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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Harnessing the Immune System Against Cancer

Cancerous cells contain numerous mutations, qualitative and quantitative, spatial and temporal, relative to their normal, non-cancerous counterparts. At certain periods during tumour cells' growth and spread, a proportion of these are capable of being recognised by the hosts' immune system as abnormal. This has led to numerous research efforts worldwide to develop immunotherapies that harness the power of the hosts' immune system and direct it to attack the cancerous cells, thereby eliminating such aberrant cells at least to a level that is not life-threatening (1,2). The market has recognised the potential of this approach, and the cancer vaccine revenues alone are forecast at US$3 billion by 2008 (3). Numerous approaches have been taken in the quest for cancer immunotherapies, which can be classified under the five categories covered in this article:


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By Dr Anthony Walker, CEO of Onyvax Ltd

Prior to co-founding Onyvax in 1997, Anthony Walker spent 10 years as a Management Consultant, specialising in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. During his eight years at Arthur D. Little, Anthony was appointed a European Director, responsible for the London-based pharmaceutical practice that he founded, and at The Wilkerson Group (London) he had responsibility for the UK, Benelux and Scandinavian markets.
Anthony has consulted to 12 of the top 25 Rx companies and has also worked closely with over 20 biotechnology companies. In addition, he has produced expert reports for a number of UK biotech IPOs.

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Dr Anthony Walker
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