MedImmune's Restructured Oncology Unit Displays Its Fruits At AACR
MedImmune's R&D reorganization into therapeutic business units takes the start-to-finish, integrated approach that has become trendy with big pharmas trying to capture the innovative spirit of small biotech – and the oncology pipeline will be a key test of how that restructuring delivers.
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MedImmune, the biologics arm of performance-challenged AstraZeneca, is poised to lead the parent company into more prosperous times, with positive signals coming from Phase II trials in oncology and asthma and a stake in cancer immunotherapies.
MIDI-573, which blocks insulin-like growth factor I and II while sparing receptors for normal glucose processing, heads into multiple Phase II studies this year accompanied by an assay to prospectively identify patient populations for further study, MedImmune head of oncology McMahon said in an April 4 interview at AACR.
2010 was a year of transition, filled with the exploration of new industry models. Health care reform hinted at short-term pain and long-term gain while investment, R&D and commercial challenges combined with a heightened sense of industry desperation to bring out biopharma's creative side. But as with any experiment, there is ample risk of failure.