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Gastric Cancer: Update Bulletin #1 [September 2018]

Product Code:
Publication Date:
September 2018

This edition presents key opinion leader (KOL) views on recent developments in the treatment of gastric cancer. Topics covered include; Aslan Pharmaceuticals’ announcing that recruitment of 52 patients to the global Phase II/III trial evaluating the pan-HER inhibitor varlitinib, as a first-line therapy in HER1/HER2 co-expressing advanced or metastatic gastric cancer, has been completed; BeiGene announcing that the poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor pamiparib has been administered to the first patient in a global Phase III clinical trial; and Mesoblast announcing that it has entered into a partnership with Cartherics to develop allogeneic ‘off-the-shelf’ CAR-T cells armed with multiple targeting receptors for use in a variety of cancers, including gastric cancer.

Business Questions:

• How do KOLs view the potential of Aslan Pharmaceuticals’ pan-HER inhibitor varlitinib (a tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting the family of epidermal growth factor receptors), which is currently undergoing Phase II/III evaluation as a first-line treatment in advanced or metastatic gastric cancer patients?
• HER-targeting therapies have shown significant antitumour activity in other solid cancers, such as breast cancer, but how significant is this pathway in gastric cancer?
• How confident are opinion leaders that varlitinib will prove at least as effective as Herceptin (trastuzumab; Roche), the first approved HER-targeting therapy for gastric cancer?
• What percentage of gastric cancer patients will be appropriate candidates for treatment with varlitinib? Do KOLs have any safety concerns regarding this therapy?
• In July 2018, BeiGene announced the initiation of a Phase III trial investigating the PARP inhibitor pamiparib, but how confident are opinion leaders regarding this mechanism of action in the treatment of gastric cancer, particularly given the failure of several earlier PARP therapies in this indication?
• Pamiparib is being investigated in the first-line maintenance setting, but do opinion leaders consider this to be a viable approach for this therapy?
• How well designed is BeiGene’s Phase III pamiparib study, and what outcomes are KOLs expecting from the trial?
• In May 2018, Mesoblast (a global leader in allogeneic cellular medicines) and Cartherics (a cross-sectoral research organisation) announced the establishment of a partnership to develop an ‘off-the-shelf’ CAR-T therapy for various cancer types; how confident are KOLs regarding the effectiveness of CAR-T therapy in gastric cancer?
• What advantages will an off-the-shelf CAR-T therapy offer over a conventional CAR-T therapy? Could such an approach really deliver in terms of wider patient accessibility to this highly specialised treatment?


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