Multiple Myeloma: KOL Insight [2017]

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Publication Date:
July 2017
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Will novel therapies transform the treatment of Multiple Myeloma?

In recent years, there has been significant progress in the prognosis for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) patients. While the current range of treatment options – such as Celgene’s Revlimid and Takeda’s Velcade, and combination regimens of various therapies – are well established, unmet needs persist in the market for safe and effective drugs that can deliver durable treatment responses. Sanofi’s isatuximab, AbbVie/Roche’s venetoclax and Karyopharm Therapeutics’ selinexor form part of a rich late-stage pipeline, but which candidates stand out to key opinion leaders (KOLs)? Which products and combinations are likely to succeed? Learn how KOLs see the MM market evolving in KOL Insight: Multiple Myeloma (MM). Twelve US and European KOLs provide candid insights on 5 marketed and 8 pipeline therapies targeting various aspects of the disease. 

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Top Takeaways

  • Can Amgen’s Kyprolis displace Velcade (Takeda/J&J) as the protease inhibitor (PI) of choice? Kyprolis is gaining ground, but what do KOLs think about its chances as the front-line option? 
  • Is Farydak’s (Novartis) future in the MM therapeutic strategy tenable? Farydak’s position in the treatment algorithm remains uncertain. Can it maintain its position? KOLs provide their views.
  • Will PharmaMar/Chugai’s Aplidin (plitidepsin) reach the market? A marketing authorisation application has been submitted for plitidepsin in Europe, but how do experts rate the potential of this VEGF-R down-regulator? 
  • What potential do KOLs think anti-PD-1 agents have in MM? Will Keytruda (Merck & Co) and Opdivo (Bristol-Myers Squibb) find a place in the treatment algorithm? 
  • How do KOLs rate CheckMate 602? Empliciti, Opdivo, Pomalyst (Celgene) and dexamethasone regimen is being investigated in rrMM patients. Could lack of a PI be problematic? 
  • Will Sanofi’s isatuximab be as effective as J&J’s Darzalex? Darzalex enjoys first-to-market advantage but can isatuximab challenge its position? What role will isatuximab have in the rrMM setting?
  • Could Array BioPharma’s filanesib, a KIF11 protein inhibitor, provide benefit in MM? KIF11protein provides a novel target, but can it become a viable option or fall by the wayside? 
  • Will AbbVie/Roche’s venetoclax be restricted to Bcl-2 positive patients or could it have wider application? See how experts rate venetoclax and which combinations with the drug excite them? 
  • What do KOLs think about Karyopharm’s selinexor, the novel exportin-1 protein inhibitor? Will selinexor replicate its early promise in the larger Phase III BOSTON study?


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“When I consider the remedies available – or becoming available in the last one to three years – there are a lot of unmet needs; but I think we are on the way to convert Multiple myeloma from a malignant disease into a chronic disease.” 
EU Key Opinion Leader

“The high-risk patients are still having a very poor survival, so although MM in general has a significant improvement in survival with all the new agents that we have, I think we are still lagging behind significantly in the number of patients with high-risk cytogenetics that lead to progression and early death.”  
EU Key Opinion Leader

Sample of therapies covered

Marketed Therapies

  • Dazarlex (daratumumab; Genmab/Janssen Biotech)
  • Empliciti (elotuzumab; AbbVie/BMS)
  • Farydak (panobinostat; Novartis)
  • Kyprolis (carfilzomib; (Onyx (Amgen)) 
  • Ninlaro (ixazomib; Takeda)

Pipeline Therapies

  • Encorafenib (Array BioPharma) 
  • Filanesib (Array Biopharma)
  • Isatuximab (Sanofi) 
  • Nivolumab (Opdivo; Bristol-Myers Squibb) 
  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda; Merck & Co.)
  • Plitidepsin (Aplidin; PharmaMar/Chugai (Roche))
  • Selinexor (Karyopharm Therapeutics)
  • Venetoclax (AbbVie/Roche)

Sample of KOLs interviewed

KOLs from North America

  • Prof. Guido Tricot, MD, PhD. Director of Holden Cancer Centre’s Bone Marrow Transplant and Myeloma Program and Clinical professor, University of Iowa, IA, USA.
  • Prof. C. Ola Landgren, MD, PhD. Hematologic Oncologist, Chief and Professor of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York, USA.
  • Prof. Irene Ghobrial, MD. Clinical Professor of Internal Medicine, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, USA.
  • Prof. Kenneth Anderson, MD. Kraft Family Professor of Medicine, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, USA.
  • Prof. Carol Ann Huff, MD. Associate Professor of Oncology and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Medical Director for the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Centre in Baltimore. USA.
  • Dr. Robert Schlossman, MD. Assistant Professor of Medicine, Dana-Farber / Harvard Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.

KOLs from Europe

  • Dr Alberto Rocci, MD. Consultant haematologist, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK.
  • Dr. Charalampia Kyriakou, MD, PhD. Haematology consultant. Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, Northwick Park Hospital, UK.
  • Dr. Nicolas Blin, MD. Consultant, Department of Hematology. Nantes University Hospital, France.
  • Dr. Felicetto Ferrara, MD. Medical specialist in Hematology and Chief of the Hospital, Division of Hematology, Cardarelli Hospital, Napoli, Italy.
  • Anonymous German KOL, Dr. med., Head of Hematology, Research Group leader, Head of Quality Management. University Hospital Nurenberg-Erlangen, Germany.
  • Anonymous German KOL, Dr. med., Professor of medicine, Head of Oncology and Hematology department, Academic Teaching Hospital Mainz, Germany.

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