The “showdown” at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting foreseen by one analyst between breast cancer drugs from Gilead Sciences Inc. and Astrazeneca plc with partner Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. didn’t quite materialize. Or the showdown happened, but turned out more nuanced than a one-to-one, high-noon gunfight on Main Street.

Tropics-02 of cancer revealed at last, miller Gilead fine-grinds Trodelvy breast results at ASCO

After weeks of mounting speculation by backers of Gilead Sciences Inc., data from the phase III Tropics-02 study testing Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan) vs. physicians’ choice of chemotherapy rolled out June 4 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago. Wall Street had hoped for better.

Praxis to refocus after a failed phase II/III depression study

A failed phase II/III monotherapy treatment of major depressive disorder from Praxis Precision Medicines Inc. means dropping staff from the payroll and refocusing the company’s resources on tremor and epilepsy. The study of PRAX-114, a positive allosteric modulator extrasynaptic GABA-A receptor, missed its primary endpoint statistical significance as measured on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. It also missed the study’s secondary endpoints. The Boston-based company’s stock (NASDAQ:PRAX) traded 74% lower by midday. With the realignment, Praxis’ cash runway is now extended into 2024, the company said.

Takeda-Amgen treatment improves survival in metastatic colorectal cancer

Five-year survival rates for those with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) haven’t budged much in recent decades. But new data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual conference pushed the boundary enough to be notable. It showed that, when combined with chemotherapy, Amgen Inc.'s anti-EGFR antibody Vectibix (panitumumab) delivered superior overall survival vs. bevacizumab and chemo in patients with wild-type RAS mCRC. Amgen said the trial, sponsored by Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., is the longest survival ever reported in a phase III study of first-line unresectable mCRC.

Luca lands $30.3M series B to for mitochondrial heart attack therapy

Luca Science Inc. has raised $30.3 million in an oversubscribed series B financing, enabling it to advance a mitochondria replacement therapy toward the clinic. The company is planning a phase Ib trial in myocardial infarction, in which 8 to 12 patients will receive injections of mitochondria immediately after having a heart attack.

Minding the gap: ASCO and WHO focus on improving global cancer care

Building on years of informal collaboration, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) said they plan to measure and improve an equity gap of cancer care around the world in order to improve outcomes. The increasingly wide gap is between high-income countries that are achieving improved patient survival and increased innovation as lower-income countries are in a downward spiral of hardships and inaccessible care. The goal is to create evidence-based quality indicators appropriate for assessing the quality of a facility’s care. The near-term goals include completing a draft of the indicators completed by the end of 2022 and putting their use into practice around the world in 2023.

The BioWorld Insider Podcast: New therapies vie to change fatal course of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

As multidisciplinary care extends survival and improves the quality of life for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), can a host of new ALS drugs vying to slow its progression make a difference? A surprise extension of the U.S. FDA review for Amylyx Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s AMX-0035 to review new data, plus near-term readouts from a major ALS platform trial may soon provide answers. Join the BioWorld Insider podcast as we talk with executives from Amylyx and Clene Inc., and a key Penn State ALS expert on what the future of medicine may hold for ALS patients.

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