What's been on influential oncologists' minds? Mostly ASCO, but also health equity, according to new Harris Poll research – Endpoints News

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Over the past few months, on­col­o­gists have been talk­ing a lot about the AS­CO con­fer­ence. Not sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing its im­port and the study da­ta pre­sent­ed, but what may be less ex­pect­ed is the sec­ond most talked about top­ic of health eq­ui­ty.
That’s ac­cord­ing to da­ta from The Har­ris Poll and the new ex­pert net­work the re­searcher is build­ing out. While the com­pa­ny has been do­ing deep da­ta dives in­to spe­cif­ic health is­sues or con­di­tions for phar­ma clients, it’s now mon­i­tor­ing in­flu­encer net­works of ther­a­py area spe­cial­ists to find out what ex­perts are re­al­ly think­ing about.
“The key el­e­ment of this work is that we are get­ting to the re­al ‘in­sid­er’ ex­pert point of view,” Har­ris Poll man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rob Jekielek said. “First by build­ing an on­col­o­gy-cen­tric, high in­flu­ence net­work, then by look­ing deeply in­to the con­tent and dis­cus­sions that res­onate most, specif­i­cal­ly with­in that net­work of ex­perts.”
Its first on­col­o­gy ex­pert dive pre­viewed for End­points News looks at what Twit­ter in­flu­en­tial can­cer doc­tors were post­ing, chat­ting up and retweet­ing from March through the end of June. AS­CO, held dur­ing the first week of June, fu­eled the lead­ing theme of clin­i­cal tri­als and stud­ies among 61% of the on­col­o­gists, while health eq­ui­ty came in sec­ond with 15% men­tion­ing re­lat­ed top­ics. On­col­o­gists’ men­tal health and burnout was a less­er trend­ing top­ic, but still no­table with 6% talk­ing about it.
Among the spe­cif­ic clin­i­cal tri­als and stud­ies talked about, the As­traZeneca and Dai­ichi Sankyo’s Des­tiny study pre­sent­ed on En­her­tu (trastuzum­ab derux­te­can) in pre­vi­ous­ly treat­ed HER2-low ad­vanced breast can­cer led the way with 19% talk­ing about it on Twit­ter. Tied for the sec­ond-most dis­cussed study at 11% were GSK’s PD-1 block­er dostar­limab-gx­ly (Jem­per­li) rec­tal can­cer tri­al and the Cos­mic-021 for cabozan­ti­nib–ate­zolizum­ab (Ex­elix­is’ Cabome­tyx and Roche’s Tecen­triq) to treat urothe­lial car­ci­no­ma.
Along­side those study dis­cus­sions were re­lat­ed health eq­ui­ty takes, es­pe­cial­ly around ac­cess and tri­al di­ver­si­ty. The par­al­lel com­men­tary “kind of poked holes” in the tri­als by look­ing at them through an in­equity lens, Jekielek said.
For ex­am­ple, one in­flu­encer wrote: “I don’t want to bring peo­ple down but while the re­sults are great, the Des­tiny of MOST women with #bc­sm world­wide will be NOT to get trastuzum­ab derux­te­can since they can­not even ac­cess surgery, ra­dio­ther­a­py, en­docrine ther­a­py or trastuzum­ab. We need to do bet­ter.”
“Around AS­CO there are very spe­cif­ic tri­als and stud­ies that are cit­ed and re­leased and you can see the ones that stand out the most,” Jekielek said. “The thing that’s equal­ly in­ter­est­ing is the de­gree of fo­cus on health eq­ui­ty with­in the AS­CO con­ver­sa­tion and di­rect­ly tied to both health­care prac­ti­tion­ers as well as how tri­als and stud­ies are built.”
One of Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson’s top picks in the pipeline — picked up in a $3.7 billion buyout 2 years ago — has just been sidelined in the US by a safety issue.
The pharma giant put out word early Thursday that the FDA has put their Phase III studies of tolebrutinib in multiple sclerosis and myasthenia gravis on partial clinical hold, halting enrollment and suspending dosing for patients who have been on the drug for less than 60 days. Patients who have completed at least 60 days of treatment can continue therapy as researchers explore a “limited” — but unspecified in Sanofi’s statement — number of cases of liver injury.
