A: I EXPECT WE WILL SEE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM HARNESSED with our growing understanding of the role of T cells and B cells in disease. We already have seen CAR-T therapeutics take off with Kymriah. I expect this will continue with others entering the field. In oncology, immunotherapies stimulate the immune system. The other side of T-cell therapeutics is antigen-specific immunotherapy or epitope-specific immunotherapy designed to selectively shut down or reprogram the specific T-cell response causing autoimmune disease. The expectation is that the immune system is selectively reprogramed so that it does not attack. Failures have been abundant, but the tide has turned, and I expect new treatments entering the market along with biomarkers to monitor disease. Of course, CRISPR technologies and pay-for-performance pricing will continue to evolve and impact biopharma.
Leslie is president, CEO, and founder of ImmusanT, Inc., an early-stage company focused on peptide treatments for autoimmune diseases. She has more than 20 years of industry experience.