Neon Therapeutics is based in Cambridge, MA
One of the much anticipated cancer immunotherapy presentations at the 2017 JP Morgan Healthcare conference was by Neon Therapeutics CEO Hugh O’Dowd.
As readers know we’re riding the Immuno-Oncology wave on Biotech Strategy Blog, and one of the exciting new topics to emerge is whether we can target neoantigens to create personalized immunotherapy.
Our mini-series last year on neonatigens received a lot of attention. It included a primer and three interviews. We were very much of the opinion that Neon Therapeutics is a company to watch out for.
In case you missed them, here are the links:
I highly recommending reading these articles as background on the science and new product development as a prelude to the latest commercialisation update we will cover in today’s post.
What did we learn from the 2017 JP Morgan presentation of the Neon Therapeutics corporate strategy?
If you didn’t make it to the presentation at JPM17 in San Francisco (it wasn’t webcast), you may be interested in this post. This is the latest update in our on-going series on neoantigens and why they matter in cancer immunotherapy.
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At the recent scientific meeting to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (#CIML40), Professor Ton Schumacher from the Netherlands Cancer Institute gave an informative presentation on “T cell recognition and tumor resistance in human cancer.”
Picture Credit: ATGC Partners
Schumacher started his talk at CIML by saying, “I guess by now I should consider myself a cancer immunologist…”
Cancer immunologist ‘wannabes’ should take note of the level of expertise required to be considered one!
He is one of the co-founders of Neon Therapeutics and a leading researcher into antigen-specific T cell immunity.
Several companies are seeking to develop personalized cancer vaccines against patient-specific neoantigens.
We previously wrote about the approach Neon Therapeutics is following based on expert interviews with the interim CEO Cary Pfeffer and scientific co-founder Dr Cathy Wu.
Yesterday the field heated up when it was announced that German biotech BioNTech AG had entered a strategic collaboration with Genentech to develop individualized mRNA cancer therapies (Sept 20, 2016 press release).
This post continues the BSB mini-series on targeting neoantigens that we started last month. Do check out previous posts if you missed them:
After his #CIML40 presentation, Prof Schumacher kindly spoke to BSB.
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As we continue our journey exploring neoantigens in the context of novel cancer research in Part 3 of our latest mini-series, today we focus on the commercialisation side of the business through an interview with a leading investor, Dr Cary Pfeffer, who is a partner in Third Rock Ventures, as well as being ad interim CEO of Neon Therapeutics. We’ve written about other Third Rock companies in the past; Agios, Foundation Medicine and bluebird bio come to mind, for example.
How does an exciting early product in development move from academia to industry? There are many ways to do this, so here is the story through the eyes of one young company with strong academic connections, as a way to illustrate what can be done. It isn’t the only way, by any means.
To be sure, there are other competitor companies in the neoantigen space – Gritstone and Moderna come to mind as examples – we will cover companies in the broader landscape in a future post. There is also an incredible amount of promising research going on in academia right now, which may lead to more companies or products being licensed and developed.
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