Problem Solving Breakout Discussions

Engage in in-depth informal discussions with industry experts and your peers about the progress, trends and challenges you face in your research! Interactive discussion groups play an integral role in networking with potential collaborators. They provide an opportunity to share examples from your work, vet ideas with peers, and be part of a group problem-solving endeavor.

TUESDAY 10 MARCH | 17:05 -18:05

Preclinical and Translational Immuno-Oncology

In Silico Modelling in IO, How Useful and Predictive?

Moderator: Armin Sepp, PhD, Scientific Leader and GSK Fellow, IVIVT DMPK Modelling, GlaxoSmithKline

  • Target engagement in combination and bispecific therapies, when can one or the other be preferred?
  • Tumour penetration of biotherapeutics
  • Drug interactions with innate and adaptive immune system cells

How Can We Leverage Cutting Edge In Vivo Pre-Clinical Models for Cancer Immunotherapy Profiling?

Moderator: Mario Perro, PhD, Principal Scientist, Cancer Immunotherapy Pharmacology Department, pRED, Roche

  • Current limitations of pre-clinical mouse models for cancer immuno-therapy
  • How can CPI resistant patient population can be modeled pre-clinically
  • New frontiers of tumor immuno-profiling

Immunomodulatory Approaches

PANEL DISCUSSION: Means of Activating the Tumour Microenvironment

Moderator: Sophia N. Karagiannis, BA, MS, PhD, Professor, Translational Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, St. John’s Institute of Dermatology, School of Basic & Medical Biosciences, King’s College London

Panellists: Mark Cragg, PhD, Professor, Experimental Cancer Biology, Antibody & Vaccine Group, Cancer Sciences Unit, University of Southampton

Panellist 2 to be Announced

Panellist 3 to be Announced

  • Blockade mechanisms to consider
  • How to engineer therapeutics to overcome blockade
  • Sequestering immune cells and therapeutics to the tumour.
  • Potential role of gamma delta


Novel Strategies for Overcoming Antigen Heterogeneity for Enhancing CAR T Cell Efficacy

Moderator: Phil Darcy, PhD, Professor, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Laboratory Head Cancer Immunotherapy, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

  • Preclinical work using armored CAR T cells. Discussion of different cytokines that have been used in this format.
  • Discussion of strategy using dual expressing CAR T cells to overcome antigen heterogeneity.
  • Translational feasibility of these new approaches

Are Innate Immune Cells More Tolerant of the Tumour Microenvironment than T Cells?

Moderator: Mark Lowdell, PhD, Director, Centre for Cell, Gene & Tissue Therapeutics, RFH; Professor, Cell & Tissue Therapy, University College London

  • Effects of hypoxia on NK, CAR-NK, Gamma delta T cell and monocyte activation
  • Direct and indirect effects of Treg on NK function
  • Role of MDSC in innate immune suppression in the TME

WEDNESDAY 11 MARCH | 17:15 -18:15

Biomarkers for Immuno-Oncology

Why Digital Biomarkers?

Moderator: Daniel R. Karlin, MD, MA, CEO, HealthMode, Inc.

  • What measurements are improved with digital tools?
  • Better, Faster, More Robust? Sorting hype from reality in digital tools
  • Regulatory aspects and challenges

Immunotherapies Beyond Melanoma and Lung Cancers

Moderator: Sheeba Irshad, MD, PhD, Senior Clinical Lecturer, Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kings College London

  • Strategies for converting cold tumours into hot tumours
  • Coordinated clinical trial designs of immunotherapies
  • Immunotherapy combinations

Combination Immunotherapy

What Are the Mechanisms of Immune Exclusion and What We Need to Know About Them?

Moderator: Franco Marincola, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Refuge Biotechnologies

  • Discuss the kind of barriers that prevent T cells from infiltrating tumors
  • Physical barriers
  • Functional barriers
  • Dynamic barriers

How do we Effectively Develop Immunotherapy Combinations for Cancer?

Moderator: Johan Lantto, PhD, Project and Portfolio Director, Immuno-Oncology, Symphogen

  • Immunotherapy has shown impressive results in various cancer indications, however, only a subset of patients respond to single agent therapy.
  • Combination immunotherapy presents an opportunity for improving responses and outcomes for cancer patients.
  • The development of immunotherapy combinations faces a number of preclinical, clinical and regulatory challenges, which will be discussed in the breakout session.

Bispecific Antibody Design and Applications

Immunogenicity of Bispecific Antibodies

Moderator: Anne Mansson-Kvarnhammar, PhD, Senior Scientist, Alligator Bioscience AB

  • What challenges could one expect for novel bispecific scaffolds in terms of immunogenicity?
  • What can be done to test this early to avoid immunogenicity in the clinic?
  • What is the usefulness and “predictability” of in silico and in vitro assays to predict clinical immunogenicity of IO antibodies?

Going Beyond Bispecifics – Trispecific Antibodies and Other “Multispecific” Approaches

Moderator: Matthew J. Bernett, PhD, Associate Director, Protein & Antibody Engineering, Xencor, Inc.

  • What are the opportunities for using multispecifics
  • What challenges would one expect for multispecifics
  • Which benefits are expected when using multispecifics
  • Which approaches are enabled by multispecifics and which ones remain impossible?

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