The human immune system is one of the body’s most powerful weapons to combat cancer, and therefore a lot of companies are working to activate it against tumors, writes Siegfried Hofmann in Handelsblatt this week. As an example, he features the BiTE antibodies developed by Micromet, Inc. These BiTE antibodies bind to T cells and subsequently to specific tumor antigens on cancer cells. Thereby, the T cells are activated and start destroying the tumor cells. The first drug candidate is in late-stage clinical development to treat Leukemia, Hofmann writes. The article is also being featured in the internet version of Wirtschaftswoche.
Micromet recently started a Phase 2 trial of its lead product blinatumomab (MT103) in relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a very difficult to treat disease. If initial results generated from this trial are compelling, Micromet plans to discuss with the FDA potential avenues to accelerate blinatumomab’s path to market. Blinatumomab is also being tested for the treatment of non-Hodkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). In addition, the company announced it hired Joseph Lobacki as Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. Previously, Lobacki was Senior Vice President and General Manager, Transplant and Oncology at Genzyme. Christian Itin, CEO of Micromet said “his extensive sales, marketing and medical affairs experience will be critical as we look to prepare the marketplace for blinatumomab’s potential launch.”