Claudin-18.2 attracts the cancer crowd

July 17, 2023

Astellas’s claudin-18.2-targeted antibody zolbetuximab provides a benefit in hard-to-treat metastatic gastric cancer, and leads a multi-modality herd of contenders.

Gastric cancer is a beast. Despite being the fourth most fatal cancer worldwide — killing nearly 770,000 people per year — drug developers have made little headway against it in decades. For most patients with metastatic disease, the first-line treatment is chemotherapy that offers an average overall survival of about 1 year. With Astellas’s recent filing of its claudin-18.2-targeted antibody zolbetuximab for regulatory approval in the USA, the EU and Japan, a new therapeutic option for a large subset of these patients is within reach.