ASH 2014 Abstracts Are About To Hit: Here Are Some Of The Names To Follow

The American Society of Hematology’s annual meeting (56th!) begins on December 6, but abstracts from the conference will be released this morning. This, and the release of late-breaking abstracts on November 17, are much-watched events for healthcare investors given the plethora of potentially market-moving data to be revealed publicly for the first time.

We’ve collated some of the bigger data events to look for today and in the next month. It’s never entirely clear what will be contained in each abstract vs. what will be presented at the meeting, but these are some of the more important names to keep on your radar.

Merck (MRK) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY): Big Pharma’s anti-PD-1 Assets in Hematologic Malignancies
Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb are both expected to present data from ongoing trials with their respective PD-1 inhibitors in hematologic malignancies. Investors have been anxiously awaiting these data to determine if PD-1 inhibitors provide the same, impressive clinical benefit in blood cancers that they do in solid tumor indications (namely, melanoma). As anti-PD1 trials in blood cancers mature and reach completion over the next few years, investors will be watching closely to determine which drug has best-in-class efficacy and potential to be first to approval in this yet untouched market. Today’s results may be the first hint.

Merck is expected to present interim Keytruda (Pembrolizumab; data anti-PD-1) data from the KEYNOTE-013 study in individuals diagnosed with hematologic malignancies. KEYNOTE-013 has a primary completion date of December 2015 and includes patients with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, Multiple Myeloma (MM), Hodgkin's (HL), and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas (NHL).

Bristol Myers is also expected to present data on Opdivo (Nivolumab; anti-PD-1) from the ongoing phase I CHECKMATE-039 study – also patients diagnosed with hematologic malignancies (HL, NHL, MM). BMY will present interim data from monotherapy cohorts at ASH, and the company could potentially present Nivolumab + Yervoy combination data from this study.

TG Therapeutics (TGTX): TG-1101 and 1202
A meaningful number of patients with B-cell malignancies continue to come off standard-of-care drugs such as ibrutinib (BTK inhibitor), rituximab (anti-CD20 mAb), and idelalisib (PI3Kδ inhibitor) due to progressive disease (lack of efficacy) or toxicity. TG Therapeutics is positioning itself to capture a portion of this market, leveraging TG-1101 (glyco-engineered anti-CD20 mAb) and TGR-1202 (PI3Kδ inhibitor). Investors are looking to TG Therapeutics to present more efficacy and safety data for TG-1101 and TGR-1202. Most important are data validating the company’s combination strategy: testing ibrutinib, TG-1101, and TGR-1202 together in individuals with B-cell malignancies. TG Therapeutics is expected to present datasets from 3 ongoing trials of TG-1101 and TGR-1202:

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