Checkpoint Immunotherapy’s Growing Pains Show At ASCO
Data presented at the 2014 ASCO annual meeting support expansion beyond the melanoma launch pad into multiple tumor types. Some of the data, however, let oncologists down and show that much more work is needed to deploy members of the checkpoint family to full effect.
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Bristol’s combo demonstrates similar response rate as PD-1 alone, but with much better survival rates in a small melanoma study presented at ASCO. Due to toxicities, including one death, some say combination would need to shore up survival benefit to become first choice in frontline therapy.
Phase I data for immune checkpoint molecules in melanoma from Bristol, Roche and Merck were a major highlight of the ASCO 2013 annual meeting. Considering potential application in many cancers regardless of genetic mutations, some analysts are predicting billions in future sales.
Part 2: High costs are built into the rare disease business model. Participants at a roundtable discussion led by Scrip at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference talked about how much they are feeling the pressure on pricing.