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Patient centricity in an age of individualized medicine

By: , Posted on: May 29, 2020

Designing healthcare solutions around patients’ needs is not a new concept. But, the emergence of individualized medicines is bringing a renewed focus on how patient centricity can improve outcomes.[i]

People living with relapsed forms of rare blood cancers can face poor outcomes.[ii] Innovative therapies have the potential to change this outlook.[iii] One such innovation is Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Therapy (CAR-T), a one-time therapy that uses a patient’s own immune system to fight certain types of blood cancers.

CAR-T is highly patient-centric in two ways. Firstly, the medicine itself is individualized to the patient, since it is manufactured using a patient’s own cells. Secondly, the cell collection process has been developed to meet a patient’s individual needs – in terms of timings, location and the nature of the therapy.

Novartis colleagues have shared their experiences of scaling up this innovation, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, in the chapter, ‘Commercializing CAR-T Therapies – the evolution of a revolution’ of a new book, Second Generation Cell and Gene-Based Therapies.  The chapter explores themes which include designing a cell collection process to deliver CAR-T to patients in time, selecting and onboarding specialist treatment centers to deliver high quality care, and understanding the potential value of one-time treatments for patients, healthcare systems and wider society.

While the scientific possibilities may seem endless, medical innovation must remain patient-centric. We hope, that by sharing the challenges and opportunities involved in the development of CAR-T, advancements in this space will continue to focus on improving patient outcomes, first and foremost.

About the book

  • Helps readers learn about the most current trends in cell-based therapy, their overall effectiveness   from a clinical prospective, and how the industry is moving therapies forward for capitalization
  • “Perspectives” section at the end of each chapter summarizes key learnings, hypotheses, and objectives highlighted and combines scientific and business insights
  • Edited and authored by scientists representing both basic and clinical research and industry, presenting a complete story of the current state and future promise of cellular therapies

The book is available now on ScienceDirect. Want your own copy? Enter code STC320 at the checkout when you order via to save up to 30%

About the Author

Emanuele Ostuni is Head of Europe for Cell and Gene Therapies at Novartis Oncology, where he oversees the commercialization of this portfolio in Europe.  Emanuele has been with Novartis since 2012. He joined the Sandoz Division with the Global Strategy Team, where he managed the collaborations with Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Alcon. He then became Head of Specialty and Hospital Franchises, Central/Eastern Europe, where he developed a specialty expansion strategy. Emanuele later served as Business Unit Head, Rx in Romania. In this role he grew the team to drive the expansion into CNS, respiratory, and rheumatology franchises.

Prior to joining Novartis in Europe he was based in the USA where he was Vice President of Business Development at Nano Terra, Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co and a Senior Research Investigator at Surface Logix, where he helped to establish the company’s drug discovery platform.  Emanuele holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Harvard University and BS and MS degrees in chemistry from Georgetown University.  Follow Emanuele on LinkedIn for regular updates on CAR-T and Novartis.



[i] Cutter, G. R., Liu, Y. 2012 ‘Personalized medicine: The return of the house call?’, Neurology: Clinical Practice, 2(4), pp 343-351.

[ii] Crump, M., Neelapu, S.S., Farooq, U., Van Den Neste, E., Kuruvilla, J., Westin, J., Link, B.K., Hay, H., Cerhan, J.R., Zhu, L.,  Boussetta, S., Feng, L.,  Maurer, M.J., Navale, L., Wiezorek, J., Go, W.Y.,  Gisselbrecht, C, (2017). ‘Outcomes in refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: results from the international SCHOLAR-1 study’, Blood, 130(16), pp.1800–1808. doi: [Accessed April 2020]

[iii] Zhao, L. and Cao, Y.J, (2019). ‘Engineered T Cell Therapy for Cancer in the Clinic’, Frontiers in Immunology, 10, 2250. [Accessed April 2020].

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