VANCOUVER, BC, Jan. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- USA News Group - Nearly 10%
of the estimated ~1.9 million new cancer cases in the
USA will be diagnosed as leukemia,
lymphoma and myeloma. According to analysts at Markets and Markets,
the leukemia therapeutics market is projected to reach US$17.1 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of
6.8%. Along the way, there have been several positive developments
in the fight against blood cancers including more recent updates
from Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ:ONCY) (TSX:ONC),
AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS),
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), and
NeoGeonomics, Inc. (NASDAQ:NEO).
Through treatment with its flagship immunotherapeutic agent
pelareorep, Oncolytics Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ:ONCY) (TSX:ONC)
recently announced preclinical data demonstrating the drug's
synergistic anti-leukemic effects when combined with the
chemotherapeutic agent azacytidine.
"These compelling preclinical findings, together with previously
reported data demonstrating clinical proof-of-concept in multiple
myeloma, indicate that pelareorep's immunotherapeutic effects
extend across multiple hematological malignancies,"
said Thomas Heineman, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Clinical
Development and Operations at Oncolytics. "They also further
highlight pelareorep's potential to enhance the efficacy of a wide
range of cancer therapeutics and have stimulated interest in
investigator-sponsored clinical studies of pelareorep in
Pelareorep has demonstrated synergies with immune checkpoint
inhibitors and may also be synergistic with other approved oncology
treatments, as indicated with these latest preclinical results.
Compared to either treatment alone, treatment with pelareorep
plus azacitidine led to a statistically significant reduction
(p<0.01) in tumor burden in a leukemia xenograft mouse
Compared to either treatment alone, treatment with pelareorep
plus azacitidine led to a statistically significant (p<0.001)
synergistic enhancement of anti-leukemic activity against AML cell
lines, a benefit that was confirmed in AML patient
samples in vitro.
The combination of pelareorep and azacitidine dramatically
upregulated multiple genes known to drive anti-cancer immune
responses such as IFNβ1, BATF2, IL-12β, CCL2,
TLR3, and PD-L1.
The intravenously delivered pelareorep induces anti-cancer
immune responses and promotes an inflamed tumor phenotype—turning
"cold" tumors "hot"—through innate and adaptive immune responses to
treat a variety of cancers.
Oncolytics is currently conducting and planning clinical
trials evaluating pelareorep in combination with checkpoint
inhibitors and targeted therapies in solid and hematological
malignancies as it advances towards a registration study in
metastatic breast cancer.
For certain leukemia patients, new research is confirming
long remissions after treatment with the drug ibrutinib from
AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) along with chemotherapy.
The study involved 85 patients (all 65 or younger)
with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), with 46 patients
exhibiting more aggressive, unmutated IGHV subtype of the
"Patients with lower-risk CLL, which is marked by mutated IGHV
genes, can gain long remissions from a six-month regimen known as
FCR – for the chemotherapy drugs fludarabine and cyclophosphamide
and the antibody therapy rituximab," said Dr. Matthew Davids, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
in Boston. "Our study examined
whether a time-limited course of ibrutinib given in combination
with FCR can provide lasting remissions for patients with CLL
regardless of whether they have the IGHV-mutated or -unmutated
The study's participants received ibrutinib for seven days,
followed by a combination of ibrutinib and FCR for up to six
months. They continued to receive ibrutinib alone for two more
years, and stopped taking the drug when they had no detectable
leukemia cells in their bone marrow after the two
Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) is moving forward with its cancer
development efforts, having recently shared positive
results from two ongoing trials for lymphoma and leukemia.
During the company's Phase III ASCEMBL study of Scemblix
(asciminib) on patients diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic
myeloid leukemia in the chronic phase, the drug showed that it was
able to hold out longer before a follow up is needed compared to
In comparison, Scemblix delivered a major molecular response
(MMR) rate of 29.3% at 48 weeks versus 13% for those who received
The findings at week 48 were consistent with a doubling of the
drug's efficacy at week 4, where it logged a 25% MMR against
Bosulif's 13%. In addition, patients experienced fewer adverse
reactions in the Scemblix group at 7.1% versus 25%.
Novartis also announced that its candidate drug for
relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL), Kymriah
(tisagenlecleucel), showed strong efficacy during the follow-up
around 17 months from the Phase II ELARA trial.
Researchers found that Kymriah delivered high rates of durable
responses in the majority of high-risk disease subgroups who,
otherwise, would have a poor diagnosis. Novartis already
submitted applications for approval with EU and U.S. regulators in
October. Once approved, the company will elevate its research to
the real-world setting.
A leading provider of cancer-focused genetic testing services
and global oncology contract research services providers
NeoGeonomics, Inc. (NASDAQ:NEO) recently announced they
will use the Ion Torrent Genexus System, from Thermo Fisher
Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO).
The Ion Torrent Genexus System is the first turnkey
next-generation sequencing (NGS) solution that automates the
specimen-to-report workflow to deliver results in as little as a
"We have worked with Thermo Fisher Scientific in multiple
genomic initiatives and are excited to leverage their Genexus
System to deliver comprehensive genomic data with unprecedented
speed," said Mark Mallon, CEO of
NeoGenomics. "By compressing turnaround time for results
from weeks to days we can ensure researchers have the data they
need to accelerate progress as they look to develop critically
needed myeloid cancer treatments in the future."
As part of the preclinical research investigation,
NeoGenomics will receive early access to Thermo Fisher's new Oncomine Myeloid
Assay GX v2 to validate the assay on the Genexus System. The
assay is designed to optimize variant detection, covering key genes
and fusions across the myeloid cancer spectrum.
"Myeloid cancers such as acute myeloid leukemia present unique
challenges due to their heterogeneity and sample complexity," said
Garret Hampton, president of
clinical sequencing and oncology, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
"NGS allows researchers to profile all key mutations
simultaneously, saving time compared to sequential single-gene
testing. By combining the speed of the Genexus System with
NeoGenomics' expertise and data services, we hope to advance
discoveries that will inform future therapeutic development for
patients who desperately need new treatment options."
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