Once upon a time people wondered whether cell therapies would make it. With that question all but unriddled, the industry is surging forward with new questions and even more creative solutions – takeaways from ISCT 2018, Montreal.
Energized. That is how we sum up the vibe at this year’s International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) meeting in Montreal. At times the meeting reminded us of a rock concert, with photo-snapping phones surfacing at key moments and near-mobbing of some presenters after their talks. During the kick-off, a cord blood recipient coveted her doctor’s autograph over George Clooney’s. Not a rock star, but close.
Ten years ago nobody would have predicted such dedication. With wonder, cell therapy pioneer Carl June remarked that the packed plenary hall would have been just ten people in those early days. But that was before the recent market approvals of several cell and gene therapies. The question ‘Can we make them?’ has been answered with a resounding yes. Next up: ‘How can we make them better?'
ISCT 2018 attendees came eager to tackle the new question. With several market successes secured, these topics garnered much discussion.