Message for World Cancer Day

Harnessing the immune system in our battle against cancer

World Cancer Day reminds us of the importance of commitment. In the fight against cancer we must never waver from our commitment to do more on behalf of patients – long after this day has passed. For those of us in the biotechnology community, being committed to patients means elucidating new science, forging new partnerships, advancing discoveries and taking risks – all in a collective effort to change the course of treatment and extend lives.

Aron Knickerbocker photo

Aron Knickerbocker
CEO of Five Prime Therapeutics

A commitment to unlocking the promise of new cancer treatments through research and development underlies what we do at Five Prime. That is why our clinical programs target multiple cell types in the tumor microenvironment and in several hard-to-treat diseases like pancreatic and gastric cancers. Our work is focused on the development and discovery of protein therapeutics that directly target cancer cells as well as activate the body’s immune system to eradicate tumor cells. The development of new cancer medicines is a long and difficult process, but I remain committed because Five Prime has the potential to offer cancer patients meaningful new treatment alternatives. This is an important year for Five Prime. 2019 will be a data-rich year with multiple readouts from our five clinical programs and continued development of novel biologics for patients facing cancer.

Our pipeline of medicines is built on Five Prime’s differentiated target discovery platform and protein therapeutic capabilities. Five Prime researchers develop sophisticated disease relevant assays and leverage deep robotics and automation capabilities to produce and screen nearly every secreted human protein in these assays to uncover—in an unbiased way—the roles that these proteins play in cancer and other disease processes. We have “hacked” the conventional discovery process for developing protein therapeutics and this gives us the ability to identify new biology in ways others can’t and accelerate the discovery of new protein targets and therapeutics.

We have brought our most promising protein therapeutic candidates into the clinic and are systematically drugging the various cell types in the tumor microenvironment. These candidates represent innovative approaches to better treat patients with cancer who have unmet needs. We at Five Prime have five promising potential new medicines in clinical development that will generate data this year. Those data will tell us if these therapeutic proteins have the potential to treat and control cancer where others have failed or where there remains a high unmet need. We are confident in our science and the promise of our development programs and that is what strengthens my commitment to the Five Prime team and to cancer patients in need.

Helping patients in innovative and meaningful ways is what drives us at Five Prime. Many of us have been affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly, so we are using our expertise and talent to contribute to the next generation of new cancer treatments. I am proud to support World Cancer Day and, as the CEO of Five Prime, I’m proud of every Five Primer doing their part to bring new cancer medicines to patients in need.