- (0: 55 ) - The Role of a Chief Medical Officer at a Biotech Company
- (2: 25 ) - Why is the ASCO conference Important To Kite Pharma?
- (4: 15 ) - Kite's Approach to Cellular Therapy: How a 'T Cell Receptor' and a 'Chimeric Antigen Receptor' Help Fight Cancer
- (7: 00 ) - What Cancers Are These Therapies Most Effective In Treating?
- (8: 40 ) - Why Is Immunotherapy On The Rise and What Are The Risks?
- (11: 05 ) - What Have Been The Results For These Therapies?
- (13: 20 ) - What's The Future For Cellular Therapy?
- (15: 30 ) - Episode Roundup: Podcast@Zacks.com
Can you use the power of your immune system to fight cancer?
Companies in the immunotherapy segment of the biotech world think so, and they are making great strides in fighting cancer with this approach too. The idea is that by reprograming, enhancing, and manipulating your body's own natural defense system, you can fight cancer in a way that was unthinkable even a decade or so ago.
But how does this process work? For this edition of the Dutram Report , I get to the bottom of this new approach by interviewing Dr. David Chang in studio. Dr. Chang is the Chief Medical Officer at Kite Pharma (KITE), a roughly $6 billion market cap company that is at the forefront of the immunotherapy revolution.
What's So Special?
Dr. Chang walks us through the basics of immunotherapy, including what the role of a Chief Medical Officer is at a biotech company. We also talk about the ASCO Conference in Chicago, which is an extremely important event for the industry and anyone interested in the biotech sector at large too.
But the focus of the interview is on Kite's approaches to fighting cancer, namely TCR and CAR T-cell therapies. We go over how this process helps to fight cancer and how new DNA is inserted into blood cells so that the cells can successfully fend off a cancer threat.
While Dr. Chang does a much better job of describing it in the podcast, the basics of the approach are actually quite simple. Blood is removed from a patient, and then T-cells are isolated and activated. Kite then takes these T-cells, and engineers them with the CAR or TCR gene so that they can more effectively battle cancer. These cells are then grown and reinfused back into a patient in order to go on fight the cancer inside.
But in addition to discussing the technique, we also talk about what has happened in recent years that makes such a shift in cancer therapy possible, and why some cancers are better targets for the first generations of this new approach. Dr. Chang also talks about a few of the risks of this method, and where he thinks the world of cellular therapy is headed in the years ahead.
Why Is This So Important?
Some might be asking what makes this process so different from chemotherapy, but the results so far speak for themselves. Dr. Chang discusses some of the incredible initial successes with this approach, and why many are so optimistic on this technique for the future as well.
I was absolutely astounded to hear about how this approach is drastically altering the world of cancer research, and I definitely learned an immense amount from Dr. Chang about immunotherapy too. I have no doubt you'll learn plenty about this exciting corner of the biotech world in this week's edition of the Dutram Report , so make sure to give it a listen!
But what do you think about KITE and the rest of the immunotherapy world? Is this going to revolutionize cancer research? Make sure to write us in at podcast @ zacks.com or find me on Twitter @EricDutram to give us your thoughts on cancer research, Kite, or anything else that is on your mind.
But for more news and discussion regarding the world of investing, make sure to be on the lookout for the next edition of the Dutram Report (each and every Thursday!) and check out the many other great Zacks podcasts as well!
And if you'd like additional info regarding the world of immunotherapy, make sure to also check out part I of this interview, which featured Brad Loncar who created the index behind the Immunotherapy ETF, CNCR. Stocks in CNCR are often relatively small weights or excluded from popular biotech funds such as XBI or IBB, so make sure to look at the link below for more information on why this is such a key area of the biotech world of the future:
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