December 6, 2009

MMRF and MMRC Report from ASH, Susan Kelley, MD

Representatives from the MMRF and MMRC are in New Orleans attending the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology, which runs from Friday Dec. 4 through Tuesday Dec. 8. This meeting is the leading worldwide gathering of experts and researchers in hematologic (blood) disorders. There is an increasing amount of preclinical and clinical research activity in myeloma reported at these meetings each year. This year the conference lists approximately 1100 abstracts published related to Myeloma laboratory research or Myeloma clinical observations and trials, including one of the major plenary session presentations on Sunday. On Friday, the MMRC convened a face-to–face meeting with the investigative members of the MMRC Project Review Committee, which brought together representatives from all of our member sites. The agenda included discussions of the MMRF/C strategic directions (business plan) and review of two potential new early clinical development drug candidates for possible clinical trials within the Consortium. Friday evening, the MMRF partnered with a CME provider to host a well-attended session entitled, “Evolving Therapeutic Concepts in Multiple Myeloma”. More than 700 ASH meeting attendees and patients from the local New Orleans area attended. Five esteemed Myeloma experts presented summary overviews and updates on the state of the art treatment issues.

On Saturday, members of the MMRF and MMRC participated in small group meetings with 10 pharma/biotech companies to discuss possible laboratory and clinical trial collaborations with candidate drugs of interest for MM. Among the initiatives discussed with the companies, was the possibility of conducting phase I-II trials of these new agents in combination with some of the backbone therapy that exists today. Each of the companies expressed interest in learning more about the collaborative trial support systems for conduct of Investigator Sponsored Clinical Trials within the Consortium, which we are establishing for kick off later this quarter.

Stay tuned to the MMRF Website for further updates on the data and highlights of presentations from ASH throughout the weekend.