ESMO Preview: Highlights to Watch for This Year


The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2021 runs from September 16–21, 2021. Here’s a preview of some of the presentations at the meeting.

Gilead Sciences will be presenting new research on its Trodelvy (Sacituzumab govitecan-hziy). Trodelvy is a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate (ADC). It is made up of an antibody and topoisomerase inhibitor conjugate targeting the Trop-2 receptor. The presentation will look at the value of the drug for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

“The data at ESMO reinforce how Trodelvy is redefining the standard of care for people with metastatic TNBC, a disease that is too often associated with poor outcomes and decreased quality of life,” said Merdad Parsey, M.D., Ph.D., Gilead’s chief medical officer.

Zymeworks will be presenting an updated and expanded data set of zanidatamab in first-line HER2-expressing gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA). Zanidatamab is a HER2-targeted bispecific antibody. In the abstracts, 30 patients were treated with zanidatamab with the standard of care chemotherapy, and 14 patients remained on treatment. The confirmed objective response rate was 68.2%, and the disease control rate was 90.9% in 22 HER2-positive response-evaluable patients.

“Merdad Parsey, Gilead’s Chief Medical OfficerThe initial data from the abstract highlight an encouraging objective response rate for zanidatamab combined with standard of care chemotherapy in patients with metastatic hER2-positive GEA, said Neil Josephson, M.D., Zymeworks’ interim chief medical officer. “We’re looking forward to presenting at the Congress the full updated data, which further support zanidatamab’s potential as the new foundational HER2-targeted therapy.”

Bristol Myers Squibb will present three-year data from the CheckMate -743 trial of Opdivo (nivolumab) plus Yervoy (ipilimumab), both checkpoint inhibitors, compared to platinum-based standard-of-care chemotherapy in unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). In patients receiving the combo, 23% were alive at three years compared to 15% of patients with chemotherapy.

Adaptimmune Therapeutics announced updated data from its Phase I SURPASS trial in multiple solid tumors with be presented. The study is for ADP-A2M4CD8, which are SPEAR T-cells that target MAGE-A4 expressing tumors. The SPEAR (Specific Peptide Enhanced Affinity Receptor) T-cells are a mix of CD8+ and CD4+ T-cells engineered with a T-cell receptor (TCR).

TCR2 Therapeutics plans to discuss extended data from its ongoing Phase I portion of the gavo-cel Phase I/II trial for mesothelin-expressing solid tumors. The data included clinical and translational data from at least 18 evaluable patients with gavo-cel up to a dose level 5 in three mesothelin-expression solid tumors: malignant mesothelioma, ovarian cancer and cholangiocarcinoma. Gavo-cel is a T-cell receptor Fusion Construct T cell specifically designed to recognize and kill cancer cells.

Boehringer Ingelheim and OSE Immunotherapeutics will present promising data from the dose-escalation Phase I trial of BI 765063 in advanced solid tumors. BI 765063 is a SIRP alpha inhibitor. The trial will evaluate BI 765063 as monotherapy and in combination with ezabenlimab, an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody. Microsatellite instability (MSI) biomarkers are effective targets for immunotherapy by checkpoint inhibitors alone. Most colorectal and endometrial cancers are MSS and, as a result, don’t benefit as much from immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

Amgen plans to webcast a call with investors in conjunction with the ESMO meeting. It’s scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 16, at 8:30 a.m. ET. With David M. Reese, executive vice president of Research and Development for the company, Amgen’s management team will talk about data being presented on its Lumakras (sotorasib) in combination with Vectibix (panitumumab). Lumakras is Amgen’s KRASG12C inhibitor.

Back to news