PLENARY KEYNOTE SESSIONS

PLENARY ROOM LOCATION: Quayside 1 & 2

TUESDAY, 24 MAY | 11:15 – 14:55

Antibody-Cytokine Fusions as Bispecific Immunomodulatory Proteins
Dario NeriDario Neri, PhD, CEO and CSO, Philogen
Many solid tumours and haematological malignancies are characterized by an insufficient density and activation of tumour-specific leukocytes (e.g., CD8+ T cells, NK cells) at the site of disease. The antibody-based targeted delivery of suitable cytokine payloads (e.g., IL2, IL12, TNF) to the tumour may activate lymphocytes at the site of disease, mediates a potent anti-cancer activity in preclinical models of cancer and is being investigated in clinical trials.


Targeting Regulatory T Cells within Brain Tumours: From Mechanisms to Therapies
Sergio  QuezadaSergio Quezada, Professor of Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy at University College London Cancer Institute
In this talk I will discuss the role of regulatory T cells in the context of brain tumour microenvironment, as well as old and new strategies to target this compartment, including our previous work on anti-CTLA-4 and the recent development of a new CD25-targeting Treg depleting antibody for mice and man and its activity against brain tumours.


Better Targets, Better Targeting: Iterative CAR-T Studies in an Academic Programme
Claire RoddieClaire Roddie, PhD, Professor, Haemato – Oncology, UCL Cancer Institute
Here we will discuss current paradigms, recent learnings and future directions for the academic UCL CAR T-cell programme, encompassing our plans for blood cancers and our increasing footprint in solid tumours.



Precision Medicine Enabled Development of PD-1 Antibody Mono- and Combination Therapy
Roy BaynesRoy Baynes, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President and Head, Global Clinical Development, CMO, Merck Sharpe and Dohme
Precision medicine enabled screening studies identified unambiguous effect of PD-1 monoclonal antibody (mAB) activity in more than 30 major cancer types. Precision medicine tools enabled accelerated development and approvals of monotherapy applications, led to histology agnostic monotherapy approvals and provided powerful insights to mechanisms of treatment resistance and informed the selection of combination therapies. PD-1 mAB in combination with a variety of agents are having major impact in cancer treatment.



PLENARY KEYNOTE BIOGRAPHIES

Dario Neri, PhD, CEO and CSO, Philogen
Dario Neri was born in Rome on 1 May 1963, but grew up in Siena (Italy). He studied Chemistry at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa and earned a PhD in Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), under the supervision of Professor Kurt Wüthrich (Nobel Prize Chemistry 2002). After a post-doctoral research internship (1992-1996) at the Medical Research Council Centre in Cambridge (UK), under the supervision of Sir Gregory Winter (Nobel Prize Chemistry 2018), he became professor at ETH Zürich in 1996. Dario Neri is currently Full Professor of Biomacromolecules at the Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zürich. The research of the Neri group focuses on the engineering of therapeutic antibodies for the therapy of cancer and other angiogenesis-related disorders and on the development of DNA-encoded chemical libraries. Dario Neri is a co-founder of Philogen (www.philogen.com), a Swiss-Italian biotech company which has brought various antibody products into multicenter clinical trials for the treatment of cancer and of chronic inflammatory conditions. Dario Neri has published 400 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is the recipient of the ISOBM Abbott Prize 2000, of the Amgen-Dompe’ Biotec Award 2000, of the Mangia d’Oro 2001, of the Prous Award 2006 of the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry, of the Robert-Wenner-Prize 2007 of the Swiss Cancer League, of the SWISS BRIDGE Award 2008, of the Prix Mentzer of the French Medicinal Chemistry Society in 2011, of the Phoenix Prize 2014 and of an ERC Advanced Grant in 2015.

Sergio A. Quezada, PhD, Professor, Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy, University College London
Sergio Quezada is a Professor of Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy at University College London Cancer Institute and Chief Scientific officer of Achilles Therapeutics. He earned his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the P. Universidad Católica de Chile and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth Medical School in the US. In 2004, he joined the laboratory of the Nobel Laureate Prof James Allison at MSKCC, where he unveiled mechanisms underpinning the anti-tumour activity of anti CTLA-4 antibodies. His work at UCL focuses in cancer immunology, tumour microenvironment, regulatory T cells and immune checkpoint blockade. His team’s research unveiled the critical role of Fc receptors and the tumour microenvironment in the mechanism of action of anti CTLA-4 antibodies, and he is an inventor of several key patents supporting the clinical development of antibodies targeting immune checkpoints including VISTA, ICOS and CD25. In the last few years, Prof Quezada and his team co-led the development of a first in class Treg-depleting anti-human CD25 antibody acquired by Roche in 2018 and is currently in clinical evaluation against solid cancers. In addition to immune regulation, Prof Quezada’s research also aims to characterization and interrogate immune reactivity and function within the microenvironment of different human cancers including which is helping identify mechanisms of response and resistance to immunotherapy. His work in this area led to creation of a spin off company, Achilles therapeutics, a clinical stage company delivering personalised T cell therapies against cancer. In April 2020 Prof Quezada stepped in as Chief Scientific Officer of Achilles to lead the current and future scientific direction of Achilles. Prof Quezada was a recipient of Dartmouth’s John W. Strohbern Medal for excellence in biomedical research, the Cancer Research Institute new investigator award, a CRUK Career Development Fellowship and a CRUK Senior Cancer Research Fellowship.

Claire Roddie, PhD, Professor, Haemato-Oncology, UCL Cancer Institute
Claire is a Consultant Haematologist at UCLH and Associate Professor in Haematology at UCL with a particular interest in adoptive cell therapies. She completed an Immunotherapy PhD at UCL with Karl Peggs and subsequently undertook a clinician scientist role with Martin Pule to develop the UCL CAR-T program. Claire’s current role involves pre-clinical development of novel cell therapy projects, GMP manufacture and clinical trial design. She is also responsible for the advanced therapies clinical service at UCLH.

Roy Baynes, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President & Head, Global Clinical Development; CMO, Merck, Sharp, and Dohme
Roy Baynes is Senior Vice President and Head, Global Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer at Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD). He was previously Senior Vice President of Oncology, Inflammation and Respiratory Therapeutics at Gilead Sciences and prior to that was Vice President Global Clinical Development and Therapeutic Area (TA) Head for Hematology / Oncology, at Amgen Inc. He graduated as a Medical Doctor and obtained a Master of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He has had a long and distinguished career in the haematology-oncology-and stem cell transplantation fields, including drug development, basic research, clinical practice, clinical research, teaching and administration. He is a member of many international societies, including the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and has authored some 150 publications. He has been recurrently named among America’s top physicians. Before joining Amgen in 2002, he was the Charles Martin Professor of Cancer Research at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, an NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.


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