Posts filed under: News

ESMO 2017 Highlights by ta-Scan

ESMO 2017 abstracts ta-Scan

ESMO at a glance

With almost 24,000 professionals visiting Madrid, attendance at ESMO 2017 was almost 20% higher than we had anticipated. The number of abstracts clocked in at 1736, of which 541 discussed clinical trials. Commercial companies were well represented among the earlier abstracts, so no significant change occurred in the number of companies. We did see a big increase in the number of abstracts from the top commercial sponsors.

ESMO 2017 abstracts ta-Scan basic data

TA distribution

In our preliminary analysis we drew attention to the large abstract volume for breast cancer with 25% of all available abstracts mentioning this TA. Now that the late-breaking abstracts are in, breast cancer dropped to about 20%. This is mainly due to a large increase in abstracts about gastrointestinal cancers. Especially colorectal cancer and stomach cancer were popular topics in the late-breaking abstracts. All in all, the abstract volumes per indication now match those of 2016 much more closely, as you can see in the next graph.

ESMO 2017 abstracts ta-Scan ta distribution tree map

TA distribution over time

We can now compare the full abstract volumes of 2017 with those of 2016 to find the top rising and top declining indications. The overall abstract volume has increased, so rather than compare raw numbers, we will look at each year’s relative abstract volumes and compare those to estimate how much more or less popular certain indications are.

Abstract volumes have not deviated a lot from 2016 and with a mere 2% increase in relative abstract volume, stomach cancer tops the list of indications with the biggest increase in interest.

In our prior analysis, colorectal cancer was our biggest declining indication, and despite almost doubling its abstract count with late-breaking abstracts, it still makes it into the top 3 declining indications compared to 2016. The drop in lung cancer comes as something of a surprise, considering the excellent presentations on that topic.

ESMO 2017 abstracts ta-Scan ta distribution over time column chart

Top sponsors at a glance

The immune-oncology players presented new successes alone and in combination with other drugs this year. Merck & Co. sees its pembrolizumab perform well in several combinations, among which the combination with IDO inhibitor epacadostat from Incyte displayed notably consistent results. Bristol-Myers Squibb continues to push its combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab forward and presented good results in kidney cancer, while AstraZeneca impressed attendees of the first presidential symposium with good data on both durvalumab and osimertinib in lung cancer.

During the third presidential symposium we saw the results of 2 competing BRAF inhibitors in stage 3 melanoma with a clear win going to Novartis‘s combination of dabrafenib + trametinib, while Roche-Genentech‘s trial on vemurafenib did not meet its primary endpoint. It would seem that the addition of the MEK inhibitor really adds to the therapy’s efficacy, an idea not missed by other competitors such as Array Biopharma. The latter company also presented encouraging data at ESMO on its BRAF + MEK inhibitor combination encorafenib + binimetinib, for which the first NDA was accepted the day after ESMO ended.

Lastly, Pfizer and Novartis are turning to combination therapies in the CDK4/6 inhibitor space with palbociclib and ribociclib respectively, whereas competitor Eli Lilly presented good, but not differentiating results on their CDK4/6 inhibitor abemaciclib.

ESMO 2017 abstracts ta-Scan top sponsors

Summary of recent developments

ESMO 2017 delivered! Cancer research is booming and the numbers reflect that, as the annual ESMO conferences continue to grow in size each year. Attendees have gained new insights, learned about the latest research efforts, and witnessed the successes and failures of compounds in several large clinical studies.

The late-breaking abstracts revealed a lot more data on compounds being tested in the clinic. The continued success of immune checkpoint inhibitors and several targeted approaches are encouraging. New targets attract a lot of attention, but we were equally impressed with the progress made on well-known targets such as EGFR.

With another successful edition of the annual ESMO conferences behind us, we now are looking forward to the SCOPE Summit in February. Register now to meet the ta-Scan team there at booth #300.

ta-Scan SCOPE 2018

Get your FREE Immuno-Oncology Therapy Analysis by ta-Scan

Today brings the start of the Immuno-Oncology Summit 2017 in Boston, supporting researchers in developing the next generation of immunotherapies. Immuno-oncology researchers are changing the way we treat cancer by unleashing the immune system and achieving functional cures in some cancers.

MDCPartners and its ta-Scan team contribute to this purpose by teaching how clinical planners can leverage our clinical businesses intelligence software and our data merging services to get to their answers faster. The ta-Scan team created a useful analysis on oncolytic virus therapies in clinical trials. We thought today would be a good occasion to share this report with you.

>>> Click here to download the analysis <<<

Curious about what to expect at ASCO 2017? ta-Scan has you covered!

