Emerging Therapies

With new signaling pathways being explored, established drug classes expanding across the tumor spectrum, and immunotherapies investigated across tumor types, the hematology pipeline is abundant. Here are some of the most promising compounds in development presented at ASH 2014
The cancer drug pipeline continues to boast many new therapies, reinforcing the recent trends of new and improved monoclonal antibodies and other classes of targeted therapies for different types of tumors. At ASCO 2014, researchers presented findings for many of these drugs, with immunotherapies leading the way in current drug development in oncology.
Judging by the high attendance at sessions where data on the anti–programmed death (PD)-1 antibodies were presented, oncologists can hardly wait to have these immunotherapies in the clinic. The key data from ASCO 2014 regarding stage III/IV melanoma are presented here.
Several presentations at ASCO 2014 focused on the use of the anti–programmed death (PD)-1 monoclonal antibodies in non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and in renal-cell carcinoma.
Chicago, IL—A series of 8 phase 3 clinical trials that compared albiglutide, an investigational glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 receptor agonist, with 5 currently used treatment scenarios showed the drug effectively lowered hemoglobin (Hb) A1c, the primary outcome of the studies, in patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. Albiglutide is administered once weekly, via an easy-to-use injection pen.
San Francisco, CA—Medications that act on the glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 pathway may protect patients with type 2 diabetes from developing heart failure, according to a single- center retrospective study.
Chicago, IL—The new drug class of so­dium glucose cotransporter (SGLT)-2 inhibitors was the subject of several poster presentations at the 2013 American Diabetes Association annual meeting. In addition to lowering blood glucose levels in a series of phase 3 clinical trials, these agents show weight-loss benefits as well.

Chicago, IL—Previous trials of maintenance therapy for patients with ovarian cancer have failed to show improved survival. A study presented at ASCO 2013 is the first successful phase 3 trial in this setting, showing that the targeted therapy pazopanib (Votrient) extended progression-free survival (PFS) by a median of 5.6 months in women with ovarian cancer. Women who were enrolled in the trial were free of the disease after the initial treatment with surgery and chemotherapy.

Munich, Germany—A total of 16 novel classes of drugs are under development for the management of lipoprotein metabolism toward the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to John J.P. Kastelein, MD, PhD, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Dr Kastelein reviewed several of these approaches at the 2012 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress.

Boston, MA—No glucose-lowering regimen has been shown to reduce macrovascular complications, such as myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke, but glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 agonism appears to have favorable effects on many surrogate markers for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to presenters at the 2012 Cardiometabolic Health Congress.

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