Genentech to Present at 2015 COPD & Asthma Conference on Biomarker Selection

Genentech to Present at 2015 COPD & Asthma Conference on Biomarker Selection

Biotechnology company Genentech has been invited to present at the 11th Asthma & COPD conference, an annual event that will gather some of the most internationally prominent scientists, clinicians and industry leaders to discuss the latest findings on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Genentech will be presenting new insights on their targeted therapy for the treatment of severe asthma. The event will take place between April 13 and 14 in London, United Kingdom.

The associate director of Genentech, Joseph Arron, will be focusing on the heterogeneity of the disease, hypothesis of selecting biomarkers, as well as on the latest developments regarding asthma phenotypes. The discussion is one of the highlights of the conference, as biomarker selection is among the most promising, emerging technologies in the treatment of asthma, and is one of the main focuses of Genentech.

“Biomarker-guided patient selection strategies have already contributed to positive outcomes in clinical trials for new candidate therapies for asthma,” said Arron, who holds the position of associate director of Biomarker & Discovery at Genentech. “As I will discuss at the conference, recent successes with antibodies targeting interleukin (IL-)5, IL-13 and related type 2 inflammatory pathways have demonstrated the value of using predictive biomarkers to select patients most likely to benefit.”

“As more highly targeted molecular therapies are developed, we need to move away from empirical symptom-based treatment algorithms toward biologically-informed decision-making tools,” added Dr. Arron, who is also a leader of one of the company’s laboratory-based biomarker discovery group. “Ideally, if we are able to successfully treat one subtype of asthma and/or COPD we can focus our efforts on identifying new therapeutic targets in the subtypes that do not benefit from these interventions.”

Severe asthma is a growing concern within the medical community, as it currently affects one in every 11 children and one in every 12 adults. A recent study entitled “Severe Asthma: Definition, Diagnosis and Treatment” reviewed the main areas of concern regarding severe asthma treatment that require particular attention by clinicians, revealing the challenges of patients who remain untreatable despite the most intensive available treatments.

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The conference each year invites important influencers and scientists from the field of lung and respiratory diseases to discuss recent therapeutic developments, as well as the future of treatment, diagnosis and care. During the event, more than 20 case studies will be discussed by industry and academia representatives. In addition, the conference will also include an interactive workshop, a round table discussion, and three hours dedicated to networking.

“At conferences like this, I always look forward to hearing what academic clinicians are thinking about — they are closest to the patients and generate key insights that help those of us in drug development think differently about how to approach disease,” Dr. Arron said about his expectations for the conference.

In addition to Genentech, Amgen will also be represented by its scientific director Dirk Smith, while GSK will offer a presentation through its medical director of respiratory R&D Hector Ortega. MedImmune will be represented by its senior director for respiratory, inflammation & autoimmunity, Roland Kolbeck. Maria Buxton, who is a consultant respiratory physiotherapist, at the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust, will also be presenting at the conference.

From the academic field, other speakers scheduled to speak are the professor of respiratory medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute from the Imperial College London, Sebastian Johnston, the senior lecturer in respiratory medicine at the Manchester University, Robert Niven, and the professor of respiratory medicine from the University of Glasgow, Neil C Thomson.

As a preview of what the event has in store for its attendees, SMi, the global event-production company organizing the conference, has released the top 10 reasons why attending the Asthma & COPD 2015 conference is a must. Since both asthma and COPD are two serious lung-related health complications with devastating impacts on people, public health, and economies, the conference is a way of accelerating research and drug development by gathering the pulmonary community together.

More information about the conference, which will take place on April 13 and 14, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Regents Park Hotel, in London, UK, is available on the website of the event here. Registration is required.

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