We’re at a crossroads in the IO space, where much of the low hanging fruit has been already plucked and now we could be in limbo for the next 2–5 years while we wait to see which of the IO-IO or IO-other combos pan out as winners.
Part of the problem is that we don’t yet know all the potential mechanisms of resistance or immune escape involved, so imagine figuring out how best to optimally modulate the tumour microenvironment on top is going to be challenging – each tumour type is heterogeneous and highly complex.
In addition, the field has heavily skewed towards obsessing almost exclusively over T cells, which may or may not be a good thing. There are alternative approaches that are starting to generate interest and results.
As Andrew Shepherd, the fictitious leader of the free world in the American President famously said:
“We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them.”
One promising company in this space is Nektar Therapeutics. At SITC this week they had some elegant and intriguing early data that combined an innate immunotherapy approach with checkpoint blockade. We have been following their progress for a while now and it’s a great time for an update!
Here we explore the data and have our latest expert interview that is not merely a couple of paragraphs long with a few platitudes or topline quotes… this is, quite frankly, a comprehensive review and strategic roadmap of what Nektar Therapeutics are doing in the IO space, why they are doing things a certain way, and where they are headed – in their own words…