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Laura Pearce, MS, BScH

Canadian Cancer Trials Group IND Senior Investigator and Executive Director Cell Therapy Program

Laura Pearce is a Senior Investigator within IND where her responsibilities include co-chairing the IND Proposal Review committee, and leading IND education and fellowships. Laura sits on the IND committee and IND Executive and supports leadership of the IND program.

Laura is also Executive Director of CCTGs cell therapy program, where she is responsible for Co-leading development and execution of cell therapy trials, and identification of opportunities for collaboration in this space.
She is a graduate of Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario (Bachelor of Science Honours, Biology), and holds a Master's degree from York University, Toronto, Canada. Continuing education includes drug discovery & development, immunology/immuno-oncology and cancer genomics / precision medicine trainings through Harvard Medical School. Laura has over 25 years of experience in global drug development—the majority focused in oncology and immuno-oncology. She has held senior positions in drug development as well as in clinical study operations, quality assurance and compliance, business development, alliance management, and global medical affairs—working across academic, non-profit, biotech, and pharmaceutical settings. Most recently, Laura led global clinical development of oncology cell therapies at GSK as Group Senior Director, Clinical Development Lead.  

She is an experienced communicator and educator and has presented, lectured, and participated in expert panels including at ACCELERATE Paediatric Strategy Forum for  product development of chimeric antigen receptor T-cells in children and adolescents with cancer; CDDF Multi-Stakeholder Workshop. How to develop a Gene and Cell Cancer Killer: the Clinical Trials; and CAR-TCR. Regulatory Bootcamp. Laura has participated on workstreams /advisory panels including at Kraft Precision Medicine Accelerator, Harvard Business School and has been a contributor to regulatory cell therapy guidelines / policy position papers / white papers with the Friends of Cancer Research, ARM (Alliance for Regenerative Medicine), BIO (Biotechnology Innovation Organization), and PhRMA (Pharmaceutic Research and Manufacturers of America).

Areas of expertise:

  • Cell Therapies.
  • Solid tumors.
  • Collaborations and strategic partnerships.
  • Business development / alliance management.
  • Finding solutions to complex problems.
  • Managing and leading in and across complex cross-functional matrix environments.

Research interests:

  • Cell Therapies
  • Solid tumors
  • Collaborative research projects
  • Decentralized trials

Selected Publications:
Pearson, Andrew, Rossig, Claudia, Mackall, Crystal, Shah, Nirali, Baruchel, Andre, Reaman, Gregory, Ricafort, Rosanna, Heenen, Delphine, Bassan, Abraham, Berntgen, Michael, Bird, Nick, Bleickardt, Eric, Bouchkouj, Najat, Bross, Peter, Brownstein, Carrie, Cohen, Sarah, de Rojas, Teresa, Ehrlich, Lori, Fox, Elizabeth,…Pearce, Laura,…..,Vassal, Gilles. (2021). Paediatric Strategy Forum for medicinal product development of chimeric antigen receptor T-cells in children and adolescents with cancer. European Journal of Cancer. 160. 10.1016/j.ejca.2021.10.016.

D'Angelo, Sandra, Noujaim, Jonathan, Thistlethwaite, Fiona, Razak, Albiruni, Stacchiotti, Silvia, Chow, Warren, Haanen, John, Chalmers, Anna, Robinson, Steven, Van Tine, Brian, Ganjoo, Kristen, Johnson, Melissa, Chiou, Victoria L, Faitg, Thomas, Woessner, Mary, Pearce, Laura, Shalabi, Aiman, Blay, Jean-Yves, Demetri, George. (2021). IGNYTE-ESO: A master protocol to assess safety and activity of letetresgene autoleucel (lete-cel; GSK3377794) in HLA-A*02+ patients with synovial sarcoma or myxoid/round cell liposarcoma (Substudies 1 and 2). Journal of Clinical Oncology. 39. TPS11582-TPS11582. 10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.TPS11582. 

D'Angelo, Sandra, Blay, Jean-Yves, Chow, Warren, Demetri, George, Thistlethwaite, Fiona, Sen, Shiraj, Razak, Albiruni, Haanen, John, Noujaim, Jonathan, Johnson, Melissa, Laetsch, Theodore, Chiou, Victoria L, Pearce, Laura, Faitg, Thomas, Ji, Ran, Johnson, Laura, Shalabi, Aiman, Thornton, Katherine, Mackall, Crystal, Van Tine, Brian. (2020). Safety and activity of autologous T cells with enhanced NY-ESO-1–specific T-cell receptor (GSK3377794) in HLA-a*02 + previously-treated and -untreated patients with advanced metastatic/unresectable synovial sarcoma: A master protocol study design (IGNYTE-ESO). Journal of Clinical Oncology. 38. TPS11571TPS11571. 10.1200/JCO.2020.38.15_suppl.TPS11571.

D'Angelo, Sandra, Blay, Jean-Yves, Chow, Warren, Demetri, George, Thistlethwaite, Wagner, Michael, Loeb, David, Attia, Stephen, Razak, Albiruni, Haanen, John, Hasan, Aisha, Billiard, Julia, Pearce, Laura, Wu, Yuehui, Ji, Ran, Srinath, Chandra, Shalabi, Aiman, Strauss, Sandra,  Thornton, Katherine, Mackall, Crystal, Tap, William, Van Tine, Brian. (2019). Autologous T cells with NY-ESO-1 specific T-cell receptor (GSK3377794) in HLA-A*02+ previously-treated and -untreated advanced metastatic/unresectable synovial sarcoma: A master protocol study design. SITC 2020. Poster P453.   

Tang, J, Pearce, L, O’Donnell-Tormey, J, Hubbard-Lucey, V.  Trends in the global immuno-oncology landscape. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 17: 922, 2018.   
Rizvi, N, Tang, P., Bhardwaj, N., Chan, T. A., Weber, J. S., Vickers, M., Pintova, S., Hirte, H., Segal, N. H., Dhani, N., Cho, D., Chia, S., Burns, C., Tu, D., Pearce, L., Urton, A., Smoragiewicz, M., Dancey, J. Nivolumab +/- Ipilimumab in Patients with Hypermutated Cancers Detected in Blood: NIMBLE. 2018 CRI-CIMT-EATIAACR Cancer Immunotherapy Conference Proceedings. 2018.

Tang, J, Pearce, L. Hubbard-Lucey, V, O’Donnell-Tormey, J. Longitudinal analysis of the landscape of cancer trials testing anti-PD-1/L-1 monoclonal antibodies. 201 CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR Cancer Immunotherapy Conference Proceedings. 2018.   

Tang, J, Hubbard-Lucey, V. Pearce, L, O’Donnell-Tormey, J., Shalabi, A. The global landscape of cancer cell therapy. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 17: 465-466, 2018.