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European Biopharmaceutical Review

A Look into Leukopaks

What are the benefits of immunology and cell therapy research, for patients and the pharmaceutical industry?

Malfunctions of the immune system can lead to a range of conditions, from cancer through to allergies and asthma. Recent research has also indicated links between the immune system and metabolic, cardiovascular, and even neurodegenerative disorders. The study of the immune system is, therefore, key to understanding and treating human disease. Immunotherapy is a promising treatment that works by using parts of a person’s own immune system to more effectively fight diseases, such as cancer.

In terms of patient benefits, advances in cell therapy research have enabled patient treatment using adoptive cell therapies that modify a person’s immune cells to seek out and destroy cancer cells, like with CAR T therapy, for example. For many cancers, these therapies can offer better results and provide an effective alternative when radiation or chemotherapy won’t work. Cell therapies generally cause fewer side effects, since they target only specific cells. In addition, immunotherapies may be more effective than other treatment approaches at preventing cancer remission by facilitating ‘immunomemory,’ whereby the immune system is trained to remember cancer cells.

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Stephanie Nickles Thielemann, Associate Director of Bioscience Discovery Services at Lonza, obtained her BSc in Biology from Villanova University, US, and her MSc in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. She has over 25 years of experience in product management and marketing in the life science industry, working in several biotech and biopharma companies supporting high throughput screening technologies and products for drug discovery and disease research. She joined Lonza in 2003 as a product manager, and since then she has managed various product portfolios in the cell and molecular biology markets. Currently, she heads the Lonza Bioscience Discovery Services business with a strategic focus on growth and expansion.

Andrew Winner, Global Product Manager for CellBio Services, Lonza, obtained his BSc in Microbiology from the University of Maryland, US. He has nearly 15 years of experience in both technical support and marketing in the life science industry, supporting products for drug discovery and disease research. He joined Lonza in 2007 as a technical support specialist, where he assisted and troubleshot for scientists using various cell biology products. Currently, he manages and markets Lonza’s CellBio Services line of custom, research-use products and services.
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