As the CEO of an organisation that deals exclusively in cell and gene therapies, it is no surprise that I would champion the emergence of these products as the fourth pillar of medicine alongside small molecules, biologics and devices.
While the use of human cell lines has become a permanent fixture in drug discovery and development, the lingering issue has been in their inconsistent results.
Classically-activated oncogene targets have been a mainstay of cancer drug discovery for the past 15 years, but the druggable targets in this category have been largely mined out.
Optimal treatment for any disease is one that can cure or prevent spreading with minimal impact on the patient’s quality of life. In the case of cancer, therapeutic agents were initially designed to kill rapidly dividing cells.
T-cells with engineered receptors to target tumours represent living drugs with enormous potential in the fight against cancer, but many challenges remain to be overcome in order for their full potential to be achieved.
For more than two decades, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries have been working to unlock the great potential of cell therapy, which uses products composed of living, functional cells to mediate the therapeutic effect.