The Wealthy Biotech Trader (or “WBT”), an investment newsletter focused on showing everyday investors new opportunities in rapidly growing, little-known, biotech, pharma and medical device stocks making news and subsequent market moves, would like to highlight five biotechs whose pipelines have blockbuster potential for multiple cancer indications.
Advanced Medical Isotopoe (ADMD)
Aaptimmune Therapeutics (ADAP)
Aduro Biotech (ADRO)
Ariad Pharmaceuticals (ARIA)
A recently conducted study revealed that novel and new therapies led to a dramatic increase in global cancer treatment spending last year. According to the report from IMS Health, the global oncology drug market exploded to $107 billion in 2015 posting an 11.5 percent increase compared to the prior year and is expected to reach about $150 billion by 2020. The same report estimates that the cost of cancer drugs in the U.S rose by nearly $16 billion since 2010 driven by the uptake of new treatments approvals.
Going forward, this trend of increasing costs of cancer drugs will continue more so as targeted, personalized treatments increase in popularity. For instance there is a new type of cancer therapy designed to disable the PD-1 protein that tumors use to evade the immune system, which has been gathering a lot of media attention. The FDA has already approved such treatments from Roche Holding, Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb each with an average retail price tag of $150,000 per year but this hasn’t stopped other companies from pursuing similar treatments.
The need for unique treatment options
As a matter of fact, Dr. Richard Pazdur, head of the FDA’s office of oncology products has expressed concerns that even as new drug makers race to bring new cancer treatments to market, a huge number of them are developing similar medicines. This means that companies developing unique cancer treatments for different types of tumors such as Advanced Medical Isotope (OTC: ADMD) are more likely to see their treatments pass the FDA’s evaluation expeditiously.
ADMD, a late stage radiation oncology focused medical device maker has taken a unique approach to treating multiple types of cancers through its brachytherapy approach which utilizes yttrium-90 (Y-90) RadioGel device. Brachytherapy basically uses radiation to destroy cancerous tumors by placing a radioactive isotope inside or next to the treatment area and with the development of RadioGel, this has been made much easier.
The Y-90 RadioGel is injectable into non operable tumors where it then focusses all the radiation on the target area as a result of the short range of beta particles from Y-90 causing as little damage as possible to the neighboring healthy cells. Currently, the device is awaiting FDA approval as a class II medical device which if granted will see its usage accelerate to save lives. The device’s safety profile will also be a great selling point due to the short half-life of beta particles and the potentially lower costs of Y-90.
Aaptimmune Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ADAP) is a clinical stage biotechnology company with multiple trials ongoing in solid tumors, hematologic cancer types and in cancers where survival rates for patients can be very limited. The company’s proprietary T-cell engineering platform has generated a strong pipeline of affinity enhanced T-cell therapies as well as an enhanced risk/benefit profile.
Adaptimune’s lead T-cell therapy targets the NY-ESO peptide which is present across multiple cancer types. The NY-ESO TCR targets the NY-ESO-1 target peptide – one of the best-characterized and frequently expressed by tumors of different origins and in advanced tumors. The NY-ESO TCR therapeutic candidate is being developed in partnership with GSK and is in multiple phase 1/2 clinical trials in patients with tumors and hematological malignancies including synovial sarcoma, multiple myeloma, melanoma and ovarian cancer.
Aduro Biotech (NASDAQ: ADRO) a cancer immunotherapy company with multiple therapeutic approaches in development is also on track to bring a new cancer treatment for multiple indications to market. The company’s lead technology platforms are based on live, attenuated, double-deleted Listeria mononcytogenes (LADD) and STING Pathway Activators. The company’s LADD platform technology is our proprietary method of engineering Listeria mononcytogenes bacteria into therapeutic agents that stimulate targeted immune response to specific tumor antigens.
The first LADD therapeutics are engineered to stimulate an immune response to mesothelin, a tumor associated antigen expressed by multiple tumors types. Clinical trials are underway to ascertain the efficacy of this therapy on tumors in pancreatic, non-small cell lung and ovarian cancers and mesothelioma.
Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) is an orphan oncology company focused on developing break through therapies for cancer patients and is working on new medicines to advance the treatment of various forms of chronic and acute leukemia, lung cancer and other difficult-to-treat orphan cancers. The company’s lead and only approved product is Iclusig for the treatment of adult patients with T315I-positive chronic myeloid leukemia as well as treatment of chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia for whom no other tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy is indicated.
Iclusig generated net product revenue of $112.5 million in FY2015 effectively doubling prior year revenue based on the indications mentioned above and does not expect to stop there. The company is already looking for ways to expand Iclusig’s market opportunities and is already pursuing another indication for the treatment. It presented proof-of-concept clinical trial data of Iclusig in adult patients with refractory metastatic and/or non resectable gastrointestinal stromal tumors initiated or re-opened multiple investigator sponsor trials in various cancers, including RET driven NSCLC which if approved could see its top line rise significantly.
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