Rational Combinations 360° June 23rd-24th NYC
Immunotherapy is the current hot ticket in oncology research, and many believe that the true value in these agents will come from combination therapy. So when the inaugural Rational Combinations 360° conference was announced, becoming the only conference addressing business aspects, novel clinical trial designs, and scientific developments for combination immunotherapies, CrownBio knew this was an event to be a part of.
With our triple arm of immunotherapy platforms (of murine, human, and chimeric immunity), and a firm commitment to be a leader in this field we traveled to New York in late June to discuss current research and where the field is headed.
The CrownBio conference team was Laurie Heilmann our SVP of Global Strategy, Marketing, and Business Development and Michelle Mack, Senior Manager of Business Development. As our SVP, Laurie was perfectly placed to give a high level overview of CrownBio’s global capabilities, which was then focused by Michelle on our vast in vivo pharmacology expertise, HuTrials™, and immuno-oncology (I/O) platforms for both combination therapy and single agent evaluation.
Our presentation slotted into an excellent program of talks from both big pharma and academic research institutes.
Michelle’s highlights of the two days were talks from:
- "Dr. Roy Barnes at Merck Research Labs, who discussed the evolving landscape of combination therapies for I/O. He addressed patient selection strategies, for whom monotherapy versus combination is most appropriate, in addition to reviewing approaches for identifying potential combinations for further exploration
- Dr. Patrick Hwu from MD Anderson Cancer Center, who was looking at what innovations are coming next in combination therapy, delving behind checkpoint inhibitor combinations. The talk looked forward to the next wave of combination of adoptive T-cell therapy and anti-checkpoint inhibitor therapies.
- Finally, Dr. Sarah Warren from NanoString Technologies who was updating the conference attendees on her company’s innovative ongoing clinical trial in melanoma patients. The trial is testing vaccination with a melanoma antigen alone or in combination with Flt3L, which promotes antigen presenting cell proliferation and differentiation. Dr. Warren’s talk focused on how gene expression signatures for multiple immune cell populations can be deconvolved from the global transcriptional profile to monitor changes in the abundance of key immune cells within peripheral blood and tumor tissue in response to therapy."
The conference brought together the brightest and best in the field, allowing the chance for fertile discussions on where combination I/O is headed. With promising cancer immunotherapies in the clinic and an encouraging pipeline of new targets being developed, we discussed the additional discoveries that are now under way which will allow researchers to determine the most effective combinations that are highly personalized for individual patients and for specific tumor types.
CrownBio feels that as we move forward, an increased emphasis on prioritizing combinations will be a crucial aspect in getting the most benefit across a range of cancer types from these promising treatment options.