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Field Trip


5 July

8:30 to 13:00

Agora Cancer Research Center in Lausanne




A deep-dive into the world of CAR T cell therapies. Breakthrough therapies in the fight against cancer

Meeting point: Agora Cancer Research Center in Lausanne, Rue du Bugnon 25A, 1005 Lausanne. Please follow signage at entrance.

How to get there: take Metro M2 from Lausanne Main Station to “CHUV”; 8 minutes; plus a 200 m walk)

Number of participants: 20

Registration fee: CHF 17 (transport and lunch included)

Organizer and Sponsor: Celgene

Contact: Cristina Garcia (


On this trip you will learn about the medical innovation and scientific implications of a novel way to treat blood cancers. Celgene, a global biopharmaceutical company committed to developing CAR T therapies in several blood cancers, is hosting an interactive event and panel discussion. At the end of the event, there will be a question and answer session. Private one-to-one interviews will also be offered on site.

Celgene specializes in innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through the regulation of genes and proteins. It has a strong presence at Agora, the flagship building of the Swiss Cancer Centre Léman (SCCL), on the Campus of the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV). Agora operates under the governance of the CHUV, the University of Lausanne, the Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and ISREC, the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research foundation, and the focal point for the vast life sciences project underway in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. By bringing together 300 doctors, researchers and bio-engineers under one roof, the Agora platform creates an interactive community of expertise on a single site. Its innovative architecture and open-plan design are geared towards facilitating fruitful exchanges between disciplines, researchers and clinicians. The iconic building can rightfully be seen as a giant tool box in the fight against cancer.




WELCOME: 8:30 - 9:00


PLENARY SESSION: 9:00 – 11:00

  • 2 hours event moderated by a scientific journalist
  • Presentations/discussion from a variety of Celgene and external EU stakeholders
  • Panel discussion with physician, researcher and Celgene stakeholder
  • Q&A session
  • One-to-one briefings will be offered


Plenary session introduction

by Tuomo Pätsi, President, Worldwide Markets, Hematology/Oncology, Celgene (5 mins)


  1. Understanding the science of CAR T cell therapies (20 mins)
  • What are cellular therapies? What is CAR T? How does it work?

Dr. Melita Irving, Dpt of Oncology UNIL CHUV of Lausanne, Ludwig Institute, Switzerland


  1. Celgene’s approach to CAR T (25 mins)
  • Celgene commitment to the power of cellular therapy (history, collaborations)

Jens Hasskarl, Executive Medical Director, Clinical R&D, Celgene

  • Overview on Celgene’s cellular therapy development programs, global clinical trial/manufacturing experience Jens Hasskarl, Executive Medical Director, Clinical R&D, Celgene
  • Preview of manufacturing sites

Gunther Busam, Senior Director, Europe CAR T Supply Chain, Celgene


  1. CAR Ts: A clinical experience (20 mins)
  • Physician perspective: Experiences, challenges, outcomes

Prof. Cavo, Professor of Hematology, Head “Seràgnoli” Institute of Hematology, Alma Mater Studiorum-Bologna University School of Medicine, S. Orsola's University Hospital, Bologna, Italy


  1. Panel discussion – CAR Ts: What can we learn and what does the future hold? (25 mins: 5 mins moderator introduction of topics and 20 mins of panel discussion)

Panel discussion consisting of Prof. Cavo, Jens Hasskarl, Dr. Melita Irving

Topics to include:

What learnings do we have from CAR Ts so far and how do we apply them moving forward?

  • Drawing parallels and learning from other treatment game-changers of the past or currently taking place
  • Each stakeholder to reflect on current experience and discuss their view on the below aspects of the CAR T journey so far

What does the future of cell therapies and CAR Ts hold?

  • What are the common challenges that need to be addressed?
  • Ideally how do we envisage CAR Ts being used in the future?

What is the way forward for patients, manufacturers and health systems to make the necessary space for these innovations?


Q&A (20 mins)



  • Interactive activities for journalists to experience the complexity of manufacturing CAR T therapies and to understand its promise
  • One-to-one media briefings with speakers upon requests


BUFFET LUNCH: 12:00 – 13:00



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