How GSK has rebuilt its oncology pipeline from the ground up
Two years into its cancer rebuild, GSK's strategy to break into immuno-oncology may soon start to pay off
Less than two years into GSK's cancer rebuild, Hal Barron is making measurable strides to reposition the pharma as an immunology-focused company. His turnaround boasts an expanded immuno-oncology pipeline, replete with multiple modalities, and two compounds about to test their place in the oncology market.
While the pharma’s near-term growth in the therapeutic area hangs on the outcome of the BCMA race, it has been broadening its pipeline with assets spanning checkpoint inhibitors to cell therapies to secure a long-term position in an arena that almost left it behind.
GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE:GSK; NYSE:GSK) has rebuilt its cancer pipeline from 11 early stage assets in 2015, when the company sold off its entire commercial cancer portfolio, to a stocked pipeline of seven Phase II and III programs, nine earlier stage candidates and one marketed drug (see Figure: “GSK’s Oncology Pipeline”).
The company is teeing up three regulatory filings for the end of this year: one for its BCMA antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) belantamab mafodotin (GSK2857916) in fourth-line multiple myeloma (MM), one for its anti-PD-1 mAb dostarlimab in endometrial cancer, and the third to expand the label of its single marketed oncology therapy, PARP inhibitor Zejula niraparib, to include first-line ovarian cancer.
Each stands to boost the company's meager oncology sales -- Zejula brought in £57 million ($72.08 million) in the second quarter of this year -- but the BCMA ADC stands to make the biggest impact if it can garner a sizable share of the multi-billion dollar myeloma market.
The other two filings are more strategic, intended to squeeze extra value out of Zejula and support future combination regimens.
“My CEO has