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Therapies Introduced Early in Breast Cancer Treatment Offers Hope

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Globally, the R&D on breast cancer in all its forms has been steadily growing at a significant pace over the last several years and will continue in the years to come. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world and the most common cancer in women worldwide.

Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer constitutes approximately 20% of breast cancer cases and was historically associated with poor prognosis in the absence of effective treatments. The realization that introducing HER2-targeted therapies earlier into the disease management strategy could improve disease-free survival (DFS) has created a large market for HER2-directed therapies. Today, HER2+ breast cancer patients are living longer with their disease, thanks to established disease management strategies using regimens. According to Stats Market Research the HER2+ market is forecast to grow to $12.1B by 2030, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 1.5%.  A report from Mordor Intelligence added that the breast cancer therapy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.3% over the forecast period, 2022-2027. 

The report said: “Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the market has faced a slight setback owing to the delay in diagnosis, drug shortages, and unavailability of healthcare professionals. For instance, according to an article published in the JAMA Network in August 2020, there was a significant decline in breast cancer diagnoses (by as much as 51.8%) in the United States from March 1, 2020, to April 18, 2020. Hence, the delay in diagnosis of breast cancer has impacted the treatment of the same. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the breast cancer therapy market in its initial phase. However, the market is expected to gain traction over the coming years as the treatments are resumed worldwide.”  Active biotech and pharma companies in the markets this week include Oncolytics Biotech® Inc., Clovis Oncology, Inc., Belite Bio Inc., Endo International plc, Pfizer Inc.

Stats Market Research continued: “Further, the major factors fueling the market’s growth are the high incidence and prevalence rate of breast cancer worldwide, increasing investment in research and development, and advancements in cancer biology and pharmacology promoting drug development.  The high incidence and prevalence rate of breast cancer worldwide is a major factor driving the market’s growth.  Within North America, the United States is expected to dominate the overall market throughout the forecast period. The major factors fueling the market growth are the increasing burden of breast cancer in the country and rising awareness pertaining to breast cancer as well as rising product launches.”

Oncolytics Biotech® and SOLTI Present New Clinical Biomarker Data Demonstrating Pelareorep’s Potential to Improve the Prognosis of Breast Cancer Patients at the ESMO Breast Cancer Meeting – Oncolytics Biotech® and SOLTI-Innovative Cancer Research today announced new clinical biomarker data demonstrating pelareorep’s immunotherapeutic effects, synergy with checkpoint inhibition, and potential to improve the outlook for patients with HR+/HER2- breast cancer. The data, which are featured in a poster presentation at the 2022 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Breast Cancer Meeting, are from cohorts 1 and 2 of the AWARE-1 window-of-opportunity study in early-stage breast cancer patients.

Patients in AWARE-1’s first two cohorts were treated with pelareorep and the aromatase inhibitor letrozole without (cohort 1), or with (cohort 2), the PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor atezolizumab approximately 21 days prior to the surgical resection of their tumors. Cohorts 1 and 2 of AWARE-1 exclusively enrolled patients with HR+/HER2- disease, the breast cancer subtype that Oncolytics intends to examine in a future registrational study. Previously reported results showed AWARE-1 met its primary translational endpoint, with cohort 2 achieving the pre-specified success criteria for treatment-induced increases in CelTIL score (link to the PR). CelTIL score is a metric for tumor inflammation and cellularity and is associated with improved clinical outcomes in breast cancer patients.

“The latest data from AWARE-1 further demonstrate pelareorep’s potential to improve clinical outcomes in breast cancer patients through its ability to activate T cells and remodel the tumor microenvironment,” said Thomas Heineman, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Oncolytics. “Notably, pelareorep treatment increased markers of tumor cell death and, perhaps even more impressive, 100% of evaluable pelareorep-treated patients had a favorable Risk of Recurrence Score (ROR-S) compared to 55% at baseline. Together, these latest AWARE-1 results further establish pelareorep’s ability to attack tumors through multiple mechanisms.”

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