Our decision to launch a cancer models event relates directly to our social mission:
To deliver meaningful progress for patients
We are motivated by patient impact over profit… Here why we’re putting this event together:
1. To close the gap between the innovation happening in tumor models, and the impact of that innovation on clinical trial success rates, and - ultimately - patients.
Improve clinical trial success rates. The clinical success rate of cancer drugs has dropped to 3.4%. It’s getting worse, not better.
Drive innovation. There are many factors at play, but chief among them is that the preclinical models used to predict clinical success are not as good as they should be. With the promise of new modalities, the lack of effective models for those drugs feels almost criminal. Yet, so much incredible progress is being made in this area.
Translate innovation into patient benefit. Let’s turn that innovation into tangible impact that patients will feel as soon as possible.
At this event: Expect a particular focus on innovation and translation of innovation into patient benefits, as quickly as possible.
2. Existing tumor models meetings are often too expensive for the benefit to be truly felt among patients.
The lead Tumor Models event in 2018 (Boston, July 2018) cost between $1,499 and $2,299 to attend. That’s criminal. Here’s why:
We need to maximize the impact of tumor models events. So many people – thinkers and doers who could really make a difference – cannot afford those ticket prices. Their voices are not being heard. For the greatest impact possible, we need more of the right voices in the room.
People are dying because the process isn’t working. More people than ever are suffering and dying from cancer. Often it’s not that the drugs don’t work. It’s because the process fails. That places a moral imperative on organizers to prices tickets fairly, and prioritize patient impact over profit.
Innovative minds are barred from the conversation. Innovation can come from the most unlikely of quarters. Not just those with the biggest pockets.
At this event: We will minimize attendee ticket prices (around $300-500) to ensure that everyone using tumor models who wants to attend, can. We will have a limited number of free passes for people to apply for.
3. To bring the entire cancer models ecosystem together.
This event will bring people together from big pharma, medium and emerging biopharma, research centres, hospitals, tech companies and patient representatives. Why?
Diversity of background. Innovation comes from everywhere, sometimes the least likely of places. Big pharma – for instance – often have most to learn from organizations who are not developing drugs. Perhaps they’re using them to direct treatments for patients in a hospital setting.
Transfer of intelligence. The days of information flowing in a single direction (from disease knowledge > target discovery > lead generation > preclinical > clinical > clinic) are over. Information and intelligence is not just flowing both ways, but it’s slipping stages. Or at least it should. What we learn in using, for example, mouse avatars in a healthcare setting can and should be used in preclinical drug development.
To support model use in healthcare. Increasingly, cancer models are being used to determine the optimal treatments for cancer patients. This is not just an opportunity for pharma. It extends right to the front line of routine cancer care.
Exchange of ideas. There is an increased need for exchange of ideas and intelligence between industry, academia, technology, healthcare and patient representatives.
Patient voices. Patient voices are often excluded from the discussion, and they are more important than ever. How do patients feel about the role of models in precision medicine? What preferences might they have? How can we integrate better models into treatment, in a way that patients (those who want to) can connect with?
At this event: We will have significant representation from all stakeholders, including patient organizations, and increased agenda participation from all sectors. We expect to push forward progress in cancer modelling in all parts of the ecosystem.
4. Tumor model progression is about more than hearing from big pharma (especially for big pharma).
Understanding this is one of the keys to unlocking advances and innovation in the entire tumor models ecosystem, including big pharma.
Emerging and mid-sized biopharma. Among drug developers, 80% of models are bought by med-sized and emerging biopharma. Big pharma are increasingly relying on smaller drug developers for early stage development. Ensuring those smaller companies are heard and supported is critically important for future cancer drug development.
Big pharma need to take a fresh approach. There are some very good big pharma benchmarking events (“what are other big pharma doing?”). But there’s strong evidence that many big pharma are tied to the same models sequence that they’ve been using for some time. So big pharma may have most to learn from new approaches happening outside of their stringent practices and processes.
At this event: Expect more representation from medium and emerging biopharma, in particular those with innovative approaches and platforms. Plenty of big pharma too.
5. It’s about the models. But it’s not just about the models.
Innovation in models is critical, and this event will focus on those innovations. But there’s more to it than that.
Advancing translational programs. It’s how innovative models hang together to form an effective translational program that will ultimately make a difference. Focusing on one model type in isolation of other considerations is almost pointless.
Innovation to support new modalities and targets. It’s also about how we can develop models to support new promising modalities (e.g. IO, gene therapy, combinations), as well as recreate testing conditions for the biggest killer of all – metastatic cancer.
At this event: Increased focus on developing cost-effective and speedy translational programs, plus innovative approaches for developing models for new modalities/combinations and metastases.
6. Existing tumor models conferences deal with cutting edge technology using 40-year old conference approaches.
We plan to use technology and formats to enhance attendee experience and meeting impact. Including:
Live polling and questions. We use Slido for live polling, questioning and voting during presentations, so that attendees can learn from other’s questions and speakers can address issues that matter for more people in the audience.
Unlock innovation. Our Innovation Showcase presents new, disruptive technologies that have not yet hit the consciousness of attendees. The audience vote for the most innovative technology.
Meet the right people. We use Curated Speed Networking to ensure that every attendee (including speakers) get introduced to more of the people that they would like to meet.
Expand your network and pre-competitive collaboration. We use a Mobile App to ensure that attendees can reach out to other attendees during and after the meeting, to help form pre-competitive consortia or simply extend their network.
At this event: New formats and technology to enhance the experience, but also a recognition of when PowerPoint simply works best.
7. The benefits of the conference need to extend beyond the people in the room. Patients are waiting.
Phew. Now we’ve got that sorted, what’s next?
Click here to see it.