Bristol-Myers opens up the Phase 0 pathway in testing its new cancer therapies, following in Celgene’s footsteps
Finding out as much as you can as fast as you can about your new cancer drug has become a major theme in oncology R&D, where billions can lie on the line — depending on the ultimate success of your rapid-fire development strategy. And few major league pharma outfits understand that challenge better than Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has faced more than its share of misdirections on strategy.
So it’s particularly interesting to see Bristol-Myers tie-up with Seattle-based Presage Biosciences on Phase O testing, which will use microdoses of multiple drugs and combos on patients to gauge their pharmacodynamic effects. That way researchers can help determine if they’re on the right track as they lay out plans to develop drugs in much more extensive studies.
Presage’s tech allows researchers to pepper a tumor with multiple therapies while it’s in the patient, providing a better snapshot of relative activity.
This is Presage’s second big alliance this year, following up on their pact with Celgene. As Bristol-Myers is in the final stages of buying Celgene, Presage gets to keep the relationship.
Jonathan Leith, head of clinical mechanisms at Bristol-Myers Squibb, noted that this approach “may provide important insights about how our compounds work mechanistically in combination studies and help us bring forward more effective options for patients with cancer.”
There are no terms in the statement, but it’s unlikely that a translational tech approach like this comes with a big-money upfront.
Social image: Bristol Myers Squibb, AP Images