This week in drug discovery (16-21 April)

News round-up for 16-21 April by DDW Digital Content Editor Diana Spencer.

The news stories dominating the headlines this week have been the breaking developments in cancer drug discovery announced at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, which was held in Florida, US from 14-19 April.

The event showcased the very latest innovations in cancer therapies, from personalised mRNA vaccines to bispecific antibodies.

The top stories:

Personalised mRNA cancer vaccine prolongs survival in melanoma

Personalised mRNA-based cancer vaccine mRNA-4157/V940, in combination with the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) improved recurrence-free survival (RFS) compared with pembrolizumab alone in patients with high-risk melanoma.

Therapy represents ‘new treatment paradigm’ for lung cancer

Patients with treatment-naïve resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who received neoadjuvant durvalumab (Imfinzi) plus chemotherapy and adjuvant durvalumab monotherapy had improved event-free survival (EFS) and pathological complete response (pCR) compared with those who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy alone.

Bispecific antibody has 90% response rate in multiple myeloma

Patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma who were treated with the two highest doses of REGN5459, a bispecific antibody targeting BCMA and CD3, experienced a 90.5% overall response rate. This is according to results of a Phase I/II clinical trial presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2023 in Florida.

Trial results suggest new approaches to treat rare cancers

The AACR Annual Meeting’s second clinical trials plenary session, ‘Hope for Rare Cancers: Novel Targeted and Immunotherapy Agents’, highlighted promising studies that suggest new treatment approaches for rare cancers.

New drug could help overcome tumour resistance to treatment

New study results have demonstrated the potential of a new drug to reprogramme the immune profile in the tumour microenvironment (TME) and convert resistant tumours to responders to Immune Checkpoint Blockage (ICB) therapies.

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