Next-gen therapies are evolving fast. The drug development model needs to keep up
Biotech Voices is a collection of exclusive opinion editorials from some of the leading voices in biopharma on the biggest industry questions today. Think you have a voice that should be heard? Reach out to Amber Tong.
A team of genome engineers at a startup biotech has been working for years to create a cell therapy with the hope that it will cure an aggressive form of cancer. After much grueling trial and error at the editing bench, they are ready to evaluate their drug candidate in clinical trials. Things are going well, and they’re ecstatic to see that tumors are shrinking, T cell counts are rising, and the disease is retreating. But there’s a cloud on this bright horizon. A side effect is showing up with some of the patients in the trial, one which might have long-term consequences for their well-being. The scientists have an idea: What if they can flip what they call an “off-switch” on one pair of genes they’ve identified that could turn off this side effect of the drug while retaining the new drug’s curative powers? It sounds like an easy fix but its implementation is going to take a long time.
Unlock this article instantly by becoming a free subscriber.
You’ll get access to free articles each month, plus you can customize what newsletters get delivered to your inbox each week, including breaking news.