As ASCO 2017 kicks off this Friday, finding the information relevant to you can be a hassle. Using ta-Scan, you can quickly uncover key information about sponsors, clinical trials, drugs and investigators contributing to ASCO this year. To help you out, we highlight a few interesting points.

asco 2017 abstracts


Over the past 3 years, there have been some notable changes in therapeutic areas discussed at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting. It comes as no surprise that the Immune Oncology trend is growing year on year, much like Lung Cancer. On the other hand, interest in Breast Cancer is steadily declining, which could be due to the disappointing results of Immune Oncology within Breast Cancer. Another interesting fact is the gain in Gastrointestinal Cancer abstracts at this year’s conference, after a relatively quiet 2016.

asco 2017 abstracts ta distribution

Sponsor & trial activity

Of the 1,203 clinical trials that are cited at ASCO 2017, 6 key commercial sponsors have seen considerable fluctuations in trial activity when compared to ASCO 2016. Significant gains can be seen in the trial activity of BMS, Pfizer, and Roche, whereas Novartis, Sanofi, and Johnson & Johnson have seen a decrease in trial numbers.

asco 2017 abstracts ta distribution

ta-Scan’s top 5 drugs to watch at ASCO 2017

With preliminary results already disclosed for some drugs debuting at ASCO, ta-Scan highlights some new drugs being discussed in the Immune Oncology space. Introduction of two Antibody drug conjugates for Prostate and Breast Cancer, the Colony Stimulating Factor-1 receptor Cabiralizumab and CD122 compounds from Nektar that facilitate immune response against tumors. In addition to anti-PD-L1 compound Incyte have a promising combination with Pembrolizumab and an indolamine 2,3 dioxygenase inhibitor, Epacadostat.

asco 2017 abstracts pd-pd-l

Investigator & sponsor collaborations

Looking at the percentage of top Oncology experts used by the leading commercial sponsors of trials talked about at ASCO 2017, it’s clear that Roche and Merck have an evenly distributed usage of investigators in both the USA as well as Europe, whereas others seem to lean toward USA investigator preference.

asco 2017 abstracts top oncology investigators

ta-Scan’s top 5 drugs to watch at ASCO 2017

With preliminary results already disclosed for some drugs debuting at ASCO, ta-Scan highlights some new drugs being discussed in the Immune Oncology space. Introduction of two Antibody drug conjugates for Prostate and Breast Cancer, the Colony Stimulating Factor-1 receptor Cabiralizumab and CD122 compounds from Nektar that facilitate immune response against tumors. In addition to anti-PD-L1 compound Incyte have a promising combination with Pembrolizumab and an indolamine 2,3 dioxygenase inhibitor, Epacadostat.

asco 2017 abstracts new drugs

Learn more about ta-Scan

Interested in ta-Scan‘s analytical services? Request your free webinar here or contact us.

BIG Data: How Pharma Can Use it to its Advantage

In this European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Magazine opinion article, MDCPartners’ founder and CEO, Mireille De Cré, explains how pharma R&D can make the most of the big data revolution.

The big data hype train has been gaining momentum for a number of years and its rise has been well documented. However, pharma companies are still perplexed by the scope of what big data can do, and why, how and where they should use big data tools to their advantage.

With focus moving away from sheer volume of data and inherent variability and complexity of large unstructured datasets towards user-friendly analytic tools that can help businesses plan for the future, now is the time for big, small and medium size pharma to seize the ‘big data’ opportunity.

What is clear is that big data is here to stay and will continue to have a growing influence in terms of its impact to business decision making across a number of sectors. Some of those in pharma are firmly grasping the opportunity that analytics-based decision making can bring… And those that aren’t will need to catch up before they lose out.

Read more in the European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Magazine article:

CTCLS Provides Japan with Solution to Support and Accelerate Clinical Development

We are proud to present our partnership with CTC (an ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation division), who will distribute clinical development solution ta-Scan throughout Japan. Headquartered in Tokyo, CTC offers ICT solutions for the life science industries, including the pharmaceutical industry.

For the first time in Japan, CTC has established an agency agreement with MDCPartners, headquartered in Belgium. CTC now distributes ta-Scan, a business intelligence software platform to assist the clinical study program implementation.

“With offering ta-Scan,” CTC states, “it is our objective […] to help reduce clinical study periods and lowering costs in clinical research and development for pharma drug, contributing to the optimization of our customer’s investment and the enhancement of competitiveness.”

For more information and use cases, read CTC’s complete press release.

CTC Contact Information

Sales Department 2

NEWS RELEASE: MDCPartners launches new ta-Scan software that ‘will revolutionize’ the way pharmaceutical companies plan for the future

Antwerp, Belgium | 24 January 2017 – MDCPartners today launches ta-Scan 5, an update of its global web-based platform that analyses clinical trial data. The new platform is set to revolutionize the way pharmaceutical researchers plan for the future, by providing unrivaled insights that will help inform future business decisions.

