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Thanks for starting this. Some time ago I stopped keeping up with the biotech field in general, and this focused spotlight is both intriguing and helpful.

I had eventually found the biotech field to be overly larded with vastly premature promise and promises, loads of hype, etc etc etc. My focus became one of awareness of the emergence of new understanding--recognizing critical roles of previously unidentified cell signaling pathways, cell populations, etc. And then I keep an eye out for news on eventual therapies. I also get newsfeeds concerning progress in treating diseases in areas I'm particularly concerned with. I do try to keep up with summaries of the ASCO meetings, but you're zeroing in in a really helpful way that I don't have the time to do--but really appreciate.

It's so interesting that Nektar has gone back to the very early immunotherapy for these immune-active cancers--IL-2--which, when it worked, was amazing. But it worked very very infrequently, and it was impossible to predict in advance when that would happen. So they've modified the molecule to make it active for days rather than minutes.

Question re the ADR rate of 10% that you mention....is this for the entire range, or just grade 3 and higher? Because the overall ADR (or IRAA--immune-related adverse events--as it's called) for Opdivo is a lot higher than 10%--certainly in the metastatic renal cell cancer population. Fatigue and severe pruritus and/or skin rash are extremely common. Colitis and impaired or loss of thyroid function are fairly common. And I know that a more accurate awareness of the spectrum and frequency of effects developed after FDA approvals enabled substantial experience to develop. I had first written about trials with melanoma patients back in the fall of 2014, several months before it was approved. And even then, the more common ADRs ranged in frequency from 10-20%. So in combination with another immune-stimulating drug, a 10% ADR rate sounds overly optimistic. Or am I missing something here?

Thanks for getting this started!

=sheila
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