Short Courses*

Tuesday, August 28, 6:30-9:00 pm

Dinner Short Course (SC1) Bioinformatics for Immuno-Oncology and Translational Research


Yuriy Gusev, PhD, Associate Professor, Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics (ICBI), Georgetown University

In this course, we cover major applications of Big Data, bioinformatics and systems biology for immuno-oncology research and development with major focus on translational research. We provide a User's Guide to open access online resources and tools as well as overview of state-of-the-art methodologies and approaches to leveraging and integrating of a vast amount of information available through genome-wide molecular profiling, next-generation sequencing, etc. for the immuno-oncology applications. Several important immuno-oncology focus areas will be discussed in detail, such as computational immunophenotyping of tumor samples, HLA typing based on sequencing data, as well as computational methodologies for immunotherapy selection. Several case studies and brief live demos with hands-on exercises will be presented to illustrate the importance and added value of integrative bioinformatics analysis for immuno-oncology.

Course Level: Intermediate difficulty (201 level); some knowledge of genomics technologies and molecular profiling data types (i.e., gene expression, RNAseq) is expected.

Who Should Attend: Targeted audience: PhD/MD-level biomedical researchers, oncologists, graduate students, etc. No computational background is required.

Topics to be Covered in the Course Include:

1. Overview of major applications of bioinformatics methodologies in immuno-oncology.

2. Open access bioinformatics databases and tools that are available for immuno-oncology research - a User's Guide.

3. Case study examples for multi-omics integrative analysis in human cancers with immunology implications.

4. Short live demo of online resources and tools with hands-on examples.

5. Future directions for computational immuno-oncology.

Tuesday, August 28, 6:30-9:00 pm

Dinner Short Course (SC2)

Next-Generation Immunotherapies: Part 1

Please join us for a two-part dinner workshop series featuring presentations on the latest immunotherapy technologies from emerging companies. Learn about engineering the next-generation immunotherapies coming down the pipeline, including bi-specific and multi-specific antibody constructs, fully recombinant antibody prodrugs, innovative multivalent therapeutics, immunotherapeutic fusion proteins, antibody-drug conjugates, and other innovative approaches.

Unbiased Functional Screening of Large Bispecific Antibody Panels to Unlock Novel Biology

Mark Throsby, PhD, Executive Vice President & CSO, Merus NV

The bispecific antibody format represents an emerging therapeutic modality. We have developed a set of robust and validated technologies that permits unbiased in-format functional screening to identify human full-length IgG bispecific antibodies candidates with superior therapeutic properties. Two case studies will be presented where this approach has been successful employed to discovery lead candidates with differentiating properties that are now in clinical development.

Development of MabPair Technology, a Novel Platform for Developing Bifunctional Antibody Products

Wei Yan, PhD, CEO, Research, Sound Biologics

We have developed a novel technology that enables the production of two full length IgG molecules from a single production cell line. This was achieved by using a molecular engineering approach from which we can precisely control the correct pairing of antibody heavy chains and light chains during the assembly of two antibodies in the same cell line. This technology platform, which has been designated as MabPair, can be applied for the development of therapeutic antibody products that contain a mixture of two antibodies. MabPair products can offer significant advantages and flexibility over those of bispecific antibodies when addressing multiple targets. We will describe the development of PSB205, our lead MabPair product candidate, that targets two immune checkpoint pathways, and its potential in cancer immunotherapy.

ProTIA - Bispecific T Cell Engagers That Combine Tumor Antigen Binding, Local Protease Activation, and Polymer Exclusion from Normal Tissues

Volker Schellenberger, PhD, President & CEO, Amunix

ProTIAs are highly potent bispecific T cell engagers. ProTIAs are administered to patients as inactive long half-life prodrugs. Activation by tumor-associated proteases occurs within tumor tissue. The released active form has a short circulation half-life, which minimizes the risk of systemic exposure. Amunix's proprietary XTEN™ protein polymer provides half-life modulation, masking of binding sites, and facilitates manufacturing of ProTIA prodrugs.

