Immuno-oncology 2017 - The crux of the matter, the thrill of the chase-Alex Franzusoff, PhD-02/14/2017 - 6:00pm

Event Information
Event Topic: 
Immuno-oncology 2017 - The crux of the matter, the thrill of the chase
Event Date: 
02/14/2017 - 6:00pm
Event Location: 
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, 650 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto
Speaker Information
Event Speaker: 
Alex Franzusoff, PhD
Event Speaker Title: 
Senior Vice President, Research and Product Development
Event Speaker Company: 
PACT Pharma, Inc
Event Speaker Bio: 

Dr. Franzusoff joined PACT Pharma in Jan, 2017. For the past 2 years, he had been consulting for several private and public biotech/pharma companies in the I-O space, in addition to his role as founder and CEO of Krypton Immuno-oncology. At Bavarian Nordic, he worked at the forefront of the electrified I-O space as SVP R&D, which resulted in the $1B deal with BMS for Prostvac, its Ph3 cancer immunotherapy product. He had returned to California for that role, from Boston, after serving as Chief Executive Officer and Board Director for AZTherapies, developing Alzheimer’s therapies based on re-purposing previously approved drugs via the 505(b)2 pathway for Phase 3 studies. He previously led the venture-backed Permeon Biologics as President and a member of the board of directors. Dr. Franzusoff’s career in the biotechnology industry was launched with the co-founding of the biotech GlobeImmune, Inc., where he served as Vice President of Research & Development for immunotherapy against cancer & infectious diseases. He was a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine until 2004.

Dr. Franzusoff received his PhD in Biochemistry from SUNY at Stony Brook, NY. Dr. Franzusoff trained as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Randy Schekman, at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author/co-author of numerous publications and inventor/co-inventor on numerous patents in diverse fields.

Event Details
Cost: 
$6 - Students/In-transition - Members only
$11 - Early-bird Registration - Members only
$20 - Late Registration and Non-Members
$25 - Walk-ins
Event Details: 

The clinical data and product approvals for immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) monoclonal antibody drugs, particularly those targeting PD-1, PD-L1 and CTLA-4, promise a revolution in cancer therapeutics known as immuno-oncology (I-O). In the approved indications of metastatic melanoma, lung and bladder cancers, patients have experienced rapid and durable clinical responses upon treatment with these ICI drugs. Patients, clinicians, regulators, scientists, investors and the public look upon these developments with high anticipation – namely the ability to recruit one’s own immune system to cure cancer or to convert it into a manageable chronic disease. Yet, the evidence that 70% of patients in those cancers, and even more in other solid tumor indications, do not respond similarly or soon recur have inspired intensive investigations into the crux of the matter. The central premise of the I-O paradigm involves ‘stepping on the gas’ and ‘releasing the brakes’ of T cell immunity, as an automobile metaphor to propel patients into significant clinical benefit. Preclinical and clinical studies of combination therapies, biomarkers, bioengineering and diagnostics are providing key insights, with much more progress needed.

In this presentation, we will consider evidence from several platform technology approaches with promising potential to push meaningfully on the ‘gas’, thus illuminating the thrill of the chase and how we may still significantly contribute to and benefit from expanding the immuno-oncology paradigm.