The ESCGT 30th Annual Congress was once again filled with the pioneering research and idea sharing that are poised to shape the future of cell and gene therapy. Here are just a couple of the takeaways that had special resonance for our team at Cellistic:
1. Regulatory Approvals and iPSC-Based Therapies: Meeting the Quality Challenge
One of the challenges garnering substantial attention at this year’s event was pursuit of regulatory approvals for iPSC-based therapies. The central question that emerged: "How do we intend to address karyotype quality and residual progenitor populations for platforms?" This critical inquiry touches upon the very core of safety and efficacy in iPSC-based therapies. While certain regulatory questions are still unanswered, the unwavering commitment of the cell and gene therapy community to deliver safe, efficient, and high-quality therapies to patients remains strong.
2. Pioneering Science and the Pursuit of the Extraordinary
ESCGT 2023 introduced us to some of the most exciting scientific developments and innovations that are propelling the field of cell and gene therapy forward. Among them:
- Dr. Michel Sadelain's "logic-gated" CARs, promising enhanced discrimination between malignant and normal, non-cancerous cells.
- New CAR technologies fusing HLA-independent T-cells (HIT) receptors, combining CAR and TCR receptor attributes, leading to HLA-independent antigen binding with TCR-like functionalities.
- The potential of mRNA-based lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) presented by Tessera Therapeutics and Ghent University, which could revolutionize CAR-T therapies.
- Antion Biosciences' exploration of tuned silencing of TCR and HLA-1 using CD3ζ and β2m miRNAs, opening doors to primary allogeneic cell therapy CAR-T cells.
- A trio of discoveries in bioreactor technologies, from the substantial expansion of primary T-cells to AI modeling of production rates and the innovative use of feed beads for optimal nutrient release.
3. Our Favorite Moment: Literal Snapshots of ESCGT 2023
While scientific discussions and poster presentations help set the conference tone, the moments of camaraderie and fun generated lasting memories, too. The Molecular Mingle, in particular, provided an ideal backdrop for us to connect with old and new friends in a relaxed, social setting. (The photo booth stole the spotlight, capturing both dozens of team pix and the true vibrancy and enthusiasm of the conference.)
The Future Awaits
Next year's ESGCT annual congress will be in Rome, but between now and then, our team from Cellistic will be capitalizing on opportunities around the world to learn from our scientific peers and present our own original research. Based on what we heard in Brussels and what we know is happening in our labs, there's good reason to be optimistic about the future of cell and gene therapy. See you at the next conference!