January 02, 2020
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FDA grants orphan drug designation to pancreatic cancer drug, ASH meeting highlights — top stories in hematology/oncology

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The FDA granting orphan drug designation to a pancreatic cancer product was one of the top stories in hematology and oncology last week.

Healio’s continuing coverage of the American Society of Hematology’s annual meeting made up some of the other top stories. These included data that suggested efgartigimod (argenx) was effective in primary immune thrombocytopenia and that mosunetuzumab (Genentech) induced remissions in advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

FDA grants orphan drug designation to OBI-999 for pancreatic cancer

The FDA granted orphan drug designation to the antibody-drug conjugate OBI-999 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, according to a press release from the agent’s manufacturer. Read more.

VIDEO: Efgartigimod safe, effective in primary immune thrombocytopenia

A 3-week treatment cycle of efgartigimod, a neonatal Fc receptor antagonist, was well tolerated and effective in patients with primary immune thrombocytopenia, according to phase 2 data presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition. Watch video.

Mosunetuzumab induces remissions in advanced non-Hodgkin lymphoma after CAR-T fails

Updated data from a phase 1/phase 1b dose-escalation and dose-expansion study presented during the plenary session of the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition showed that about 20% of a cohort of patients with aggressive relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma experienced complete response to treatment with the investigational agent mosunetuzumab. Read more.

Dual target CAR T/natural killer cell therapy shows promise for B-cell malignancies

Two major impediments to widespread adoption of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies are their cost and antigen loss that makes them less effective over time. An allogeneic approach that combines CARs and natural killer cells into one therapy may be the solution, according to preclinical research presented at American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition. Read more.

American Society of Hematology presents Scholar Awards to fellows, junior faculty

The American Society of Hematology announced the 39 recipients of the society's 2019 Scholar Awards. The awards — presented to hematologists in the United States and Canada who conduct basic, translational or clinical research — provide $100,000 to $150,000 to fellow or junior faculty over a 2- to 3-year period. Read more.