ASH 2023: How our approach sparks the Hematology Community’s imagination

By Anna van Muyden and Judith Raaijmakers

13 December, 09:00, Schiphol. The wheels of the Delta Airlines flight touch down on the tarmac. 14 hours earlier, we took off at San Diego International Airport. A bit blurry-eyed from the long flight, but with a spring in our stride, we set foot on home soil again after some exciting days at the ASH congress. Read further for our experience at ASH 2023.

What is ASH?

First things first. What is ASH? ASH is short for American Society of Hematology. Each year, they organize the ASH congress, a scientific conference gathering hematologists, researchers, and other healthcare professionals from around the world. It is regarded as the most important congress of the year in this field, and it serves as a platform for the presentation of cutting-edge research, clinical trials, and advancements in hematology.

Ruiz Astigarraga, Head of Manufacturing Cell Therapy, sheds light on Galapagos’ innovative approach to CAR-T manufacturing near the point-of-care

Ruiz Astigarraga, Head of Manufacturing Cell Therapy, sheds light on Galapagos’ innovative approach to CAR-T manufacturing near the point-of-care

A crowdy booth

For us, the congress is an opportunity to further introduce our decentralized, innovative point-of-care manufacturing platform to the hematology community. It also offers a platform to share details and results of our ongoing clinical trials in Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), Chronic lymphocytic leukemia and Multiple myeloma (MM).

Our approach definitely resonates, as we saw a lot of activity, engagement, and positive interactions and exchange of ideas among hematology experts at our booth. Our model relies on external, decentralized manufacturing sites such as academic hospitals or contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs), and we are still expanding our network and starting up new collaborations.

It was great to experience that so many attendees already heard about Galapagos and our point-of-car model and came to our booth to discuss their participation in our manufacturing network. We went home with a lots of new connections to follow up with in 2024!

A lot of interest and excitement at the Galapagos booth at ASH 2023

A full house for Ruiz

No shortage of activities for Galapagos at the congress, with a company showcase, a KOL event, three advisory boards, poster sessions with our clinical data, and a media event. All events were very successful, but we want to highlight our company showcase, delivered by our colleague Ruiz Astigarraga, who is our Head of Manufacturing Cell Therapy at Galapagos.

Ruiz Astigarraga, Head of Manufacturing Cell Therapy, explaining our innovative approach to a packed room at ASH 2023

His keynote on Galapagos and our approach in cell therapy did not go unnoticed. People were queuing for the showcase, and the organization had to open up 2 satellite rooms to host everyone.

Attendants of ASH 2023 queuing for Galapagos’ Company Showcase

A strong scientific presence

We held a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) event for analysts and investors, that featured professor Matthew S. Davids, professor Paolo Ghia, professor Sébastien Anguille and professor Michael R. Bishop who commented on the results observed to date in the ongoing Phase 1/2 CD19 CAR-T studies with GLPG5201 (EUPLAGIA-1) in patients with relapsed/refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia (rrCLL), with or without Richter transformation and GLPG5101 (ATALANTA-1), in patients with relapsed/refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma (rrNHL),
The hematology experts discussed the potential of our point-of-care manufactured CAR-T candidates to improve the outcome of patients with a broad range of B-cell malignancies.

A still from the KOL event, where experts discussed observed results in Galapagos’ CAR-T studies

Additionally, we had organized 3 advisory boards with top experts across Europe and the United states, with whom we discussed our data and further development opportunities. It was thrilling to see how our platform and data is perceived by these KOLs.

Three abstracts were submitted for this conference and accepted for a poster publication. Updated clinical data was presented for the EUPLAGIA-1 study and Atalanta-1 study, as well as the clinical study design of our third CAR-T candidate GLPG5301 in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (PAPILIO-1 Phase 1/2 study).

Lastly, we hosted a media briefing with hematology experts discussing innovative approaches in CAR-T treatment that have the potential to transform the lives of patients around the world.

An energizing experience

The congress was a success for our team, and we are thankful for the enthusiasm of the hematology community. The vibrant atmosphere and enthusiastic engagement from visitors created an energy that resonated with us, and the response from attendees exceeded our expectations. Overall, this edition of the ASH congress left a lasting impact. So, jetlagged? Yes! Inspired to keep pioneering for patients? Certainly! Energized? Absolutely!

Galapagos’ team at the booth during the ASH 2023 Congress

Learn more about our approach in Oncology

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Replay our ASH 2023 KOL Event

Did you miss our KOL event at ASH 2023? Not to worry!

Paul’s LinkedIn

Hear from Paul Stoffels about ASH 2023

Our CEO Paul Stoffels shared his experiences from ASH 2023 on his LinkedIn profile.

While you are at it, follow Paul for his updates on Galapagos and his views on the biopharmaceutical landscape. Definitely worth following!