Monday, March 18, 9:30 – 12:30
SC2: Next Generation Immunotherapies

Short Course Description:

A short course featuring the exciting approaches being used by today's immune-oncology scientists. You will learn about current successes and future potential, and how the leaders in the field overcome the challenges encountered.

  1. Bispecific Antibodies: Formats, Considerations, Developability and Opportunities

    Laura von Schantz, PhD, Director, Alligator Biosciences

    Bispecific molecules hold the promise of expanding the therapeutic potential of antibodies and other biologics by enabling access to novel biological functions. Many formats are currently available and their differences, such as in general architecture, target valency and affinity, Fc receptor interaction capacity etc., affects which mode of actions they enable.

  2. Immunocytokines: New Formats and New Strategies

    Dario Neri, PhD, Professor, Biomacromolecules, Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zürich

    Cytokines are small proteins which modulate the activity of the immune system. In this lecture, I will discuss various approaches which have been implemented, in order to generate cytokine-based therapeutics with improved therapeutic index. In particular, I will discuss the impact that the molecular format and the cytokine payload can have on in vivo performance, as well as considerations on mechanisms of action.

  3. T-Cell Therapies: Building an Ecosystem to Maximise Success.

    Ryan McCoy, Lead Technical Scientist, Cell and Gene Therapy, Catapult

    What does success look like for t-cell based immunotherapies? This presentation will review current successes in the T-Cell therapy space, whilst considering key industrial focal points for building an ecosystem to maximise their commercial realisation. Specific areas of discussion will be on the manufacturing and logistical challenges that need addressing to support the next generation of therapies.

  4. The Ying and the Yang of the Innate Immune System in Cancer Therapy

    R.J. Tesi, MD, CEO and CMO, INmuneBio

    The innate immune systems play a conflicting role in the control of cancer.  NK and macrophages, effector cells responsible for killing cancer, are often inactive in patients with cancer.  MDSC and TAM that populate the TME protect the tumor from the immune system and immunotherapy.  Effective therapeutic strategies must account for effector cell dysfunction and protector cell function to be effective.

  5. In Vitro/Ex vivo Models and Adapting in Vivo Models to Study Immuno-Oncology and Antibody Functions

    Sophia N. Karagiannis, BA, MS, PhD, Reader, Translational Cancer Immunology, St. John's Institute of Dermatology, School of Basic & Medical Biosciences

    In vitro and ex vivo models provide a platform with which we can explore cancer biology, signaling pathways, identify therapeutic targets and evaluate targeted and antibody therapies. We will discuss how one could utilize disease-relevant models to boost translational research.

Meet the Instructors:

Laura von Schanz, PhD, Senior Scientist, Alligator Biosciences

Laura von Schantz is a Senior Scientist at Alligator Bioscience and works with projects in discovery to clinic, ensuring the manufacturability of novel immunooncology compounds. Laura believes that companies in this competitive field must invest in establishing advantageous strategies to generate and select developable compounds. Laura has invented a new bispecific format and established a developability screening platform at Alligator that ensures fast generation of highly developable mono and bispecific antibodies. Laura is trained in protein chemistry, antibody engineering, and crystallography as well as project management and corporate strategy. Laura holds a PhD in immunotechnology from the University of Lund.

Dario Neri, PhD, Professor, Biomacromolecules, Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, ETH Zürich

Dario Neri 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. He then performed post-doctoral research at the Medical Research Council Centre in Cambridge (UK), under the supervision of Sir Gregory Winter. He has now been a Professor at the ETH Zürich since 1996. The research of the group Neri focuses on the engineering of therapeutic antibodies for the therapy of cancer and other angiogenesis-related disorders. Other research activities include the chemical proteomic discovery of novel vascular markers of pathology and the development of DNA-encoded chemical libraries. Dario Neri is a co-founder of Philogen (, a Swiss-Italian biotech company which has brought five antibody-based products into multicenter clinical trials for the therapy of cancer and of rheumatoid arthritis. Dario Neri has published over 300 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.

Ryan McCoy, Lead Technical Scientist, Cell and Gene Therapy, Catapult

Ryan McCoy has over 10 years’ process development experience in cell therapy and regenerative medicine, working in both industry and academic settings. He completed a MEng in Biochemical Engineering and an EngD in Biochemical Engineering and Bioprocess Leadership at University College London (UCL), before completing a post-doctorate at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). He has worked with a broad range of autologous and allogeneic cell therapy types, with particular focus historically on cancer immunotherapies and bone mechanobiology. At Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult his role as a Senior Process Development Scientist sees him utilising a risk-based approach, focusing on innovation and process efficiency, for Cost of Goods reduction and industrialisation of the field.

R.J. Tesi, MD, CEO and CMO, INmuneBio

Dr. Tesi is President, Chief Executive Officer and acting Chief Medical Officer since the formation of the Company in September 2015.  From November 2011 to May 2015, Dr. Tesi was CEO, President and Acting Chief Medical Officer of FPRT Bio Inc., a development-stage biotech company formed to develop XPro1595 for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease and other inflammatory diseases.  From November 2010 to October 2011, Dr. Tesi was Chief Medical Officer of Adienne SRL, an emerging biotech company in Bergamo, Italy focused on products to treat patients with hematologic malignancy.  From June 2007 to September 2010, Dr. Tesi was CEO and President of Coronado Biosciences, a company he founded. Dr. Tesi received his MD degree from Washington University School of Medicine in 1982. Dr. Tesi has been a licensed physician since 1982, an academic transplant surgeon and Fellow of the American College of Surgery before transitioning to industry in 1997.

Sophia N. Karagiannis, BA, MS, PhD, Reader, Translational Cancer Immunology, St. John’s Institute of Dermatology, School of Basic & Medical Biosciences, King's College London

Dr. Sophia Karagiannis is a Reader in Translational Cancer Immunology at King’s College London. She heads a cancer antibody discovery team focused on designing novel agents for skin, ovarian and breast cancers and striving to understand the cross-talk between patient immune cells and cancer. Major research streams in the Karagiannis laboratory include: a) dissecting B cell and antibody responses and understanding how these are modulated by the tumor microenvironment; b) interrogating patient humoral responses for potential biomarkers to aid stratification and to inform patient-focused treatments; c) designing Fc-modified antibodies with enhanced effector functions and antibody-drug conjugate approaches; d) elucidating the mechanisms of action of antibodies engineered with modified Fc regions and of different isotypes, namely IgG1, IgG4 and IgE, in disease-relevant models. The group are the first to design and translate an IgE class antibody recognizing a cancer antigen to a Phase I clinical trial in patients with solid tumours.

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