HBA NY/NJ Women in Science (WIS) Event Focuses on Tissue-Agnostic Cancer Drug Development | HBA

HBA NY/NJ Women in Science (WIS) Event Focuses on Tissue-Agnostic Cancer Drug Development

For many years, the oncology community has desired to treat tumors according to their genetic profile rather than basing treatment solely on the tissue involved. To realize this vision, 'basket' clinical trials are increasingly used to test different tumors in a single trial based on a shared biomarker or mutation. 

The “Tissue-Agnostic Cancer Drug Development: An Emerging Paradigm Shift?” panel discussion took place at Pfizer’s New York headquarters on 23 October and addressed the complexities and opportunities of this innovative method of cancer therapy. Dr. Chris Boshoff, head and senior vice president of immuno-oncology, early development and translational oncology, Pfizer gave the keynote welcoming the audience to Pfizer.  Jillian Scaife of Trinity Partners presented a thought–provoking presentation on her company’s white paper on oncology basket trials of which she is one of the main authors.1 Dr. Geeta Devgan of Pfizer Oncology moderated the discussion on the current landscape for tissue-agnostic oncology products and implications for stakeholders across the health ecosystem.  

The intent of this venue is to explore this innovation of tissue/site-agnostic drug development,” said Jean Hom Chow, medical director in PSSR, WRS-Worldwide Safety and co-chair of WIS. “Here, we are having a conversation on this latest strategy in cancer drug development from the perspectives of the physician, biopharma, the FDA, the commercial side and the payer with the audience.”  

This meeting featured a panel of five prominent mavens in their fields who shared their thoughts and ideas with regards to tissue-agnostic cancer drug discovery and the impact on patient care. Additionally, this meeting provided a platform for encouraging dialogue among leading experts representing the regulatory, commercial, payer, clinical and BioPharma fields and with the attendees.  

The event was sold out with more than 130 attendees from biopharmas and post graduates. The WIS team was led by the co-leads Drs. Ying Lu and Deshanie Rai with expert guidance and mentoring provided by Dr. Jean Hom Chow, who was instrumental in overseeing the operational aspects of the event. They were supported by the rest of the WIS team which included Miriam Marshood, PhD (Novartis), Candace Hughes, MBA, PhD (Hughes BioPharma Advisors, LLC), Sharon M. Roberts (consultant), Lillian Seu, PhD (BMS), Juliet Hart (Chin & Hart LLC), Tatyana Fedotova, PhD (marketing and digital strategy), Rachael Pollina, MS, MSN (BMS), Lisa Weiss, PhD (Pfizer), Anindita Sinha, MS (Pfizer) and Rama Shmeis, PhD (pharmaceutical and analytical), Tasha Simms, PhD (Regeneron), Kelly Park, PharmD (Insmed, Inc.), Donna Mildvan, MD (consultant) and Adrianne Wong, PhD (International AIDS Vaccine). Added guidance was provided by HBA members including Kristy Aros (Arbor Scientia), Van Vu (SiriusDecisions) Jennifer Blanchard (Pfizer), Megan Montgomery (Pfizer) and Melissa Elder (Off the Scale). This is event was co-sponsored by Trinity Partners and the team was led by Brenna Liponis, senior consultant.  


(left to right) Ying Lu, PhD (Pfizer, PIH Immuno-Oncology, co-lead HBA NY/NJ Women In Science), Geeta Devgan, PhD (Pfizer Oncology, U.S. medical affairs, medical director), Chris Boshoff, MD, PhD (head and senior vice president of immuno-oncology, early development and translational oncology Pfizer), David Hyman, MD (chief, early drug development MSKCC), Leigh Marcus, MD (medical officer, Office of Hematology & Oncology Products, CDER, FDA), Jillian Scaife, MPH, MBA (Principal Trinity Partners), Nitin Patel (senior principal market access, IQVIA), Jean Hom Chow, MSc, MD (Pfizer, PSSR, WRS-Worldwide safety medical director, co-chair HBA NY/NJ Women In Science)


(left to right) Miriam Marshood, PhD (Novartis), Candace Hughes, PhD (Hughes, Inc.), Sharon Marsh-Roberts (consultant), Lillian Seu, PhD (BMS), Jean Hom Chow, MD (Pfizer), Juliet Hart (Chin Hart, Inc.), Tatyana Fedotova, PhD (marketing and digital strategy) and Rachael Pollina, MSN (BMS)


1. Dubuque, Claire. Major, Paxton. Suarez, Sofia. Scaife, Jillian Godfrey. DeWoskin, Vivian. “Oncology Basket Trials: An Emerging Paradigm Shift in Trial Design and Treatment Approach.” Trinity Partners. May 2018.

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