Gilead Sciences is already underway with a phase III study of idelalisib in patients with advanced CLL. The drug is also being studied in indolent non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Idelalisib works by blocking a protein known as PI3K-delta which is critical for tumor cell growth. PI3K inhibition is a hot molecular target in cancer drug research, being pursued by multiple companies including Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI - Get Report), Roche (RHHBY), Novartis (NVS), TG Therapeutics (TGTX) and Oncothyreon (ONTY), according to BioMedTracker.
Investors have been even more excited about the strong efficacy results posted by Pharmacyclics' ibrutinib, which blocks a related cell-growth signal known as Bruton's Tyrorisine Kinase (BTK.)
-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.Follow @AdamFeuerstein