SUMMER 2017
Drug Discovery World
The rise of immunotherapies - strategies to accelerate their advance into clinical trials
By Edward Cribb

The striking rise of immunotherapies in the past decade has had a transformative effect on cancer treatment. Also referred to as biologic therapies, immunotherapies are a new class of drug that harnesses the potential of the body's immune system to target and destroy tumours.

With hundreds of antibody-based candidates in the development pipeline, the field represents one of the most promising strategies for cancer treatment.

While the promise of biologics is great, so too are the challenges researchers have come up against. The traditional phased approach of drug development considers features of a candidate, such as its pharmacokinetics, sequentially. However, this approach is neither optimal nor sufficiently sophisticated to support the development of immunotherapies, which involves a vast array of combinations of targets, drugs and biomarkers. Researchers have adapted to this challenge by developing novel assays and approaches to accelerate their understanding of the performance of immunotherapies...

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