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Following CoMMpass

How a patient-run study is influencing R&D and treatment in myeloma

Amidst a flood of promising data for hot targets, indications and technologies at this year's American Society of Hematology meeting, one collection of presentations stands out not only for the wide-reaching implications of their data, but also for how the data came to be. It is now apparent that CoMMpass - a massive clinical study in multiple myeloma that was conceived of and is led by patients - is influencing what drugs are developed and will influence how they are used after approval.

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) launched CoMMpass in 2011 to identify molecular drivers in MM with the goal of discovering new drug targets and treatment combinations that could result in better outcomes. The trial is a public-private partnership with four industry members (see "Building CoMMpass," page 4).

Results reported at ASH represented the most robust data set yet for the trial, with seven abstracts and analyses derived from more than 700 patients. Among the key findings highlighted by MMRF, MM companies and clinicians was the identification of four previously described genes and targets as driver mutations in newly diagnosed patients.

The trial has also revealed genomic differences that could lead to targeted therapies for African-Americans, who are twice as likely to get MM; and findings related to disease burden and quality of life (see "Highlighting CoMMpass," page 4).

One MM company contacted by BioCentury is already using the data to evaluate new drug candidates, while other companies are querying the results to better understand how patients in their clinical trials might respond to drug candidates.

The CoMMpass data also will inform the treatment arms in a collaborative MM master protocol trial that is expected to begin next year.

But companies and doctors are most excited about future data from CoMMpass, which both groups

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