Biotech Strategy Blog

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

Posts tagged ‘NY-ESO TCR’

4th CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR meeting in NYC

The next conference we plan on attending will be the 4th CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR meeting in New York starting on Sun 30th Sept.

Having been to the 3rd annual event in Mainz meeting last Fall, I have to say it was absolutely fantastic and well organised, with plenty of researchers giving some excellent science based talks.  There was also a heavy focus on neoantigens and neoepitopes in the poster halls, making it a good place to learn from up and coming young European researchers keen to share and discuss their work.

To find out what’s in store this time around on US soil, we took a look at the program and came up with the first of our previews exploring some interesting topics…

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We have heard much hullabaloo about adoptive T cell therapy approaches with tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies, but what about T cell receptor (TCR) therapy?

Over the last couple of years, various experts we have interviewed have alluded to TCR approaches in the pipeline that they have been involved in or come across, but this is not a topic we have covered in-depth as we, like many other observers, have been on the sidelines waiting for solid clinical data to mature.

Source: Adaptimmune

That time finally came around at ASCO last month, where we had the opportunity to discuss an NY-ESO–1 based TCR with one of the companies in this space, namely Adaptimmune.

We also covered several other constructs they have in their pipeline.

Inevitably there have been quite a few R&D setbacks with some of the TCR approaches evaluated, going back to Dr Steven Rosenberg and the NIH experiments back in the 1990’s with MART–1 as a target.

I was therefore really intrigued to find out more about how are Adaptimmune faring, what technical and clinical challenges remain, where are the programs going, and what have we learned so far?

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The calm before the #ASCO18 storm

Saturday 2nd June was the first day of ASCO for me this year, so continuing our annual tradition, we post a review of the daily highlights and topics or issues that caught our attention.

This can be useful for those of you sidetracked by off-site meetings and unable to actually get to the conference centre to hear talks – yes, it happens, more commonly than many realise!

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We know that not every patient responds to checkpoint therapy and some may respond but then stop responding, so what can we learn about the tumour microenvironment in order to fix it?

To do this may well require retrospective analyses of the existing trials in order to learn what happened and figure out an improved design of the next wave of clinical trials with rationally based combinations (as opposed to randomly testing two molecules simply because that’s what a company has in its pipeline).

The other thing to consider is that while some people might have a high level of a particular marker or inhibitory factor up front, others may see rise on treatment as an adaptive response to immunotherapy. Those two situations may well require quite different approaches or regimens to address, making things much more complicated than originally thought.

Dr Kunle Odunsi (Roswell Park) at #AACR18

One topic that caught our attention in the run-up to AACR and subsequently during the meeting was a cytokine called transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β). We have covered IL–2, IL–6 and IL–15 developments quite extensively on BSB, but what of TGF-β?

As such, we decided to investigate this little known target further and explore the concept from different perspectives in both academia and industry.

Today, we begin this latest mini-series with a thought leader interview from an academic institution who is researching a novel approach to combination therapy based on TGF-β – here’s what he had to say about the topic…

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Over the last year or two, we have covered a number of different pathways that are involved with the immune system including CD19 and 20, CTLA–4, PD–1 and PD-L1, IDO1, CD40, OX40, TIGIT, ICOS and others.

Today, it’s the turn of an oncoprotein called NY-ESO–1 that has been garnering quite a bit of attention of late and will also be highly relevant to some upcoming posts and thought leader interviews we have scheduled here on Biotech Strategy Blog. It’s always a good idea to cover the basics first, before exploring the more advanced concepts.

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