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With ASCO over for another year we’ve put together an overview of key highlights from this year’s conference. 



  • Five of the late-breaking abstracts (LBAs) at ASCO 2015 showcased further progress of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s and Merck & Co’s programmed death-1 (PD-1) checkpoint inhibitors across different cancer types. Positive data from pivotal melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) studies should support key label expansions for Opdivo (nivolumab), while promising efficacy was demonstrated in hepatocellular cancer (HCC). Positive data for Keytruda (pembrolizumab; Merck & Co) in a niche population of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients, and in squamous cell cancer of the head and neck (SCCHN), were also discussed.


  • Results from the Phase III GADOLIN study showed that the combination of Roche’s glycoengineered anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (MAb) Gazyva (obinutuzumab) and alkylating agent Treanda (bendamustine; Teva) more than doubles progression-free survival (PFS) of Rituxan (rituximab; Roche/Biogen/Chugai/Zenyaku Kogyo)-refractory indolent non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (iNHL) patients compared to Treanda alone. Roche should now comfortably secure label expansions for Gazyva for the treatment of relapsed iNHL. In the future, the company will go further to push Gazyva as a first-line successor to Rituxan as part of its strategy to protect its hematological cancer market share from rituximab biosimilars, but it will also face competition from other promising new drugs in the NHL market.


  • Updated data from the Phase I/II TIGER-X study of Clovis Oncology’s rociletinib show it to be an effective treatment for T790M mutation-positive (T790M+) epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor-resistant advanced or metastatic NSCLC, but possibly not as effective as its potential rival AZD9291 (AstraZeneca). The fact that some patients may require additional pharmacological therapy to manage hyperglycemia also puts rociletinib at a disadvantage to AZD9291. However, the race to market between these drugs is still very much too close to call, with both companies set to file marketing applications imminently.


  • Amgen has revealed more data from the ENDEAVOR study that further demonstrate Kyprolis’s (carfilzomib; Amgen/Ono Pharmaceutical) superiority to Velcade (bortezomib; Takeda/Johnson & Johnson) as a second-line treatment for relapsed multiple myeloma. Datamonitor Healthcare believes the drug could surpass Velcade to become the multiple myeloma market leader if Amgen can also secure a first-line label expansion for Kyprolis. However, the late-stage clinical pipeline in multiple myeloma is highly active, meaning Kyprolis could face intense competition in the future.


ASCO 2015 Conference Review

Our NEW white paper allows you to read through the results and implications of these key abstracts, chosen by our expert analysts, allowing you and your business to evolve with the oncology market.
ASCO 2015

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