Media Hub

An Interview with Chad May

Chad May
Senior Vice President of Research & Development
Maverick Therapeutics

What key breakthroughs are required to progress more therapeutics to market?

Their safety profile needs to be improved. Cell engagers are extremely potent and have the potential to eradicate tumors, while also severely damaging healthy tissues. Platform designs that can differentiate between tumor and healthy tissues will be the key to their broad success in the market.

Additionally, testing cell engagers in the clinic has historically been a slow process due to regulatory guidelines set around testing immune cell agonists in patients. Because initial doses administered to patients are often required
to be given at very low concentrations, the dose escalation phase can take years and the initial patients treated are unlikely to see much benefit.

So, as more cell engagers are tested in patients and we develop a more rational method for estimating first-in-human doses, the time required to move cell engagers through clinical trials should become more reasonable while still maintaining patient safety.

An Interview with Holger Wesche

Holger Wesche
Chief Scientific Officer
Harpoon Therapeutics

What do you feel is the biggest challenge preventing wide scale use of cell engagers in patients?

I think the biggest challenge in the field of T cell engagers is our limited understanding of how to manage cytokines in the clinic. Cytokines are an integral part of any immune response, and required for robust efficacy. However, cytokines can also be a significant safety liability.

Unfortunately we do not yet have the understanding or tools to manage cytokines efficiently in the clinic...