regorafenib in gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) and in colorectal cancer, as well as the final overall survival analysis of radium-223 (Alpharadin) data in castration-resistant prostate cancer with bone metastases.
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb will present new data about ipilimumab (Yervoy) in melanoma as well as presentations with its partner Otsuka Pharmaceutical about dasatinib (Sprycel) in Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia and cetuximab (Erbitux) in solid tumors such as colorectal and head and neck cancers.
  • Dendreon plans several presentations of new research into sipuleucel-T (Provenge) in a variety of clinical settings in prostate cancer, including updated analysis of overall survival data from the IMPACT trial.
  • Eisai will have fresh results on eribulin (Halaven) in early-stage breast cancer and decitabine (Dacogen) in acute myeloid leukemia, as well new data on several phase I agents under investigation in various tumor types.
  • Eli Lilly and Company will present updates on ramucirumab, which is in phase III development in colorectal cancer, gastric adenocarcinoma, and hepatocellular cancer, and under phase II study in recurrent epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal carcinoma.
  • Novartis will highlight updated data from the BOLERO-2 trial involving everolimus (Afinitor) in breast cancer and phase III studies into nilotinib (Tasigna) in Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia.
  • Pfizer Oncology plans to release new data about axitinib (Inlyta) and sunitinib malate (Sutent) in renal cell carcinoma; crizotinib (Xalkori) and dacomitinib (PF-00299804) in non-small cell lung cancer; and bosutinib and inotuzumab ozogamicin in hematologic malignancies.
  • Sanofi will present data on aflibercept (Zaltrap) in colorectal cancer and in small cell lung cancer and cabazitaxel (Jevtana) in prostate cancer, along with research into several investigational compounds.

ASCO makes its abstracts available to the oncology community at


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