SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Every January, the global medical health and financial investment sectors turn their focus to San Francisco. The J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference has been successfully held here for 42 editions, becoming a hall where industry thought converges and sparks fly. On January 10 this year, GenScript Biotech hosted the “Satellite Session” of the J.P. Morgan annual conference—the 2024 GenScript Biotech Global Forum in San Francisco. Leaders from academia, investment, and business sectors in the field of gene and cell therapy (GCT) gathered, with over a thousand industry elites registering for the forum, making it a grand and collaborative event. Noteworthy, keynote speakers such as Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the FDA, and David Liu, a pioneer in gene editing, delivered powerful speeches both online and on-site, significantly heightened the forum’s profile. These industry luminaries collectively explored the future of GCT, injecting new vitality into the sector’s development.
GCT is rapidly emerging as a key force in the field of healthcare. The latest data from the FDA’s official website shows that by the end of 2023, CBER had approved 34 GCT products, illuminating greater hope for curing diseases. GenScript Biotech is committed to building a high-quality platform for exchange and cooperation for global peers, driving the advancement of the cell and gene industry. The forum brought together experts and business leaders from around the world to delve into the emerging trends and commercialization paths in the field of GCT under the theme “Innovations and Breakthroughs Shaping Tomorrow’s Cell and Gene Therapies.” Participants actively exchanged and shared the latest scientific research findings, breakthrough technologies, and commercialization strategies, contributing wisdom and strength to propel the development of the industry.
At the opening of the forum, Ms. Sherry Shao, the rotating CEO of GenScript Biotech, delivered an enthusiastic opening address, mentioning that despite the ups and downs experienced in the GCT sector, we are still filled with joy to witness new breakthroughs emerging daily. These advances and approvals not only invigorate the academic community within GCT but also inspire the industry’s pioneers to continue moving forward. GenScript Biotech has, over the past two decades, revolutionized the gene synthesis industry with its high-quality products and services, progressively growing into a biotech titan that encompasses the entire spectrum from early-stage research to the final CAR-T products. since the first global forum was held in 2020, GenScript Biotech has created numerous valuable opportunities for industry peers. GenScript Biotech will spare no effort to continue to build a vibrant and inclusive platform for the industry, to jointly shape a bright future for the field of GCT.
David Liu, an outstanding molecular biologist at the Broad Institute, Harvard University professor, and one of the pioneers of gene editing, delivered a keynote speech on ” Base editing and Prime Editing: Correcting Mutations that Cause Genetic Disease in Cells, Animals, and Patients.” Professor Liu shared the exhilarating progress his lab has made in this field, from developing CRISPR-based Base Editor in 2016 to the continuous updates and iterations over the recent years, and now the significant milestone of the first clinical development stage quadruple base editing allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy BEAM-201 in the first patient, marking an important step for base editing technology in clinical applications and opening new possibilities for the future of cell therapy. In his speech, Professor Liu emphasized the relentless efforts of scientists and the medical community, and the significance of technological innovation for the medical field. He also shared the team’s progress in exploring new treatments, improving existing therapies, and envisioned the broad prospects of base editing technology for the treatment of genetic diseases, life sciences, and healthcare.
Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), delivered an online keynote speech titled “Facilitating the Development of Cell and Gene Therapy,” delving into the development of GCT in the medical field. He highlighted the FDA’s efforts to foster the development of GCT products, noting that CAR-T cell therapy is showing ” impressive development,” and despite potential risks, ” the overall benefits of these products continue to outweigh their potential risks for approval uses.” In addition, Director Marks also underscored the potential value of gene therapy in treating rare diseases, emphasizing its long-term efficacy and curative possibilities. He delved into the challenges in the gene therapy manufacturing process and proposed solutions, including the search for more efficient manufacturing techniques and application platform technologies. Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of global collaboration to facilitate the approval of gene therapy in different countries.
The online keynote speech sparked high interest among the audience. Attendees showed keen interest in the FDA’s efforts in advancing GCT. Throughout the speech, the attendees were fully engaged, highly appreciating Dr. Peter Marks’ insights into the potential challenges of this therapy and expressing great expectations for the future of GCT.
In addition to the exciting keynote speeches, the forum also meticulously arranged three roundtable discussions, including “CAR-T Leaders Drive GCT Commercialization,” “Next-Generation Gene Therapy,” and “What Lies Ahead for GCT Commercialization Amid Funding Frenzy,” which were equally captivating.
In the CAR-T commercialization discussion, Simone Fishburn, Editor in Chief of BioCentury, , joined industry giants such as Ying Huang, CEO of Legend Biotech; Kanti Thirumoorthy, CTO (T-cell Therapy) at AstraZeneca and SVP of Technical Operations at Neogene Therapeutics; Adrian Bot, Founding Chief Scientific Officer & Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Capstan Therapeutics; Lekha Mikkilineni, Assistant Professor, Division of Blood & Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy at Stanford University School of Medicine; and Nina Shah, Global Head of Multiple Myeloma Clinical Development and Strategy at Strategy，Haematology Research & Development of AstraZeneca. They shared their experiences in the development and approval processes of CAR-T therapies, including close collaboration with regulatory bodies, focusing on the preparations needed for the commercialization of CAR-T cell therapy, manufacturing innovation, optimization of regulatory strategies, and challenges faced by next-generation CAR-T products. The speakers shared their progress in the field of CAR-T cell therapy, stressed the synergistic effects between technological innovation, clinical application, and commercialization, and delved into how the exchange between cell therapy and gene therapy would drive the commercialization processes of both, as well as the application of CAR-T therapy in the treatment of autoimmune diseases and its potential impact on the entire field.
