September marks Blood Cancer Awareness Month, a global initiative dedicated to shedding light on one of the most widespread and dangerous forms of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. It is a memorable month for patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and others concerned and touched by the impact of blood cancer.
Confronting blood cancers with a holistic approach
Annually, over a million individuals worldwide confront the life-altering reality of a blood cancer diagnosis. These diseases can affect any person, at any age, making it paramount to increase awareness regarding their symptoms and consequences. Such awareness not only helps in early detection but also underscores the pressing need for accessible and effective treatments and innovative therapies.
Over a million individuals worldwide confront the reality of a blood cancer diagnosis yearly
Cancer is a complex disease with no one-size-fits-all solution. At Galapagos, our dedication lies in taking a holistic approach to tackle cancer. We’re at the forefront of developing innovative tactics that target cancer from multiple angles. Our approach involves a diverse set of tools and strategies, including small molecules, antibody-based biological therapies, novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) cell therapies, ingenious manufacturing technologies, and various other pioneering approaches to address the complexity of cancer.
Our CellPoint™ Platform, a decentralized delivery model, is tailored to produce non-frozen CAR-T therapies right at the point-of-care.
“We recognize the urgent need of cancer patients who have few treatment options and cannot afford to wait for treatment. We are therefore committed to manufacturing personalized cell therapies at the point-of-care, right where patients are, in or near their local hospital. This innovative approach in CAR-T cell therapy development and manufacturing underscores our commitment to accelerating transformational innovation to address the unmet needs of patients with advanced cancer”, said Dr Jeevan Shetty, Head of Clinical Development Oncology.
Dr Jeevan Shetty, Head of Clinical Development Oncology at Galapagos
Decentralized manufacturing eliminates the complexity of logistics and the need for cryopreservation (preserving by freezing), significantly reducing the vein-to-vein time. Current CAR-T therapies can take months, while our CAR-T candidates, now undergoing clinical trials, have shown the potential to cut this timeframe down to just days.
The CellPoint™ Platform is Galapagos’ decentralized point-of-care CAR-T manufacturing model that consists of our proprietary end-to-end xCellit™ workflow management and monitoring software; a decentralized, functionally closed, automated manufacturing platform for cell therapies (using Lonza’s Cocoon®) and a proprietary QC testing and release strategy.
Our focus areas in Oncology
In our quest to advance cancer care, we focus on addressing the unique needs of patients with blood cancers. Our current research encompasses the following:
- Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL): Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer originating from the lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell which is part of the body’s immune system. (1)
- Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) / Small Lymphocytic Leukemia (SLL): CLL is one of the chronic lymphoproliferative disorders, which are a group of lymphoid neoplasms that affect the immune system. (2) CLL and SLL are considered the same disease entity, and their distinction is based solely on the location of the tumor. Richter’s Transformation (RT) is a rare complication of CLL. It occurs in approximately 2-10% of all CLL patients and is characterized by the sudden transformation of the CLL into a significantly more aggressive form of large cell lymphoma. (3)
- Multiple Myeloma (MM): Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects plasma cells, which are a type of white blood cell that play a crucial role in the immune system. It is a complex and incurable cancer that arises from the clonal expansion of plasma cells in the bone marrow. (4)
In the fight against cancer, we stand united, working tirelessly to bring hope, innovation, and improved outcomes to all those affected by these devastating diseases. Together with our teams and partners, we can make a difference and create a brighter future for cancer patients worldwide.
(1) – https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkin-lymphoma/about/what-is-non-hodgkin-lymphoma.html
(2)- Swerdlow SH, Campo E, Harris NL, et al. WHO classification of tumours of haematopoietic and lymphoid tissues. 4th ed. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2008.
(3)- Swerdlow, S. H., Campo, E., Harris, N. L., Jaffe, E. S., Pileri, S. A., Stein, H., … & Vardiman, J. W. (2017). WHO classification of tumours of haematopoietic and lymphoid tissues. International Agency for Research on Cancer.
(4) – WHO Classification of Tumours Editorial Board. (2017). “Tumours of haematopoietic and lymphoid tissues”. International Agency for Research on Cancer. ISBN 978-92-832-4493-8.