Oncology continues to be the leading therapeutic category, the epicenter for dealmaking and investment, the largest proportion of the clinical stage pipeline, etc. We also know how much progress we’ve made, with precision oncology agents, with immunotherapy agents, and now with ADCs. And yet, there is a family of rather large elephants in the room – still there is substantive unmet needs in improving mortality, and morbidity across many cancers and patient settings; the push for earlier diagnosis and screening; increasing awareness of the importance of quality of life; and concerns around democratization of access and financial toxicity, especially for next generation approaches.

To address these daunting needs, do we as an industry (in collaboration with colleagues in academia and clinical practice) need to be more provocative, challenging some core tenets or at least redefining/refining some long-held principles? 

  • How much more can we continue to push the bar for durable remissions in advanced, metastatic patients?
  • How should discovering, developing and commercializing new therapies be shaped by consideration of the dual (or dueling) concepts of one-and-done cures versus chronic therapy and how will this affect the business model of Pharma, biotech and investors?
  • How can we extend the movement towards earlier intervention (neoadjuvant/adjuvant) with agents like checkpoint inhibitors to earlier stages of cancer?
  • Can we dare to think (let alone say), that we should be making more of an effort into looking how to intervene in pre-neoplastic disease; that is to say, having as our goal the prevention of cancer?
  • How do we work towards ensuring that the technological (diagnostic and therapeutic e.g. delivery tech, target identification tech etc.)  advances progress hand-in-hand with the biological/scientific breakthroughs to optimize next-gen drug development?
  • And of course, what role can AI play her to enable and/or facilitate advances?

These topics encapsulate myriad issues, including aspects of improving on extent therapies such as combinations, innovating with novel modalities, shaping clinical development and regulatory strategies, and navigating the fundamentals of the financial ecosystem and ROI in Oncology, encompassing both investment and deal-making.


  • Jeff Bockman, PhD, Lumanity
  • Dennis Chang, PhD, Lumanity
  • Viraj Parekh, PhD, Lumanity
  • Axel Hoos, MD, PhD, Former CEO, Scorpion Therapeutics
  • Peter Sandor, MD, PhD, EVP, Astellas