Dr. Shoemaker concluded the session by reviewing the topline themes from each of the speakers’ presentation, and summarized their collective relevance in driving future developments of next-generation cellular immunotherapies in the fight against cancer.
Dr. Sadelain presented an overview of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor-modified T cell therapeutic strategies, including a history on the evolution of CAR-based strategies over the past two decades. He highlighted the clinical promise of this therapeutic approach, reviewed the challenges and limitations of current autologous approaches, and described the therapeutic advantages and potential strategies for generating “off-the-shelf” iPSC-derived T-cell therapies.
Dr. Kaufman presented the features and advantages of iPSC-derived NK cells versus NK cells derived from alternative sources. He also demonstrates the ability of these cells to eliminate both liquid and solid tumors without causing Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD), and reviewed approaches for enhancing the potency of NK cells against tumors through genetic engineering of various targeting modalities.
Dr. Valamehr presented Fate Therapeutics’ proprietary iPSC platform, which is designed for the consistent and scalable generation of iPSCs for off-the-shelf therapeutic use. He also reviewed Fate’s proprietary technology for the highly efficient differentiation of genetically-engineered iPSCs into cells of the hematopoietic lineage, including Natural Killer (NK) and T cell-based immunotherapy product candidates.
Dr. Jaenisch presented a historical perspective on the origins of iPSC biology, reviewed advances in iPSC technology over the past decade, and highlighted the seminal role iPSCs will play in the future of medicine – particularly when combined with genetic engineering. Dr. Jaenisch underscored the importance of iPSCs to the future of medicine in furthering our understanding of complex diseases and in developing intelligent cell-based therapeutic solutions for those diseases.
Dr. Shoemaker opened the session by discussing the tremendous promise of cell-based therapeutics in the fight against cancer, particularly as demonstrated by clinical successes in the CAR-T space over the past few years. He also described the many hurdles inherent in developing patient-specific therapies beyond early clinical proof of concept studies, and how an iPSC-driven strategy represents an ideal solution to overcoming these challenges and limitations, and may facilitate the development of effective and consistent “off-the-shelf” products.