The new ta-Scan 5 is the first software of its kind to use exceptionally powerful algorithms to analyse clinical data from multiple global public sources in its patented Trial Cloud®. The new version 5 will mean that pharmaceutical companies are able to obtain more valuable insights on clinical research than ever before, via a more streamlined process.

The software will allow companies to go into more detail on clinical trial research than ever before, with access to over 250,000 clinical trials and 7 million scientific and clinical experts. This will provide unique insights on specific compounds, research institutes, clinical centers, patient populations, key investigators and competitor analysis to help strategic decision making.

“We believe the opportunity in clinical business intelligence is the freedom to look at data from multiple sources, from any region, combined into one system that’s easy to use. The new ta-Scan 5 does just that – it taps into vast amounts of information and provides comprehensive analysis that can be broken down easily. Pharmaceutical companies are now starting to realize their opportunities in gathering the most valuable business intelligence, and I believe the ability of this software will fundamentally change the way clinical research is planned and executed across the industry,” comments David Cocker, CSO for MDCPartners, who is presenting this week at the SCOPE Summit in Miami, Florida.

“For the first time ever, MDCPartners has been able to simplify complex trial-related queries and perform deep analysis using the most powerful algorithms yet. Using Real World Solutions, we can link internal and external information together through a portal, to generate a comprehensive landscape and get a full view of where the competing trials are conducted, and where the patient populations are. Before, we couldn’t link this information, now it is at our fingertips,” comments Dr Bart Naudts, Lead Data Architect at MDCPartners.

The ta-Scan web platform has been used by pharmaceutical and biotech researchers for the last decade. It has transformed and advanced the process of intelligence gathering and analyzes across the industry.

Media Enquiries

Mireille De Cré
+32 (0) 3 870 97 50

Tonic Life Communications
Stan Jackson / Chrissie Hannah /
+44 (0) 774 771 8279 / +44 (0)777 253 4646


Notes to Editors

About ta-Scan

ta-Scan is an intelligence web platform for clinical development, which analyses data for trial planning, expert profiling, disease landscape and competitive intelligence, for researchers in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. It was launched nearly a decade ago to transform and advance the intelligence gathering and analyses that enable clinical development.

Powerful algorithms enable researchers to bypass print publications, restrictive registries and dense databases for the insights they need to make evidence-based decisions. With ta-Scan, users can locate key opinion leader (KOL) associations, investigators with specific therapeutic experience, or institutes with the capacity to conduct complex protocols.

To find out more about ta-Scan, please visit:

About ta-Scan 5

ta-Scan 5 is the updated model of ta-Scan, which was recently launched by MDCPartners at the SCOPE Summit in Miami, Florida, in January 2017. It offers a uniquely streamlined and simplified intelligence gathering process and improves data access and value, allowing for a more intuitive, business-oriented workflow.

ta-Scan 5 features a refined and robust search engine tool which activates alternative information pathways with the flexibility to adjust query filters with ease. The number and potential combination of trial-related queries is unrestricted, meaning that hundreds of data classes are semantically connected that can be accessed by one query.

To find out  more about ta-Scan 5, please visit:

About MDCPartners

Founded in 1999, MDCPartners specialises in business intelligence and strategic consultancy for the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. They combine drug development expertise with the latest data sciences to provide clinical trial optimisation, medical expert identification and competitive intelligence.

MDCPartners is a leader in the field of data mining and semantic processing. With their patented data solutions, their clients transform millions of dispersed data points into meaningful intelligences.

MDCPartners is headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, with sales offices in the USA and Japan. It has three flagship products for global pharmaceutical data solutions, including:

  • ta-Scan: the flagship product ta-Scan is a web business intelligence platform that analyses clinical development programmes, trial and site data, and involvement of medical experts
  • normScan: the medical device standards monitoring tool, normScan, is tailored to the client’s medical device portfolio. normScan tracks all relevant device standards and regulatory documents that have been published or are in development
  • Real World Solutions: an evolving area of business for MDCPartners are the customised data solutions, which tap into a robust inventory of algorithms and unique visualisation tools. Users can gain optimal insights from data either as stand-alone or combined with public data

To find out more about MDCPartners, please visit:

Discover ta-Scan 5 at SCOPE 2017

Summit for Clinical Operations Executives

It’s never too early for good Year’s resolutions! Ours? Start off 2017 with a bang! Indeed, in January 2017, MDCPartners will travel to sunny Florida again for the yearly Summit for Clinical Operations Executives (SCOPE), and it goes without saying that we are already looking forward to it.

