Ushering in the Next Wave of Immunotherapies
– Lessons Learned and New Insights

TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2023

11:10 Chairperson's Remarks

Dario Neri, PhD, CEO and CSO, Philogen

Zhen Su, MD, MBA, CEO, Marengo Therapeutics
11:20 The Renaissance of T Cell Directed Therapies: A New Chapter of Precision Immune-Oncology

Zhen Su, MD, MBA, CEO, Marengo Therapeutics

Over the past decade, cancer immunotherapy has transformed millions of lives around the world who are living/fighting cancer. This wave of therapies including ICI, TCE, and CAR T has also created fertile grounds for novel biological insights and technical breakthroughs to spark the renaissance of therapeutic innovation. Furthermore, this field has attracted multidisciplinary expertise and talents to bring their bright mind and dedication to co-create the next wave of IO.

Andrew Sewell, PhD
11:55 Lessons from Success: What Can Patients Teach Us Following Complete Remission of Solid Cancer?

Andrew Sewell, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, Division of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University School of Medicine

We have employed three different successful pipelines for discovering what so-called “orphan T cells” recognize and applied these to dissect what dominant persistent anti-cancer T cells recognize during successful immunotherapy for solid cancer. This work has uncovered a new, unanticipated, mode of T cell recognition. I will discuss these results and how they point to potentially exploitable correlates of success.

Anne Rios, PhD
13:45 Organoid Cellular Cancer Immunity Models in Motion

Anne Rios, PhD, Principal Investigator, Princess Maxima Center Pediatric Oncology

Dr. Anne Rios will present BEHAV3D a next-generation single cell imaging-transcriptomics technology that captures the highly dynamic nature and functional heterogeneity of cellular immunotherapies (Dekkers, Alieva et al. Nature Biotech. 2022). Using patient-derived organoid biobanks, this platform offers a unique resolution into the dynamic sequence of solid tumour targeting and exploits T cell dynamics to enhance therapy response. Thus, BEHAV3D holds promise for improving solid tumor-targeting at patient population scale.

Christian Klein, PhD
14:20 Overcoming the Limitations of Aldesleukin and Biased IL-2Rbg Agonists by PD-1 cis-targeting of IL2v with the PD1-IL2v Immunocytokine

Christian Klein, PhD, Head of Oncology Programs and Department Head, Cancer Immunotherapy Discovery, Roche Innovation Center Zurich, Roche Pharma Research & Early Development, pRED

PD1-IL2v is a novel PD-1 cis-targeted immunocytokine with the ability to differentiate stem-like CD8+ T cells into better effectors in the absence of CD25 binding. In both chronic infection and cancer models PD1-IL2v provides superior efficacy as compared to the combination of PD-1 inhibition with bg-biased IL-2R agonists. These findings bear major implications for the development of the next generation of IL-2 therapies.


Zhen Su, MD, MBA, CEO, Marengo Therapeutics
As CEO of Marengo Therapeutics and a director of the company’s board, Zhen Su brings more than two decades of experiences as a physician-scientist and business executive, with expertise in building and leading both R&D and commercial organizations. Prior to joining Marengo, Zhen served as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Oncology for Merck KGaA, where he led the franchise’s turnaround to achieve double-digit organic growth and an annual revenue above €1B. In this role, he also successfully expanded the oncology portfolio including key alliance partnerships with Pfizer ($2.8B), GSK ($4.2B), and Debiopharm ($1.1B). In his earlier role as Chief Medical Officer of EMD Serono and head of its Oncology Medical division, he played an instrumental role in 8 major regulatory approvals across different indications for Bavencio®, Tepmetko®, Erbitux®, and Mavenclad®. He also held leadership roles with increasing responsibilities at Sanofi Oncology and GSK. Before his industry career, Zhen served on the faculty of Duke University, where he led early clinical studies focusing on mRNA-based and cell-based immunotherapy, and then the University of Florida, where he was the director of the Cell and Gene Therapy program. He is the author of more than 60 publications in immuno-oncology and targeted oncology. Zhen earned his M.D. from the Technical University of Dresden, completed his post-doctoral training in tumor immunology at Duke University, and received an MBA from the University of Toronto.

Andrew Sewell, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, Division of Infection and Immunity, Cardiff University School of Medicine
Andrew Sewell initially trained in Chemistry and undertook a PhD in Genetics at the University of Liverpool (1991) before embarking on postdoctoral training at the University of Utah. He returned to the UK in 1995 to research how the HIV virus evades the human immune system at the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford where he became a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow. He relocated to Cardiff University in 2006 and became a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator and has been continuously Wellcome-funded for over 25 years. His research group focuses on T-cell ligands and the receptors that recognise them (αβTCR, γδTCR, CD4 and CD8). Most of the Sewell laboratory’s recent work is based around understanding the basic biology of antigen recognition by human T-cells using novel pipelines for the discovery of new T-cell targets. Current Sewell group research projects include: Dissection of successful immune responses after successful cancer immunotherapy; TCR gene transfer therapy (TCR-T); Novel CAR-T technologies; T-cell receptor-optimised peptide skewing or the repertoire of T-cells (TOPSORT); Artificial (non-biologic) T-cell antigens as vaccines; T-cell/TCR-based diagnostics in autoimmune disease; and unconventional (non-HLA-restricted) T-cell responses to infection and tumours.

Rios, PhD, Principal Investigator, Princess Maxima Center Pediatric Oncology
Anne Rios obtained her PhD in 2011. Her work represented a novel cell signaling mechanism that triggers the differentiation of a defined subset of cells within a stem pool (Nature, 2011). She then joined the laboratory of Professor Visvader focusing on Breast Cancer. A researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) in Melbourne, she was awarded the Neil Lawrence prize at the 2016 Centenary Institute Medical Innovation Awards for her project entitled ‘A journey into the unexpected: A 3D view of breast cancer’ which represented her post-doctoral work (Nature, 2014). She has developed a new 3D imaging technique that allows scientists to visualize entire breast tissues down to a single-cell level. She is the only researcher in Australia – and one of the few in the world – to do this. In 2017, she was appointed group leader at the Princess Máxima Center and Head the Princess Máxima Imaging Centre. She is currently investigating the cellular mechanisms underlying pediatric solid tumor progression using State-of-the-art imaging technologies.<

Christian Klein, PhD, Head of Oncology Programs and Department Head, Cancer Immunotherapy Discovery, Roche Innovation Center Zurich, Roche Pharma Research & Early Development, pRED
Christian Klein, Distinguished Scientist, is Head of Oncology Programs and Department Head Cancer Immunotherapy Discovery 3 at the Roche Innovation Center Zurich (Roche Pharma Research & Early Development, pRED). Since 06/2019 he also acts as Site Head of RICZ. He specialized in the discovery, engineering, validation and preclinical development of therapeutic (bispecific) antibodies for cancer immunotherapy. During his 18-year tenure at Roche he has made major contributions to the preclinical development and approvals of GAZYVA(RO) (obinutuzumab, GA101), and to the preclinical development of 19 bispecific antibodies, immunocytokines and antibody fusion proteins entering clinical trials. He led research teams developing Roche’s novel bispecific antibody technologies, e.g., the CrossMAb technology and the immunocytokine and T cell bispecific antibody platforms. He obtained his diploma in biochemistry from University Tübingen and his doctorate in biochemistry from Technical University Munich. In 2017 he completed his habilitation in Biochemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich, and since then is an external lecturer there.

Register Now