NORCROSS, Ga., Feb. 13, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galectin Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:GALT), the leading developer of therapeutics that target galectin proteins to treat fibrosis and cancer, today announced that Peter G. Traber, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Medical Officer of Galectin Therapeutics, served on a panel titled "Keeping an I on Oncology: The ASCO Immunotherapy Preview" at the 16 th Annual BIO CEO & Investor Conference. The panel was held February 11, 2014, in New York City.
Immunotherapy, a treatment that uses the body's own immune system to help fight infection and disease, received significant attention over the past year and was named Science magazine's 2013 Breakthrough of the Year. Given the heightened attention, cancer immunotherapy, also known as immuno-oncology, will be a featured topic at the preeminent clinical oncology conference, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, to be held May 30-June 3, 2014, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill.
Dr. Traber was joined on the panel by several leaders in immunotherapy including Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, MRCP, Executive VP & Head of Global Research and Development, Merck KGaA; Samuel D. Waksal, PhD, Chairman & CEO, Kadmon Corporation; and Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD, Senior Member, H Lee Moffitt Cancer Center. The panel was moderated by Michael G. King, Jr., Senior Analyst, Biotechnology, JMP Securities.The panel reviewed the general field of immunotherapy, the recent successes and potential future directions. The launch of Yervoy® (ipilimumab) for the treatment of advanced melanoma and the clinical trial successes of anti-PD1 and anti-PD1-L has generated great interest for the potential of durable clinical responses. However, there is room for improvement as only 10 to 20 percent of patients respond to Yervoy therapy. The panel discussed the many potential targets that are under investigation including positive and negative T-cell agents, tumor vaccines, cellular therapies, adoptive immune therapies and therapies targeting the tumor microenvironment. It was broadly acknowledged that combination therapies will be the ultimate solution for increasing the percentage of responders in various tumor types.