In the roundtable discussion “Next-Generation Gene Therapy ” hosted by Ken Prentice, Vice President of Process Development and Manufacturing at Shape Therapeutics, several gene editing field elites shared their unique insights and visions for the future. Derek Hicks, CBO at Intellia Therapeutics; Devyn Smith, CEO at Arbor Biotech; Stanley Qi, Associate Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University, Scientific Founder at Epic Bio; Alex Goraltchouk, Chief Operating Officer at Remedium Bio; and Nathan Mao, Chief Technology Officer at GenScript ProBio, they look to the future of gene therapy with unbridled optimism, envisioning a landscape transformed by CRISPR technology, the commercial viability, and cross-disciplinary innovations. The discussions brought to light the swift and relentless pace of innovation within the gene therapy realm, confronting the particular hurdles in delivery and production head-on. Gene therapy enterprises are urged to allocate ample resources, even under the duress of tight timelines, to secure the treatments’ safety and efficacy. Artificial intelligence stands as a pivotal force for propelling innovation forward, necessitating an open exchange of information to catalyze systemic enhancements. This vision, brimming with confidence, not only promises a new era of medical breakthroughs but also galvanizes a community to pioneer and perfect the healing arts of the future. The experts unanimously believed that the continuous evolution of the next generation of gene editing technologies would bring more breakthroughs and opportunities to the scientific community, bringing more hope and well-being to the medical industry and patients.
In the context of the current funding boom, the future commercialization of GCT is at a critical moment, and the advice and opinions of investors will become an important force shaping the industry’s future. During the roundtable discussion “What Lies Ahead for GCT Commercialization Amid Funding Frenzy,” numerous distinguished representatives from the financial world gathered. Keith Crandell, Co-founder and Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners; Konstantinos Aprilakis, Partner at Deerfield Management; Peter Balogh, Analyst at RA Capital Management; John Mendlein, Executive Partner at Flagship Pioneering; Yi Shi, Founding Managing Partner at Lilly Asia Ventures, and Vincent Xiang, Managing Partner and Founder at 7G BioVentures, delved into the future trends of the biotechnology and healthcare industries, with a keen focus on the challenges and opportunities within the realms of gene and cell therapies. Throughout the discussion, there were frequent comparisons between decisions made in previous years and the current reality, highlighting the power of belief and analyzing how capital can truly play a sustaining role in the industry’s growth. The potential of medical innovation to reduce overall healthcare costs was explored in depth, underscoring the critical need for innovation. The collective outlook on the life sciences landscape for 2024 was painted with optimism, coupled with a resounding confidence in what the future holds. The expression of humor among these elite figures in the investment world, coupled with their collisions of ideas, elicited laughter and applause from the audience in the venue.
The annual GenScript Biotech Global Forum concluded in a warm atmosphere. This grand event brought together the wisdom and strength of global elites in the biopharmaceutical industry, sparking a profound discourse on the future of GCT. Experts and scholars thoroughly analyzed the latest developments and cutting-edge technologies in the field of GCT, firmly believing that in this industry, it is only through arduous and outstanding innovation that the eternal dream of human health can be realized. The future of the field will always require a fusion of intelligence and courage. This belief resonated throughout the forum, inspiring participants to continue forging paths toward groundbreaking discoveries that promise to redefine our collective wellbeing.
About GenScript Biotech Corporation
GenScript Biotech Corporation (HK.1548) is the world’s leading technology and service provider of life science R&D and manufacture. Built upon its solid gene synthesis technology, GenScript Biotech is divided into four major platforms including the life science service and product platform, the biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) platform, the industrial synthetic products platform, and the integrated global cell therapy platform.
GenScript Biotech was founded in New Jersey, US in 2002 and listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2015. GenScript Biotech’s business operations span over 100 countries and regions worldwide with legal entities located in the US, Mainland China, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore, Netherlands, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Korea, and Belgium. GenScript Biotech provides premium, convenient and reliable services and products for over 200,000 customers.
As of June 30, 2023, GenScript Biotech had more than 6,400 employees globally. In addition, GenScript Biotech owns a number of intellectual property rights, including over 240 patents, over 900 pending patent applications and great numbers of trade secrets.
Driven by the corporate mission of “make people and nature healthier through biotechnology”, GenScript Biotech strives to become the most trustworthy biotech company in the world. As of June 30, 2023, 85,100 peer-reviewed journal articles worldwide have cited GenScript Biotech’s services and products.