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Catherine Bollard

The Power List 2021 – Advanced Medicine

Director at the Children’s National Research Institute; and Professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University

“The success of the mRNA vaccine technology for COVID-19, I believe, has huge implications for the cancer vaccine field and, ultimately, for combination vaccine and cell therapy approaches for cancer and virus infections. But the biggest challenge remains the centralized manufacturing model for large-scale patient-specific products as more cell therapies are getting approval (for example, the latest approval of the Bristol Myers Squibb BCMA-CAR T cell product for myeloma). Looking to the future, cell-based therapies will not be sustainable with a purely patient-specific centralized manufacturing model and, therefore, the field must move into the development of off-the-shelf cell therapies. The success of off-the-shelf virus-specific T cells is especially exciting because it has the potential to be the platform for other antigen specific and CAR T cell therapies.”

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