Robert Plenge tapped to run immunology R&D at Celgene; Tesaro files LAG-3 IND

→ Robert Plenge is taking the plunge at Celgene. The ex-Merck investigator is moving out of Big Pharma to take charge of immunology research for the big biotech.

→ President Trump had hoped to cut NIH spending this year as he looked for cash to build a wall with Mexico, among other things. But Congress isn’t having any of it. Lawmakers agreed to a $2 billion increase for the NIH in a spending bill agreed to by Democrats and Republicans late Sunday.

Mary Lynne Hedley, Tesaro

→ Waltham, MA-based Tesaro — which recently won its first drug approval — has filed an IND for their LAG-3 targeting drug TSR-033. This antibody was developed with AnaptysBio. “The IND for TSR-033 is the third application from our immuno-oncology franchise to be submitted to the FDA within the past 17 months,” said Mary Lynne Hedley, President and COO of TESARO. “Our vision is that immuno-oncology candidates such as TSR-033, TSR-042, our anti-PD-1 antibody, and TSR-022, our anti-TIM-3 antibody, could become a foundation of cancer therapy regimens across a variety of tumor types. A Phase 1 clinical study of TSR-033 is planned to begin in mid-2017.”

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