Revisiting Cell Screening To Find New Cancer Drug Combos
Evidence is slowly building of the potential of high-throughput screening of individual patient tumors to test their sensitivity and response to hundreds of combinations of cancer drugs, first in leukemia and hopefully for treating other cancers.
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Combination therapies are the cornerstone of oncology, but the development model has been slow to shift to early testing of combinations of investigational drugs. The CoNNCT initiative aims to accelerate clinical testing of novel-novel combinations, and in doing so provide benefits for biopharma, clinicians and the cancer patients they serve.
Higher success rates in rare cancers, where biomarkers can better direct therapy, characterize the oncology treatment landscape. Deal-making is favoring alliances over acquisitions as drugmakers focus on establishing the clinical benefit of new targets, particularly for rare indications.
The 2021 collaboration between Abbvie and Regenxbio to develop an anti-VEGF gene therapy for chronic retinal diseases is a noteworthy deal in the gene therapy space. But for both clinical and commercial reasons, it is a one-off opportunity and not an indicator of the overall potential of gene therapies to address eye diseases. Interest in optogenetics, however, which is the introduction of light-sensing genes into cells in the eye to restore vison, may be on the rise.