Next Generation Immunotherapies

MONDAY, 9TH MARCH 2020 15:30 – 18:15

Stephen Beers, PhD, Professor, Immunology and Immunotherapy, Cancer Immunology, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine

Eric Smith, PhD, Senior Director, Bispecific Antibodies, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Dario Neri, PhD, Professor, Biomacromolecules, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), Switzerland

John Maher, MD, PhD, Consultant and Senior Lecturer, Immunology, Cancer Studies, King’s College London

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

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.

Detailed Agenda:

3:30 The Tumour Microenvironment and Response to Cancer Immunotherapy

Stephen Beers, PhD, Professor, Immunology and Immunotherapy, Cancer Immunology, University of Southampton Faculty of Medicine

The tumour microenvironment (TME) is a complex, dynamic environment resulting from interplay between tumour cells and a variety of host factors. As well as propagating tumour growth and spread, the TME also influences response to immunotherapy. In this short course we will discuss the nature of the TME and the multiple ways in which it promotes immunosuppression. Opportunities to alter the TME to more effectively deliver immunotherapy will also be discussed.

4:00 Potential of Bi-Specific and Multi-Specific Antibody Constructs

Eric Smith, PhD, Senior Director, Bispecific Antibodies Regeneron

First proposed over 50 years ago, bispecific antibodies are now a rapidly growing class of therapeutics that are of particular interest in the immuno-oncology setting due to their ability to redirect immune cells to tumor cells in a targeted fashion. This presentation will review common classes of bispecific antibodies, discuss pre-clinical and clinical development of these molecules, current clinical challenges, and emerging strategies for bispecifics in oncology.

4:30 Session Break

4:45 Immunocytokines: impact of format on performance

Dario Neri, PhD, Professor, Biomacromolecules, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), Switzerland

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.

5:15 Adoptive T Cell Therapy of B Cell Malignancy: Current Successes and New Directions

John Maher, MD, PhD, Consultant and Senior Lecturer, Immunology, Cancer Studies, King’s College London

Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are synthetic fusions that re-target the specificity of lymphoid cells against designated cell surface targets. Viewed as a scientific curiosity for many years, CAR T cells have demonstrated unprecedented efficacy against B cell malignancy. This short course reviews the clinical development of this technology in addition to emerging challenges and potential solutions to issues such as toxicity, target antigen loss, scalability of manufacture and disease relapse.

5:45 In Vitro/Ex vivo Models and Adapting in Vivo Models to Study Immuno-Oncology and Antibody Functions

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

In vitro and ex vivo models provide a platform with which we can explore cancer biology, signalling 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:

Beers_Stephen_1Stephen Beers, PhD, Professor, Immunology and Immunotherapy, Centre for Cancer Immunology, Cancer Sciences Unit, University of Southampton

Stephen Beers is Professor of Immunology and Immunotherapy at the Centre for Cancer Immunology, University of Southampton. He leads a research group studying antibody drugs and their mechanisms of action. The group’s research is currently focussed on two main areas: 1) the mechanisms of action of immunomodulatory mAb, and 2) how the tumour microenvironment affects antibody therapy and how this might be manipulated to enhance patient outcomes. Their work utilises a portfolio of complimentary models incorporating in vitro 3D modelling, appropriate in vivo model systems and primary clinical material.

Smith_EricEric Smith, PhD, Director, Bispecific Antibodies, Regeneron, Inc.

Dr. Eric Smith received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from Duke University in 1997. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at NYU he joined Regeneron in 2002 as a member of the Antibody and Trap Technologies group, where he worked on cytokine traps and related molecules. In 2008 he became a member of the Bispecific Antibodies team and is currently the Sr. Director of Bispecifics at Regeneron.

Neri_Dario1Prof. Dr. Dario Neri, Professor, Biomacromolecules, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), Switzerland

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.

Maher_JohnJohn Maher, FRCPath, PhD, Consultant & Senior Lecturer, Immunology, Cancer Studies, King’s College London

Dr John Maher is a clinical immunologist and immunopathologist who leads the "CAR Mechanics" research group within King's College London. He played a key role in the early development of second-generation CAR technology that has proven disruptive in the clinic. His research group is focused on the development of adoptive immunotherapy using CAR engineered and gamma delta T-cells. He is also the scientific founder and chief scientific officer of a spin-out company named Leucid Bio. In addition, he is a consultant immunologist within King's Health Partners and Eastbourne Hospital.

Sophia-KaragiannisSophia 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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