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Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.
As a reminder, we are off on Monday for the Fourth of July. I hope this recap will kick off your (long) weekend well and that the rest of it will be just what you need. See you next week for a shortened edition!
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Teva CEO Kåre Schultz has found his new R&D chief and CMO in Vertex’s ranks.
The global generics giant, which has some 3,500 staffers in the R&D group, has named Eric Hughes to the top research spot in the company. He’ll be replacing Hafrun Fridriksdottir, who held the role for close to five years, on Aug. 1.
Hughes hasn’t been at Vertex for long, though. He jumped from Novartis less than a year ago, after heading the immunology, hepatology & dermatology global development unit. Before that, he completed a five-year stint as head of early clinical research for the specialty discovery medicine department in the exploratory clinical & translational research group at Bristol Myers Squibb, according to his LinkedIn profile.
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On Tuesday, June 14, Endpoints News EIC John Carroll sat down with a group of biotech execs to discuss the bear market for industry stocks and how they were dealing with it. Here’s the conversation, which has been lightly edited for brevity.
Martin Meeson, sponsor opening:
Thank you, John. Hello everyone. My name’s Martin Meeson, I’m the CEO of Fujifilm Diosynth. For those of you who don’t know Fujifilm Diosynth, we operate in the development of clinical and commercial product scale up, we have facilities in Europe and the US, and around about 4,000 employees. We run on average about 150 programs, so when it comes to managing in turbulent times over the last two years, we’ve had quite a lot of experience of that. Not just keeping the clinical pipelines and the commercial pipelines open, but also our response to the pandemic and the molecules that we’ve had within there. One of the phrases that I coined probably about a year ago when we were talking at JP Morgan, was I talked about managing through turbulent times. Well, it’s become the fact that we are not managing and leading through these times, we are managing in them, which is why that’s really the purpose of and the topic that we’ve got today.
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Amgen is taking social media followers around the world with its latest corporate campaign. Called “Places of Amgen,” the twice monthly posts highlight the biopharma’s different offices and sites – and the people who work there.
Each post runs on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram with details about the work Amgen does in that location, when it was established, comments from people who work there and other interesting facts. The most recent one about Paris, France, for example, notes that Amgen France last year signed a French association charter committed to the inclusion of LBGT+ people in the workplace.
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Two weeks ago, Biohaven hit an all-time high in weekly Nurtec prescriptions. CEO Vlad Coric attributes at least some of that success to a new interactive Twitter campaign that encourages patients to free their feed of potential migraine triggers.
Earlier this month, Biohaven in partnership with Twitter launched the #RelieveYourFeed campaign that allows users to customize their app settings based on their migraine triggers.
The rise of pharma environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts in the past two years has been meteoric as investors turn their attention to sustainable funding. However, investors aren’t the only ones watching. Patients are beginning to tune into pharmas’ ESG promises too.
Patient advocacy groups familiar with ESG regard it as an important issue and want to be included in helping pharma companies set ESG policies and targets, according to a new report from PatientView. That’s quite different from what the investment community wants across a variety of Gartner’s defined financial, competitive, strategic and perception goals.
Earlier this year, Novartis touted its radioligand as a major piece to counter competition in the cancer space. However, the physical production of its products has had anything but a smooth ride.
In May, Novartis had to suspend production of Lutathera and Pluvicto, its two primary radiotherapies. According to the company, this was done out of an abundance of caution as a result of potential quality issues identified in its manufacturing. The production suspension impacts the commercial and clinical trial supply of the products.
More than 18 months and 860 court filings later, Gilead has bagged a new settlement in its campaign against a group of companies that participated in an alleged fraud aimed at its free meds program for people at risk of HIV.
Gilead, along with healthcare clinic Well Care and execs Willie Peacock and Shajuandrine Garcia, reached a settlement worth $33 million last week. Gilead is dropping its allegations against the clinic, and the parties involved will pay their own attorney fees.
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