The annual ASH Dash often ends up with crowds waiting for the poster halls to open up – a daily scene captured from ASH19
With coronavirus and COVID–19 pretty much dominating attention and space in the global news on a daily basis lately, I am vividly reminded that not too long ago in December we attended the annual meeting at ASH in Orlando to experience busy scenes like the one on the right…
Imagine those packed crowds now in the current context – it doesn’t bear thinking about!
Which is why all of the oncology conferences we had been planning to attend this year are one-by-one postponing or outright cancelling their events until next year. This is going to create a lot of challenges for companies in terms of data release and presentations, to be sure, but what matters more is reducing the risk of the infection spread in order to limit the risk of serious cases developing.
The good news is that we do have a huge backlog of oncology data – novel targets, new agents, and emerging companies – to write about and share with our audience. There’s always a silver lining to be had if you look carefully enough.
Here’s one such example – a novel cancer target, agents in development, and an emerging company to highlight too…
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At the start of the New Year, Dr Carl June (@carlhjune) who needs no introduction as one of pioneers of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy tweeted that, “2020 will be the decade of cell therapy and genome engineering.”
So what does the next decade hold for CAR T cell therapy?
At the recent 2nd European CAR T cell meeting, jointly organized by EHA and EBMT, we asked the man himself to tell us more about his vision.
In Sitges, Dr June kindly spoke to BSB and shared his thoughts on where he sees the CAR T field going, some of the key challenges that will need to be overcome, as well as some of the opportunities to watch out for.
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One of the innovative areas of cancer immunotherapy is glycobiology, or targeting the sugars found on the surface of tumor cells or immune cells. There is a lot happening in this field around drug development, drug delivery and cell therapies.
Standing out from the crowd
It’s time to take a look at some of the targets around Siglecs (sialic acid-binding immunoglobin like lectins).
We’ve covered Siglecs briefly before in a discussion with Innate Pharma last year about their early pipeline agents, including a Siglec–9 antibody in preclinical development that was subsequently picked up by AstraZeneca.
Since then this space has blossomed with a number of companies rapidly vying for time, space, and attention, making it a good time to take a broader look at the evolving landscape
This primer sets the scene for our coverage on this emerging area in oncology R&D.
In a subsequent post, we have an interview planned with a thought leader at the forefront of translational research into targeting Siglecs.
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