IO Frontiers World 2019


Laszlo Radvanyi

Dr Laszlo Radvanyi

SVP Head of ImmunoOncology Translational Innovation Platform, EMD Serono

Laszlo Radvanyi earned his Ph.D. degree in Clinical Biochemistry in 1996 at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada performing his thesis work on T-cell immunology. Dr. Radvanyi (Laszlo) joined EMD Serono (Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany) in autumn 2015 as Senior Vice President (SVP), Global Head of the Immuno-Oncology Translational Innovation Platform (TIP) where he oversaw the day-to-day research operations in immuno-oncology at the company for 1.5 years. Laszlo’s key role coming into this position was to perform a much-needed rebuilding and re-organization of the Immuno-Oncology TIP as well as re-focusing and pruning the pipeline. He doubled the size of the TIP within this time period hiring key talent and restructured the organization establishing key human tumor immunology research areas and addressing key gaps in the pipeline in immune costimulation and the targeting of new tumor immune suppressive pathways. Laszlo also spearheaded a number of new company partnerships in key immuno-oncology areas, such as a deal with Domain Therapeutics (Strasbourg, France) in the adenosine receptor antagonist space, and a large deal with F-Star (Cambridge, UK) bringing in a new bispecific IND-enabled molecule targeting PD-L1 and Lag3.  He also established academic alliances in the biomarker space, such as a comprehensive alliance with MD Anderson Cancer Center focusing on biomarker-driven clinical trials on key EMD Serono immuno-oncology pipeline assets. In May 2017, Laszlo transitioned to a more strategic role at EMD Serono as the Global Senior Scientific Advisor in Immuno-Oncology and Immunology where he plays a central scientific advisory role for all immuno-oncology and immunology programs, develops major academic center alliances, participates in a team developing new combination immunotherapy opportunities with avelumab (anti-PD-L1) as part of EMD Serono’s alliance with Pfizer in this area, and works on core team developing key scientific leadership strategies within EMD Serono/Merck KGaA.

Prior to joining EMD Serono, Laszlo was a Professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for about 10 years. While at M.D. Anderson, he established a GMP-grade T-cell therapy manufacturing program for metastatic melanoma using expanded tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) and performed basic research on TIL biology and effector function focusing on TNF-R family costimulation and CD8+ T-cell differentiation where he made new discoveries on the role of BTLA in T cells.  Laszlo was co-PI or co-investigator on a number of TIL clinical trials testing new methods to augment TIL adoptive transfer therapeutic efficacy in metastatic melanoma, including development of retroviral gene T-cell transduction approaches. In addition to his work on TIL therapy and basic research, Laszlo was tasked to establish a new Immunomonitoring Core Facility as part of MD Anderson’s Cancer Center Support Grant infrastructure. He established and directed this facility for 8 years (2005-2013) hiring all the staff and running the day-to-day activities of the facility.

Between joining EMD Serono and leaving MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2014, Laszlo decided to diversity his activities into the biotechnology sector and helped start a biotechnology company to commercialize TIL therapy for melanoma and other cancers. He was the founding CSO for Lion Biotechnologies (recently renamed Iovance Therapeutics) for 1.5 years and designed and built the biotech’s 8,000 sq. ft. R&D facility at the University of South Florida’s Innovation Center in Tampa, FL. Laszlo oversaw the hiring of the research staff and lead research and development activities leading to two IND submissions in collaboration with Moffitt Cancer Center.

Laszlo has authored over 110 papers, has served on the advisory board of a number of pharma and biotech companies, reviewed for numerous journals in the tumor immunology space, and has sat on a number of national and international research grant review panels, including the NIH-NCI, NHLBI, CIHR, BioCanRx, and EU Framework Program (FP). He is on the Keystone Conferences Scientific Advisory Board, is on editorial board of the Journal of Immunotherapy for Cancer (JITC), and sits on the Industry Advisory Council of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).

  • "Great venue to solidify and harmonize on the current challenges facing this sector - in real time. The caliber of the speakers and session contents was premier. “
    Dolores Baksh
    Innovation Leader, GE Healthcare
  • “A great event to learn about the hurdles that are needed to be overcome to get through the clinic.”
    Devin Bridgen
    Scientist, strategic partnerships, SQZ Biotech
  • "It was a great opportunity to share current data and thinking about the development of therapeutics directed at modulating the immune response to cancer."
    Lance Leopold
    Vice President, Head of Oncology Development, Incyte Corporation
  • "Phacilitate provides a unique forum, bringing together research, process development, and commercial leaders on the cutting edge of cell, gene, and immunotherapy. A great conference for anyone wanting a comprehensive view of the field."
    Dr James Trager
    Vice President, Research & Product Development, Dendreon
  • “In the rapidly moving Advanced Therapy market, Phacilitate remains one of the premier events.”
    David James
    CEO, Scinogy