Takeda Oncology at ASH 2020: Advancing Science for Patients

December 03, 2020

By Chris Arendt, PhD, Head, Oncology Therapeutic Area Unit, Takeda and Mauricio Silva de Lima, PhD, Head, Global Medical Affairs Oncology, Takeda

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn on December 3, 2020

COVID-19 has undeniably brought an abundance of challenges, unknowns and heartache to the world. Many aspects of life, and how we interface with others, have evolved towards a “new normal.” At Takeda, our “new normal” remains firmly rooted in our longstanding commitment to the patients we serve, and ensuring that we continue to innovate – from research and development to patient access and everything in between – because cancer hasn’t stopped during COVID-19, and neither have we.

“Takeda Oncology knows that excellence in cancer care cannot be halted by this global pandemic or the anomalous challenges it has brought. Instead, we forge ahead,” said Chris Arendt, PhD, Head, Oncology Therapeutic Area Unit, Takeda. “This month, we’ll virtually join leading scientists for the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting where we will discuss important clinical trial findings with the ultimate goal of advancing science for patients – even in the middle of a pandemic.”

Key Takeda Oncology Data at This Year’s Virtual ASH Congress Illustrate Company Commitment to Developing and Providing Transformative Solutions for Patient Needs

At the meeting, Takeda Oncology will present 22 company-sponsored abstracts aimed at identifying unique solutions for those living with rare hematologic cancers, including leukemias, lymphomas and multiple myeloma. Of note, we will be presenting a sub-analysis from our Phase 2 trial in higher-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). The trial is investigating a potential unique, novel therapy for this underserved patient population where there is a need for new therapies that result in longer event-free survival, longer duration of response and delayed transformation to acute myeloid leukemia without increasing myelosuppression.

In separate oral presentations, we will share updates on studies in chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CP-CML), with additional information from the interim analysis of the Phase 2 OPTIC trial and pooled analysis from the OPTIC and Phase 2 PACE trials in leukemias. These data may help to provide additional understanding around the agent’s safety and efficacy profile in treating patients with resistant CP-CML.

“While we typically convene in person with tens of thousands of scientists from around the world at these major congresses, we have proven that we can still connect, discuss groundbreaking science and examine important clinical data safely from our homes,” said Mauricio Silva de Lima, MD, PhD, Head, Global Medical Affairs Oncology, Takeda. “Though not ideal, we have identified creative solutions for scientific engagement in this setting, such as centralized, digital processes for critical meetings with leaders and HCPs and an interactive virtual exhibit to help delegates better explore our pipeline and enrolling clinical trials.”

Translating Science into Transformative or Curative Potential Medicines for Targeted Populations with Significant Need

Though COVID-19 prohibits us from attending ASH together in person, Takeda is proud to virtually connect with the scientific community and share these data. Looking forward, and beginning with patients’ needs, we are driving cutting-edge science to develop life-changing medicines with first-in-class mechanisms of action and novel emerging approaches. Our rich pipeline includes seven programs that entered clinical development in the past two years, including three cell therapy programs.

Thank you to the scientific community for continuing to share important learnings that help us all succeed in bringing patients the lifesaving and life-changing medicines they deserve. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the participants and investigators in our clinical trials, whose commitment to the advancement of innovative medicines, even in the midst of a global pandemic, is truly inspiring. Because of you, Takeda remains steadfast in our mission – and more passionate than ever – to make a difference for the patients we serve.