New York Area Companies Head to ASCO With High Hopes For Future Cancer Blockbusters

6/1/11Follow @arleneweintraub

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abiraterone acetate (Zytiga), which the FDA approved April 28 to treat some men with metastatic prostate cancer. The New Brunswick, NJ-based company will discuss data on how the drug affects pain control, as well as a handful of studies on the cost of treating prostate cancer in this country.

Merck (NYSE: MRK)
More than a dozen ASCO presentations will feature compounds from Whitehouse Station, NJ-based Merck. Some to watch include a first-in-human trial of a poly(ADP)-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, MK-4827, and a late-stage study of dalotuzumab, an anti-IGF-1R antibody for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE)
The New York drug giant plans to present research from 30 compounds at ASCO, including “multiple new approaches” to targeting cancer, it promises in a release previewing its data. Investors will likely be watching for Phase 3 results on axitinib, an oral and selective inhibitor of certain vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, which the company is testing against Bayer HealthCare’s sorafenib (Nexavar) in advanced renal cell carcinoma. Pfizer will also present for the first time early overall survival data on crizotinib, a first-in-class compound that inhibits the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) in patients with advanced ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer. [Paragraph revised to clarify details of the data being presented.]

Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN)
Tarrytown, NY-based Regeneron will present Phase 1 data on REGN910, a fully human and selective angiopoietin-2 monoclonal antibody that has has reduced the number and function of tumor-associated blood vessels in some preclinical studies.

Progenics Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: PGNX)
This company, also based in Tarrytown, is in the early stages of testing PSMA ADC, a human monoclonal antibody-drug conjugate to treat prostate cancer. Progenics plans to present data from a Phase 1 study of the drug, which was tested in 21 patients who failed to respond to a standard treatment regimen.

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