Covid-19 Leaves Lasting Impact on Hematology at ASH 2020 Conference

Under the heavy shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic, last week’s annual conference of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) displayed the achievements of many innovative treatments for blood conditions, including gene and cell therapies.

A sweeping new wave of Covid-19 infections that is forcing new lockdowns across the northern hemisphere is already reshaping the biotech industry. While numerous clinical trials have been postponed or canceled, biotech companies have enjoyed record investor and state interest in recent months. 

Cutting-edge technologies such as gene and cell therapy, which typically take many years to enter the mainstream, have rapidly taken center stage. The ASH conference this year was an opportunity for many of these advanced therapies in development to shine.

Big pharma appeared to dominate much of the conference. One of the announcements that received the most attention involved a gene therapy to treat hemophilia A developed by Pfizer and Sangamo that seems to be losing its effectiveness over time in one patient cohort. Meanwhile, rival CAR T-cell immunotherapies being developed by Johnson and Johnson and a Bluebird Bio/Bristol Myers Squibb partnership are getting remission rates of at least 73% in patients with blood cancer.

Another headliner was the Swiss company CRISPR Therapeutics, whose co-founder Emmanuelle Charpentier received this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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Published on Thu, 17 Dec 2020 16:13:44 +0000 in support of nintex convert collection to xml