ASCO already churning out news

Today marks the start of the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, always a big news generator in the pharma biz. We'll let our sister pub FierceBiotech keep you up to date on the in-development drugs, while we look at studies of existing meds--and so far, we've picked up a few interesting tidbits:

  • Analysts are hyped about Celgene, whose Revlimid blood cancer drug performed well as a first-line treatment for multiple myeloma in combo with Millennium's Velcade. Data on Revlimid as a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma treatment looks promising, too, one Wall Street type says.
  • New data on Avastin, Genentech's multitalented cancer drug, is expected at the conference, including results from a late-stage trial in breast cancer, for which the drug was approved in February. (One closely watched stat is sure to be dosing levels; we'll be looking to see whether low doses work as well as higher ones, because if they do, that could pressure Avastin sales.) Data on the drug as an add-on in early colon cancer is also expected. A third Avastin study on the docket: a mid-stagter in glioblastoma multiforme, the type of advanced brain cancer recently identified in Sen. Edward Kennedy.
  • Roche is already touting data on Herceptin, saying that two new studies show women with breast cancer should start with the drug and stay with it -- provided they test positive for a protein known as HER-2
  • In the anxiously awaited category: Lung cancer survival improvement data on Erbitux, the ImClone/Merck KGaA/Bristol-Myers Squibb med that's said to have met the main goal of a big trial, though no specific data has yet been released.

There's sure to be more as the weekend progresses, so check in Monday for an update.

- see the Associated Press ASCO round-up
- find the advance info from CNN Money
- read the Herceptin story at MarketWatch