Biotech Strategy Blog

Commentary on Science, Innovation & New Products with a focus on Oncology, Hematology & Cancer Immunotherapy

Posts tagged ‘Allogeneic CAR T cells’

Aloha! If you have plans to be in Honolulu next week for #BMTTandem16, then one of the “must do” sights is the walk to the top of Diamond Head. It towers over Waikiki and is a major landmark for anyone travelling in an easterly direction.

Waikiki from Diamond Head

One way to get there is to start early and take the #23 The Bus ($2.50 fare, exact change) from Ala Moana & Waikiki to the state park entrance. The path starts off deceptively easy, kicks in with some uneven surfaces and hits you with a pile of steps near the top. Sensible shoes, water and sunscreen recommended.

The spectacular views at the end are well worth it, especially if you catch the sunrise/early morning light and manage to avoid arriving at the summit at the same time as busloads of Japanese tourists with the same idea. It’s a popular attraction!

One of the reasons for going to the top of hills and mountains is to see the “big picture” of the landscape below. In writing and reporting on the latest innovations in biomedicine, we often focus on the results of one trial or news from one company; yet it’s also important to see how the pieces of the jigsaw fit together.

That’s why pharmaceutical marketers and new produce development specialists often commission custom reports that review the strategic landscape in a therapeutic area.

As part of our coverage of #BMTTandem16, we’re taking a look at some of the strategic trends and drivers in the Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) space.

It’s an area of unmet medical need and market opportunity.

Anyone with an interest in allogeneic “off the shelf” CAR-T cell therapy should already appreciate the significance of GvHD as a potential complication. If you don’t, then you’ve not been reading BSB…

In case you missed it, do listen to Dr Marcel van den Brink talking about GvHD on the Novel Targets Podcast. (Episode 9: Targeting the Microbiome)

This post is not intended to be a substitute for a landscape report, but offers some top line thoughts on some of the strategic drivers to look out for.

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Prof Qasim UCART19 ASH 2015 PosterMy highlight of the 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) was interviewing Professor Waseem Qasim, who is a Consultant in Paediatric Immunology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and Professor of Cell & Gene Therapy at the Institute of Child Health, which is part of University College London (UCL).

In a poster presented at ASH 2015, Prof Qasim together with colleagues from GOSH & UCL reported the “first in man” use of a gene edited, off-the-shelf, allogeneic CAR T cell from Cellectis, a company we have written extensively about on the blog. It was probably one of the leading posters at the meeting, at least in terms of the amount of interest it generated, and the crowds I saw reading it.

There was far too much content in the interview for one blog post, so we’ve split into two, with Part 1 focusing on gene editing and Part 2 discussing in detail the case reported in the poster.

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