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2024-01-24| JPM 2024R&DTechnology

Biotech Showcase 2024: A Wave of Innovation Washes Over Healthcare’s Future (Oncology Sector)

by Oscar Wu
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Despite the 42nd J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference has become the most eye-catching event among the class. The Biotech Showcase 2024 has also demonstrated its pivotal role for industry leaders to unveil and discuss their innovative approaches to some of the most pressing medical challenges of our time.

GeneOnline has digested and rounded up a series of companies’ highlights for the readers to catch up with the wave of oncology-related technologies and how the companies may impact the Healthcare industry in the near future.

Cancer Cure Conquers: Cutting-Edge Therapies Light Up Biotech Showcase

Accurius Therapeutics stood out with their NIH FastTrack grant of $2.4 million, a testament to their innovative approach in oncology. Their work on a first-of-its-kind inhalable, engineered oncolytic immunotherapy, leveraging the Influenza A Virus, promises a targeted assault on metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, a domain where traditional PD-1 antibody immunotherapies have shown limitations. Their technique could reshape the landscape of cancer treatment with a focus on enhancing patient outcomes while minimizing side effects.

AIVITA Biomedical spotlighting their Phase 3 cancer immunotherapy and a commercial vaccine kit. Their patient-specific treatments, which target tumor-initiating cells, demonstrated effectiveness in obliterating tumors in conditions like melanoma and renal cell cancer, showing the potency of their stem cell applications in combating cancer.

Dxcover demonstrated its Multi-Omic Spectral Analysis (MOSA) platform for early detection of multiple cancers. Utilizing infrared spectroscopy and AI algorithms, Dxcover’s platform showed promising results in detecting early-stage tumors across various cancers, aiming to significantly impact patient recovery and quality of life post-diagnosis.

Focal Medical announced FDA clearance for a Phase 1b clinical trial of ACT-IOP-003, a targeted therapeutic product for pancreatic cancer. The product, an implantable iontophoretic device, delivers high concentrations of gemcitabine directly into the pancreas, potentially reducing tumor volume and minimizing systemic exposure and associated toxicity.

GeoVax Labs fighting both cancer and infectious diseases. In cancer, they’re testing a new gene therapy called Gedeptin for advanced head and neck tumors. For COVID-19, they’re developing GEO-CM04S1, a vaccine specifically for high-risk patients and those who don’t respond well to existing vaccines.

GreenJay Therapeutics has made strides in the reformulation of busulfan, a stem cell transplant conditioning agent, to enhance safety profiles for patients. They have developed a new intravenous formulation, Bulanta, aimed at reducing toxicity, a significant advancement considering the current treatments’ adverse event risks due to the solvent used. This reformulation is set to improve clinical outcomes for various leukemias, lymphomas, and certain genetic diseases.

LabyRx revealed a universal vaccine targeting adenocarcinoma tumors, responsible for a majority of cancer-related deaths. This vaccine represents a universal treatment against glandular-related tumors and is in the clinical trial phase, showing promise in addressing 45% of all cancers.

Orbits Oncology bridges the gap between cancer research and treatment by creating “digital patients” from 3D tumor models. Their AI analyzes how these models respond to different drugs, predicting real-world patient reactions and streamlining drug development. They recently proved this connection in pancreatic cancer, showing their platform can guide better drug choices and reduce clinical trial risks.

Recolony has made a remarkable leap in cancer immunotherapy. By harnessing the power of the human gut microbiota and its immune-activating bacterial metabolites, they’ve unlocked new possibilities in cancer treatment. Their presentation revealed the complete mode of action of their microbiome-based therapy, including the identification of active bacterial metabolites, target receptors, and the specific immune cells activated in the process.

TAE Life Sciences, a pioneer in radiation oncology, shared compelling results from their BTS drug study for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) and their latest venture into Fc-engineered antibodies for site-specific conjugation. BNCT using specially designed drugs and a compact neutron source. This in-hospital approach precisely targets and destroys aggressive tumors, offering hope for patients who haven’t responded to other treatments.

VSPharmTech stands out with its innovative radiosensitizer, a promising advancement in cancer treatment. VSPharmTech’s radiosensitizer aims to enhance the efficacy and safety of radiation therapy for cancer patients. Their focus on AI technology and drug repurposing strategies has accelerated the development of this radiosensitizer, VS-101, which has already received IND approval for Phase 2 trials and recognition as a top company of Excellence in SME R&D Achievements by the Korean government.

Call to Actions

The promise of a future free from cancer lies not just in the labs and conference halls, but also in our collective actions. Continued investment in research, early detection initiatives, and equitable access to these life-changing therapies are crucial to translating these promises into tangible outcomes for millions of patients. As we celebrate the remarkable progress showcased at Biotech Showcase 2024, let us remember that the journey towards a cure requires sustained commitment, unwavering support, and a shared vision for a future where cancer is no longer a death sentence.

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