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Highlights from the 2023 Global Summit and Award Ceremonies for Cancer Research & Entrepreneurship

Partnering with the National Foundation for Cancer Research, we successfully concluded the 2023 Global Summit and Award Ceremonies for Cancer Research & Entrepreneurship on Saturday, October 21, in person and live-streamed at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. We encourage you to visit our Oncology Metaverse to hear inspiring speeches and discussions from world-class researchers, clinicians, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, investors, advocates, and cancer patients and survivors.

Award Ceremony Honoring Dr. Monica M. Bertagnolli, NCI Director, for the 2023 AIM-HI Beacon Award for Women Leaders in Oncology

Dr. Bertagnolli is recognized for her bold and fearless leadership and relentless efforts to advocate for patient care. Throughout her career, she has been a committed cancer researcher, a dedicated oncology surgeon, and a passionate spokesperson for patients, especially the underserved communities.

From oncology-related policy to the advancement of new treatments, Dr. Bertagnolli is a change-maker, who is not afraid to take on the giants to represent a simple premise, “What is in the best interest of the patient and what can I do to help save patient lives.” As the founding chair of the minimal Common Oncology Data Elements (mCODE) executive committee, Dr. Bertagnolli has championed collaborative initiatives to transform data infrastructure for clinical research. She has brought together partners and resources from different sectors to launch groundbreaking efforts in cancer prevention and early detection, a national navigation program for childhood cancers, and additional programs to bring clinical trials to more Americans. Her ability to foster partnerships and facilitate knowledge exchange has propelled progress in the field and united experts in a collective effort to treat cancer. Over unprecedented obstacles, she was appointed as the first woman director of NCI in its 87 years’ history.

In receiving the Award, Dr. Bertagnolli recognized AIM-HI for supporting women’s entrepreneurship in oncology. She spoke about Project Moonshot and solving the problem of cancer, reiterating the Call for Action she put forward from NCI to reduce cancer’s death rate by 50% by 2047 and make the disease treatable and livable for all those who face it. She emphasized the need to support women scientists with resources and relationships to help match opportunities with talent and recognized AIM-HI’s efforts in serving this need. Learn More…

 Award Ceremony Honoring the 2023 AIM-HI Women’s Venture Competition Winners

AIM-HI recorganized the winners of the 2023 Women’s Venture Competition, awarding the first prize to Sarah Hein, Ph.D. (March Biosciences) and runner-up to Lily Zou, Ph.D., MBA (Degron Therapeutics).

March Biosciences has developed a CD5 CAR T-cell therapy for T-cell lymphoma (TCL) and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). By genetically modifying T-cells using lentiviral transduction to express chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting the CD-5 antigen, these cells will then be infused back into the patient to target cancer cells in the blood. March Biosciences’ lead asset MB-105 is currently in Phase I trials and has demonstrated to be safe, with promising efficacy data. The Phase II study is expected to begin in the first half of 2024, offering hope for those patients suffering from these deadly hematological cancers.

Degron Therapeutics has designed and synthesized a unique molecular glue degrader (MGD) compound library compound library, known as the GlueXplorer platform. It uses its platform in combination with phenotypic screening, proteomic screening, and AI to accelerate the development of novel drugs for previously undruggable targets in oncology which gives more hope to develop promising new therapies. Learn More…

Emerging Oncology Companies Showcase

In a panel moderated by Dr. Matt Tremblay, AIM-HI Chair of the Board and CEO of Blackbird Laboratories, five early-stage companies that we have recognized and supported (DotBio, Concarlo Therapeutics, Window Therapeutics, Arbele Bio, ManaTBio) presented their innovative cancer technologies, shared their challenges, and discussed desired areas for partnering to find new solutions for cancer patients.

Dr. Sujuan Ba invited aspiring entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and young oncology companies to connect with AIM-HI for support and guidance. She acknowledged the dedicated individuals and advisers who have been instrumental in bridging the gap between cancer research and patient care, and emphasized that together, we can make a difference for cancer patients.

This content-rich event also included a keynote address by Dr. James P. Allison, 2018 Nobel Prize Laureate and 2014 Szent Györgyi Prize winner, followed by three scientific panel discussions in the morning New Frontiers for Cancer Research session, and an evening Award Ceremony honoring Dr. Isaac P. Witz for the 2023 Szent-Györgyi Prize for Progress in Cancer Research. Click here to read the full event recap.

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