On a blustery day last December, five biotech entrepreneurs and scientists walked past the snow-draped Boston Common and entered Yvonne’s, the cozy supper club and bar, to discuss a new potential biotechnology company to fight cancer.
There, over libations poured at a mahogany bar, they talked about the recent success of groundbreaking drugs that harness the immune system to combat cancers of the blood. Could they do something similar to treat solid tumors, which are far more common? Could they use “natural killer” cells, a potent immunological weapon that can be harvested from healthy people? If so, what would be the best approach?