Some would argue that the promise of immunotherapy, has not been fulfilled, and that the hopes around follow-on novel agents has been more hype than reality. However, the impact on patients’ lives from checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs) as well as cell therapies and next generation antibodies, has been profound.

The enthusiasm to find the next Anti-PDx-like agent, some target or modality of significant clinical benefit to be combined with or even displace anti-PDx agents, has been disappointing, with failure and under-performance being the norm. And yet, the unmet need is there. Many patients do not respond, respond well, or respond long-term to CPIs, so new approaches are desperately needed.

This session will attempt to expand upon a range of key elements in this frustrating attempt to take Immuno-Oncology (IO) to the next level, including the biology of the tumor microenvironment (TME), clinical development strategies, and the basic concepts around combination therapy (additivity, synergy, independent action, etc.).

Attendees learned:

  • Preclinical requirements for attracting Pharma interest
  • Clinical development strategies for optimizing chances of achieving POC/POR
  • Best practices to position a program/platform for value-inflection

Presenter details


Jeff Bockman, PhD, EVP, BioConsulting, Head of Oncology, Lumanity

Viraj Parekh, Managing Consultant, Oncologt Lead, Lumanity


Dan Chen, MD, PhD Founder, Engenuity Life Sciences

Michael Curran Founder, ImmunoGenesis, Inc., Associate Professor of Immunonology, The UT MD Anderson Cancer Center

Peter Sandor SVP, Astellas Pharma

Emmett Schmidt VP, Merck

Taylor Schreiber CEO, Shattuck Labs