On September 30, 2019, 100 scientific professionals gathered in Paris for the 1st edition of a unique symposium to discuss ‘Innovative & Integrated Solution Providers in Translational Research to Develop Immunotherapies Toward Next Generation of Solution Providers’.

Exploring the current trends in immunotherapies discovery & development from an academic, industrial & regulatory affairs point of view, the event was well received. Three expert speakers took to the stage to share research, findings & insights.

Dr Laurence Laigle, director of translational & clinical research, Center for Therapeutic Innovation, Immuno-Inflammatory Diseases, Servier, shared her views on the ‘Clinical Development of Immunotherapies: The Promise of Clinical Translation’. Over the past 60 years, a lot of trials have failed, probably in part because of disease heterogeneity. Implementing a precision medicine approach is vital. It is about making a hypothesis to be tested in different models involving biomarker-led clinical trials; an iterative process that requires access to blood & tissue from large patient cohorts.

Professor Benoit Van Den Eynde, director, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, added “Preclinical research in oncology has to change. One of the best ways to improve outcomes is to combine immunotherapies with something else, for example, radiotherapy. Only then will we start to see more improved outcomes for our patients.”

Professor Marc Pallardy, head of the Department of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Paris-Sud, France, concluded by speaking on ‘Regulatory Aspects for Non-Clinical Development of Immunotherapy Test Items’. He underlined the adverse effects detected in clinics, from which a lot has been learnt about the biology and the mechanism of action of biologics.

In most of these cases, it is important to integrate the known biological activity of the molecule to address the human safety of these molecules (anti-CD3, IL-2, trastuzumab); knowledge of interspecies differences regarding the biology of the target is also essential.

Five high quality roundtables took place in the afternoon, led by Oncodesign and co-organisers ERBC, Cynbiose, Aepodia and PharmaLex. The focus was on tight understanding and collaboration between all partners, resulting in high quality scientific solutions.

According to Philippe Genne, CEO of Oncodesign: “This first symposium was a great success. We were able to explore and discuss the current trends in immunotherapies discovery and development from an academic, industrial and regulatory affairs point of view. We believe that innovative clinical programs require a collaborative, creative approach between pharma and biotech companies.”