Immuno-Oncology: From Science Fiction to the Mainstream

In just a couple of decades, immuno-oncology has taken center stage in the biotechnology industry. We discuss the evolution of the field with experts who have been in it from the very beginning.

While immuno-oncology is one of the hottest areas of medicine at the moment, that wasn’t the case 20 years ago. The idea of harnessing the immune system to fight against cancer just wasn’t heard of.  

Back in the year 2000, Harpreet Singh was completing a PhD in immunology. Together with two colleagues, he co-founded Immatics, a company in Germany that develops cancer immunotherapies.  

“Immuno-oncology didn’t really exist then. Actually, I don’t think the word immuno-oncology existed at that point,” said Singh. “I remember meeting with a pharma company and they said our T-cell technology was homeopathy, that ‘this will never work, it’s just too weak.’”

It was not the best time to start a pioneering company. “When we finally had a business plan in 2002,

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Published on Wed, 26 May 2021 09:15:55 +0000 and made possible by Apptigent PowerTools