PLENARY KEYNOTE SESSION

WEDNESDAY 11 MARCH

11:15 Organizer’s Remarks

Joel Hornby, BSc Hons, Conference Director, Cambridge Healthtech Institute

11:20 Chairperson’s Remarks

Reno Debets, PhD, Professor, Laboratory of Tumor Immunology, PI, Medical Oncology, Erasmus MC-Cancer Institute

11:30 Strategies to Improve Antitumor Efficacy of Genetically Engineered T Cells

Stanley Riddell, MD, Scientific Director, Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine

Immune cells can be readily genetically modified to express natural tumor targeting antigen receptors or synthetic chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that activate immune cell signaling pathways to result in destruction of tumor cells expressing the relevant target molecule. The presentation will discuss advances in our understanding of receptor signaling and the development of strategies that combine therapeutic agents to improve efficacy and safely extend the spectrum of cancers that can be treated with cell therapies.

12:00 PD-1 Antibodies Are Transforming Cancer Treatment

Kandeepan Ganeshalingam, MD, Executive Director,Therapeutic Area Head Oncology, European Clinical Development Global Clinical Development, MRL, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD)

PD-1 antibodies have shown significant activity as monotherapy across multiple cancer types and lines of therapy. Precision medicine tools have been used to identify subjects most likely to respond to PD-1 antibody monotherapy, to provide insight to potential resistance mechanisms, and to inform combination therapies. A number of these combinations have demonstrated significant activity in additional tumor types and lines of therapy.

Speaker Biography

Riddell_StanStanley Riddell, MD, Scientific Director, Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine

Dr. Stan Riddell is a world leader in developing immunotherapies, which harness the power of the immune system to fight cancers and dangerous infections. His research focuses on detailing the complex biology of immune cells called T cells and pioneering therapies that use genetically reprogrammed T cells to specifically recognize and destroy diseased cells. These therapeutic T cells zero in on specific protein targets known as antigens, using either natural molecules called T-cell receptors or synthetic molecules called chimeric antigen receptors. Chimeric antigen receptors, also known as CARs, combine elements from T-cell receptors and from other immune cell-produced antibody molecules. His team’s breakthroughs are helping researchers make progress for patients who need better therapies.

Kandeepan GaneshalingamKandeepan Ganeshalingam, MD, Executive Director,Therapeutic Area Head Oncology, European Clinical Development Global Clinical Development, MRL, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD)

Kandeepan Ganeshalingam received his Medical Degree from the University of Aberdeen and a Master of Science Degree from the Imperial College School of Medicine, University of London. He was also the Faraday Research fellow at the National Heart and Lung Institute, UK. Following a 10-year career as a physician in the National Health Service Hospitals UK, he joined the Oncology Global Product Development team at Roche in 2007. In this role he played a significant role in clinical development with several successful submissions to EMA and FDA. In 2010, he moved to Vifor Pharma, Switzerland to become the Global Head of Medical and Clinical Drug Safety, where he played a leadership role in clinical development, regulatory submissions and safety risk management. In 2012, he moved to Roche Global Medical Affairs in Switzerland as Senior Medical Director, in immunology and was subsequently promoted to Group Medical Director in Oncology, where he led the Global Medical team responsible for multiple Haematology/Oncology products. In 2016, he joined Merck Sharp Dohme (MSD) as Executive Director, Oncology Therapeutic Area Head, European Clinical Development, where he is involved in the clinical development of cancer immunotherapies and management of the global clinical trial program in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

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