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The ASCO Weekend Live Blog Recap

The message is essentially this: Treat multiple myeloma patients with Revlimid continuously. The Celgene data on Revlimid maintenance in multiple myeloma were very strong. There was a significant benefit for Revlimid in progression-free survival, overall survival data not yet mature enough.

Street expectations are high for Revlimid but if the strength of these multiple myeloma maintenance data continue, Revlimid sales estimates are going higher.

Celgene showed some very compelling, early data using Revlimid plus Rituxan in patients with follicular lymphoma. One of these days, the Revlimid/Rituxan regimen could become the next standard of care for lymphoma patients, replacing Rituxan-CHOP.

On Oxigene (OXGN):

This is a phase II study of Oxigene's experimental drug CA4P + Avastin + chemo (the CA4P arm) compared to Avastin + chemo (standard care arm) in patients with treatment naive non-small cell lung cancer.

Interim efficacy data was available on 30 patients, 15 in each arm.

Median progression-free survival (PFS) was 6.9 months in the CA4P arm compared to 6.2 months in the standard care arm. The hazard ratio was reported as 0.70, which means 30% reduction in the odds of tumor progression. This result was not statistically significant.

My take: Interesting data but not statisically significant, with small patient numbers. The PFS difference, numerically, is really quite small. What happens when larger numbers of patients are enrolled?

Tumor response was 60 percent in the CA4P arm compared to 40 percent in the standard therapy arm. All were partial responses. There was a lot more stable disease in the standard therapy arm compared to the CA4P arm, more than double. It would have been better for CA4P if that stable disease outcome were reversed.

Median overall survival was not reached but there is a trend in favor of CA4P. Again, this trend is not statistically significant. I wouldn't expect it to be because of the small patient numbers.

Overall impression: Meh. We definitely need to see more here. These data are early.

On YM BioSciences (YMI):

I checked out the YM BioSciences poster on nimotuzumab late yesterday. I have to say, the data -- four-year survival follow up from a phase IIb study of head-neck cancer patients -- looks pretty good.

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