BISPECIFICS in Oncology and IO: Anything One Can Do, Can Two Do Better?

Webinar Playback:

As Immuno-Oncology continues to be at the forefront of oncology, the platforms continue to expand and evolve: from antibodies against checkpoint inhibitors to heavily engineered adoptive cell therapies (ACT) like CAR-T and RNA-based Neoantigen vaccines. Perhaps the next wave is around bispecific antibodies and related multivalent biologics. 

These “bispecific” technologies essentially come in two flavors of two-for-one activities: (1) they can be combinations of antagonists with two checkpoint inhibitors (CPI) in a single molecule (or a combination of a CPI and a costimulatory agonist), or (2) they can redirect immune cells by dual targeting of a cell surface receptor/antigen and an immune cell target such as CD3 on T-cells, obviating the need for ex vivo cell manipulation as with CAR-Ts. These bispecifics thus may offer several value propositions including improved therapeutic index (especially for solid tumors), possibly improved convenience, and even better economics. However, challenges remain, both in achieving the dual targeting as well as in on-target off-tissue AEs and cytokine release syndrome.

Leading players such as Micromet/Amgen, Xencor, MacroGenics and others, plus newer entrants such as f-star, Pieris, immatics, Crescendo and Shattuck Labs, have been pushing bispecific platforms, and numerous high profile partnerships have been enacted over the past few years in this space.

Additionally, questions remain, such as:

  • Are the cost savings of a two-in-one product worth the loss of flexibility that comes with dosing two agents independently? 
  • What is the place of bispecifics in the oncology world? 
  • What are the criteria for success in partnering in this space?

This webinar roundtable will explore these interesting technologies, the scientific issues, the clinical opportunities for developing multivalent biologics platforms, whether certain technologies, such as antibodies, their fragments, or non-antibody scaffolds, are superior to others, the pros and cons of such bispecifics for improving management of patients, and licensing and commercial strategies.

Moderator and Panelists:

Linda Pullan, PhD – Moderator Pullan Consulting

Sanket Argawal, MBA Executive Director, Global Oncology, Amgen

Jeff Bockman, PhD SVP, Head of Oncology Practice, Defined Health

Ezio Bovini Senior VP, Research and CSO, MacroGenics

Chris Hurff, Director, Business Development, Takeda

Taylor H. Schreiber, PhD CSO, Shattuck Labs