It looks like we have a heightened trend going in the immuno-oncology area where several companies are striking deals to combineeach other's products in various cancer trials. Deals recently announced include Celldex-BMS, AstraZeneca-Incyte, and Merck with several partners u=including Pfizer, Amgen and Incyte.
The deals involve combining a anti-cancer mAb with an immunomodulator molecule of PD-1 or PD-L1 class -- molecules that have been shown to increase the immune response specifically towards cancer cells. Merck's leads with its MK-3475 (PD-1). Incyte has INCB24360 (PD-L1). BMS has nivolumab (PD-1). The combination trials among the various companies are being geared toward various cancers: lung, ovarian, colorectal, head and neck, and melanoma. These type of trials show great promise to accelerate progress towards meeting unmet needs of patients with a wide variety of cancers. See Fierce Biotech and Xconomy.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 14th 2014.