From Cancer Progress 2021

Moderator: Jeffrey M. Bockman, PhD, EVP, BioConsulting, Head of Oncology, Lumanity


  • Michael A Curran, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Immunology, Founder, ImmunoGenesis, Inc, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Immunology, Division of Basic Sciences
  • Kapil Dhingra, MB, BS, Managing Member, KAPital Consulting LLC
  • Louis Kayitalire, MD, CMO, F-star Therapeutics
  • Laurent Levy, PhD, CEO Nanobiotix
  • Michael J. Newman, PhD, President & CEO, Decoy Biosystems, Inc.
  • Emmett Schmidt, MD, PhD, VP, Clinical Oncology, Lead, External Collaborations Oncology Early Development, Merck and Co.
  • Thomas Schuetz, MD, PhD, CEO and Co-founder, Compass Therapeutics

This session will focus on perhaps the most active area of drug development in Oncology: the effort to improve upon outcomes with checkpoint inhibitors (CPI) by combining agents post failure of the checkpoint with the CPI to resensitize the tumor microenvironment and enable patients to continue to derive benefit from immunotherapies. A diverse array of MOAs and therapeutic approaches are being harnessed to try to address this daunting task, ranging from new checkpoint inhibitors, costims and multifunctional biologics, to agents targeting other “bad actors’ and pathways in the TME including modulators of innate immunity. In addition, oncolytic viruses, agents driving immunogenic cell death, cancer vaccines and cell therapies are also looking to provide value in this checkpoint-experienced space. Finally, an alternative approach, but one requiring more wherewithal (financially and in time) is to bring such new agents forward into combination with checkpoint right at the start, into upfront settings.