Monday, December 08, 2008

While You Were Hobnobbing with Hematologists

Much of the industry news this weekend comes out of the American Society of Hematology meeting in San Francisco, which runs til Tuesday. For a roundup of everything out of ASH click here, and we will break down some of the highlights below.

Of course it wasn't 'all ASH, all the time' over the past few days; the fallout from the financial crisis continues, and combined with the cold weather across the Northeast and in parts of Europe it's enough to make you want to curl up with a good movie, or six.

While you were rebuilding your bloody Netflix queue ...

  • Blood Simple: Among the newsmakers at ASH this year, as of the wee hours of Monday morning: Seattle Genetics presented Phase II monotherapy data from its dacetuzumab NHL therapy and preclinical data in combination with Rituxan. SG also reported positive Phase I monotherapy data for its SGN-35 antibody-drug conjugate. Antisoma said that an interim look at a Phase II study of its AS1411 aptamer in AML in combination with cytarabine was positive (it was the first such randomized study involving an aptamer in oncology, says Antisoma). Genentech reported positive results for two Phase III Rituxan studies in CLL. Allos Therapeutics announced positive Phase II data from a study of its lead compound pralatrexate in PTCL, as well as data from earlier stage studies in CTCL and NHL. And Sunesis said that two trials of its voreloxin naphthyridine analog revealed the compounds promise as a single-agent or in combination against AML.
  • Blood Diamond: Year-to-date sales of Millennium-Takeda/J&J's Velcade multiple myeloma therapy have reached $1 billion, putting it in official blockbuster territory. The WSJ notes that sales have increased roughly 25% this year, thanks to an expanded label.
  • There Will Be Blood: Is January 26th the day Pfizer will announce more layoffs? Jim Edwards has the roundup (and drinks your milkshake. He drinks it up!)
  • In Cold Blood: VCs face a future that includes the phrase 'defaulting limited partner,' says the WSJ. And rumors are floating around that some major university endowments are selling their VC stakes. We'll have more on how life sciences VCs are reacting to the simultaneous pressures exerted by the financial crisis and a difficult partnering/regulatory/reimbursement climate in the next Start-Up.
  • First Blood: They've gone and pissed off Ben Goldacre again. The Rambo of Bad Science fights back against more MMR vaccine scare stories.
  • Youngblood: We got nothin' for this one. But come on readers, yes, we can all agree that Slapshot is the best minor league hockey movie ever made, but we figure you probably have a soft spot for mediocre 80s hockey melodrama. Youngblood of course stars Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze, but look out for a young Keanu Reeves and the cameo by former Philadelphia Flyers center Peter Zezel. Remember: "You can learn to punch in the barn, but you gotta learn to survive on the ice." Your own blood-related filmage in the comments, please.

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