Dr. Frank Borriello had the honour to be selected as a VIP Speaker at the world’s number 1 Family Office conference, held in Monaco last month, where he highlighted the differentiation of the Alloplex approach in the oncology cellular therapy space. This is the transcript of Dr. Borriello’s interview with CEO Magazine during the summit.
Our company is involved in researching a treatment for cancer, and the approach we’re taking is a cellular therapy. It’s high tech, and yet, it’s very simple.
We have designed a procedure where we take a small amount of blood from a cancer patient, transform it in the laboratory into tumour-killing cells, expand them to a large quantity, and then provide them back to the same patient when requested by the treating physician.
And the idea is that these cells are able to search out, identify, and kill the tumour in the patient… But most importantly, without harming the normal tissues that are in the patient.
It’s an approach that many others are pursuing, but we have rather a novel twist, because we do not apply genetic engineering tools to the process. We simply ‘reprogram’ the cells to do what basically Mother Nature has already evolved for them to do.
And we’re very excited that the past five years of work is coming to fruition. And we are about to go into the clinic at the end of this year. So, we expect the next 12 to 18 months to be transformative for us.
But the reason I’m here attending the Ritossa conference is because we need the help of family offices and other investors to support what I think is a very worthy and potentially profitable course.
I think we were just lucky, to be quite honest. We moved into a new laboratory space, just before the COVID lockdown. Had we been delayed by several weeks; we would have been trapped in a suboptimal space and limiting our ability to do our work. So that was pure luck.
Another element of luck was that we weren’t in the clinic, yet. Once you go to the clinic and have to access a hospital, you have to abide by all the restrictions that the hospital has. Companies that have been in the clinic already did get impacted, but we are still in that preparation mode, where we’re not quite yet in the hospital.
I would say the primary objective of our company over the next 12 months is to ‘execution’ – to successfully prepare for, and execute, the clinical trial. And if our past results in the laboratory are any indication, we expect to observe activity against the patient cancer in the clinic.
And if we achieve that goal, then we are transformed into a totally different company.
Well, I think I wasn’t familiar with the Ritossa conference before several months ago. To be honest, it’s a world that I simply wasn’t aware existed. But after being introduced to the conference organisers, as well as the attendees, it’s clear that it represents a broad swathe of the investment community that I think most CEOs are simply not aware of.
And so, I am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to present to family funds that have a strategy to support societally-important goals – not just to make a profit, although that is important – but also to shape the future.
Watch the interview on CEO Magazine’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZprAQWKgRSQ