Shedding Earlier Fears, Pharma Takes A Fresh Look At Cell, Gene Therapies
The early successes enjoyed by new autologous, cell-based cancer therapies, as well as new advances in gene therapy and regenerative medicine, have reignited interest at Big Pharma in these advanced treatments, said partnering executives at the recent Therapeutic Area Partnerships meeting in Boston.
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Novartis’ deal with the University of Pennsylvania around cancer immunotherapies based on chimeric antigen receptor technologies developed in the lab of Penn’s Carl June comes at an opportune time. The Big Pharma is fighting to preserve its number two ranking in oncology and Penn’s high-profile, albeit much smaller, alliance with AstraZeneca in neurodegenerative disease is winding down.
Jeff Jonas takes over Shire’s newly formed Regenerative Medicine business with plans for rapid growth, replacing Advanced BioHealing’s Kevin Rakin in the role.