The 8th Annual SCOPE Summit, taking place January 24-26, 2017 in Miami, Florida in the Hyatt Regency, will offer three stimulating days of in-depth discussions in 13 different conferences, 6 pre-conference workshops and 2 symposia focused on issues related to each aspect of clinical trial planning and management: Data Integration, Feasibility, Site Selection and Management, Patient Engagement, Recruitment and Retention, Mobile Tech, Project Management, Outsourcing, Forecasting, Budgeting and Contracting, Quality (QbD) in Trial Conduct, Risk-Based Monitoring, Post-Marketing Studies, Observational Research, Clinical Lab Services, Precision Medicine and Biomarker-Driven Trials. View SCOPE’s programs here.

Introducing ta-Scan 5

ta-scan 5 scope 2017

Our business and IT teams will present the clinops experts at SCOPE ta-Scan‘s latest version we have been working on the last months: ta-Scan 5! This update includes a lot of new features and a complete style make-over to enhance the user experience. Join us in Miami to discover how our clinical business intelligence software and our public-private data integration skills can leverage today’s clinical big data challenges.

Meeting Up

ta-Scan team at SCOPE 2017 Miami FloridaIf you want to get an exclusive preview of ta-Scan 5 and learn more about our software solutions, visit us at booth #702 or make an appointment with the team (from left to right, from top to bottom):

  • Bart Naudts, IT Partner
  • David Cocker, CSO
  • Mireille De Cré, CEO
  • Piet van Remortel, IT Partner
  • Matt Tumasz, Director of Business Development USA
  • Jonathan Crowther, Ph.D., Strategic Analyst Oncology
  • Alexandra Moens, Marketing Associate
  • Kristof Geentjens, Technical Product Manager


Meet the ta-Scan Team at Immunotherapy Leaders Europe

Immuno-oncology in Berlin

Enjoying the summer, we are also excited about what comes after: in September, the ta-Scan team will be present at Immunotherapy Leaders Europe, the annual meeting for Immuno-Oncologists in Berlin.

Biomarkers for patient selection

Learn how to use our clinical business intelligence portal ta-Scan to boost success rates in immuno-oncology clinical trials through biomarker-driven patient selection from Strategic Analyst Oncology Dr Jonathan Crowther‘s presentation on:

Biomarker evolution and utility for patient selection in clinical research

Wednesday, September 21,  2:45 – 3:05 PM
Stream 3: Boosting success rates in immuno-oncology clinical trials
through biomarker-driven patient selection

  • Using the clinical business intelligence platform ta-Scan to track the evolution of immunotherapy biomarkers and improve patient selection resulting in successful clinical research.
  • Analysis of the immuno-oncology biomarker landscape: What are the trending biomarkers and how do they compare across clinical research?
  • Improving on study design, the who and where in clinical research.
    –  Estimation of patient cohorts?
    –  Key opinion leaders in the field?
    –  What benchmarks have been previously established?
  • Geographical site selection
    –  Where are trials primarily taking place?
    –  What countries and locations are suitable for my trial?

Dr Jonathan Crowther

Jonathan Crowther Immunotherapy Europe ta-Scan MDCPartners

Jonathan Crowther is Strategic Analyst Oncology at MDCPartners where he is working on growing oncology-based projects on the ta-Scan platform. Jonathan holds a PhD from the VIB/University of Leuven (Belgium) where he studied the role of large scale deletions in cancer and explored their potential as novel biomarkers of drug response. Jonathan provided bioinformatic analysis and big data solutions to ongoing areas of research, working on large cancer patient data sets such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). In this capacity Jonathan significantly contributed to a number of ongoing projects and has published on these topics.

Meeting up

You can also meet us personally at booth #27 to see a live demonstration of our ta-Scan software. Just drop by or make an appointment with David Cocker or Jonathan Crowther.

We Have Moved to a New Office in Antwerp!

We are happy to announce that we have moved into a brand new office and headquarters in Antwerp, Belgium.

MDCPartners continues to grow, and as a natural step in that growth we’ve acquired more space. On March 30, 2016 we moved just a couple of blocks down the road, to our new location on the beautiful Rubens site. Our new office is double the size of our old location, giving our staff a greatly improved environment and room for continued expansion.

From our new office we will be able to work even more effectively, and you can rest assured that we are already preparing a couple of great new product features and events. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has contributed to the company and its continued success throughout these exciting last 10 years.

Our new mailing and visiting address is:

MDCPartners cvba
Uitbreidingstraat 86/2
B-2600 Berchem

All our other contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses, remains the same.

ta-Scan Infomercial

Learn more about the concepts of our ta-Scan software in this video highlighting pharmaceutical industry data deficiencies and ta-Scan’s solutions.

Top of Page