The American Society of Hematology (ASH) 2019 meeting, the world’s biggest hematology conference, addressed a number of new and exciting hematology-based research developments. Topics such as health care disparities, the efforts to overcome obstacles to CAR T therapy, new developments in the care of sickle cell diseases and new progress in preventing and treating venous thromboembolism were just some of the highlights from ASH 2019.
Below, our Brandon Early, VP of Project Development for the Americas, and Marty Lee, VP of Medical Affairs, share their own highlights and insights from a fast paced four days down south:
An experienced team of 25 from PRA—featuring people from our business development team, talent acquisition, medical affairs, and product development—travelled to a busy and balmy Orlando, Florida last weekend. Over 30,000 people from 25 countries attended, a record for the event. With 5,978 abstracts available for review, the amount of research was staggering. Our team also had over 60 meetings arranged, so as you can imagine, the trip was simultaneously exhausting and exhilarating. We spent our days moving from exciting scientific presentations to exciting client meetings.
These are some of our key takeaways from #ASH19
- A remarkable amount of transformational science was presented:
- Janssen presented an unprecedented 100% overall response rate (ORR) using their CAR T JNJ-4528 in multiple myeloma. This resulted in complete disappearance of disease in 69% of the patients. Though they are still confirming the safety profile, these numbers are noteworthy.
- In cell therapy, Juno/Celgene/Bristol-Myers’ Squibb’s CAR T in lymphoma similarly posted great response and survival data in a large sample size of patients who had failed many prior therapies. It also came with an encouraging safety profile.
- Bluebird Bio presented updated data of their gene therapy in both sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia. Sustaining the treatment effects long-term is a key ongoing storyline for these potentially curative therapies.
- The BeatAML trial, a collaboration between the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and industry pharma partners, presented an overview of recently maturing trial data. These successes could be great foreshadowing for LLS’ recently announced pediatric approach to this trial design – the Children’s Initiative & PedAL trial.
- We work with some amazing clients:
- We were fortunate to catch up with existing clients outside of the daily routine. Our teams also met some exciting new clients focused on raising the bar scientifically. Everyone can engage their brains in new ways and deepen our bonds.
- Academic conferences often begin “early engagement” relationships with our clients – a way to apply our diverse expertise into our clients’ development plans and keep corporate timelines on-track.
- December meetings in sunny locations are a great idea!
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