Probody Therapeutics: Antibody Pro-Drugs Designed for Safer and More Effective Cancer Therapies

W. Michael Kavanaugh, MD, CSO, Head, Research and Non-Clinical Development, Cytomx Therapeutics

Probody™ therapeutics are fully recombinant antibody prodrugs that are converted to active antibodies by tumor-associated proteases. They are designed to protect normal tissues while concentrating active antibody in tumors, thereby widening the therapeutic index. Examples of the application of Probody technology to multiple antibody-based therapies will be presented, including checkpoint blocking naked antibodies directed against PD-(L)1 and CTLA-4, antibody-drug conjugates, and T cell-engaging bispecific antibodies.

ADAPTIR Bispecific Proteins: Stable, Manufacturable Therapeutics for Cancer Immunotherapy

David Bienvenue, PhD, Senior Director, Protein Sciences, Aptevo Therapeutics

The presentation will highlight the activity, stability and manufacturability of ADAPTIR bispecifics and will include recent data for a lead preclinical candidate, APVO436, which targets CD123 and CD3. APVO436 has shown potent biological activity in preclinical studies and is rapidly advancing toward first-in-human clinical trials.

Wednesday, August 29, 6:00-9:00 pm

Dinner Short Course (SC3)

Next-Generation Immunotherapies: Part 2

Please join us for a two-part dinner workshop series featuring presentations on the latest immunotherapy technologies from emerging companies. Learn about engineering the next-generation immunotherapies coming down the pipeline, including bi-specific and multi-specific antibody constructs, fully recombinant antibody prodrugs, innovative multivalent therapeutics, immunotherapeutic fusion proteins, antibody-drug conjugates, and other innovative approaches.

Targeted VH Humabodies as Novel Multifunctional Immunotherapies

Phil Bland-Ward, PhD, CSO, Crescendo Biologics

Crescendo Biologics is developing multifunctional Humabody therapeutics, with particular focus on novel mechanisms that simultaneously target tumours and activate tumour-specific T cells. Originating from the proprietary Crescendo Mouse platform, Humabody VH domains represent functional building blocks that Crescendo optimally configures to create innovative multivalent therapeutics. These include dual-checkpoint blockade, biparatopic tumour antigen targeting, and Humabody Drug Conjugate (HDC) biologics with outstanding therapeutic potential in cancer.

KAHR Medical Dual Signaling Proteins (DSP) Platform - The Next Generation of Cancer Immunotherapy

Yaron Pereg, PhD, CEO, KAHR Medical, Ltd.

KAHR Medical is developing a novel drug platform based on bi-functional, immunotherapeutic fusion proteins. KAHR's proprietary technology enables the construction of targeted biological drugs with two functional ends, which can simultaneously block and/or activate two reinforcing biological signals resulting in a synergistic outcome. This platform represents a new generation of ultra-active immunotherapeutic biological drugs rationally designed for the treatment of multiple cancer indications.

Hexavalent TNFR-SF Agonists: A Unique Class of Biologics for Cancer Immunotherapy

Christian Gieffers, PhD, Vice President, Analytics/Protein Chemistry, Apogenix

The technology platform developed by Apogenix is based on trivalent but single-chain molecular mimics of the TNF-SF Receptor binding domains (scTNFSF-RBDs) fused to a dimerization scaffold. This drug concept was successfully translated to CD40L, CD27L and GITRL. Being hexavalent by design, these fusion proteins are potent agonists on their own. They co-stimulate distinct immune cell types involved in the anti-tumor immune reaction thereby enabling exciting opportunities for combination treatment with other I-O drugs.

Optimization of a Bispecific Anti-CD3 Antibody-Small Molecule Conjugate for the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

Harun Rashid, PhD, Principal Scientist, Molecular Technology, Ambrx

Bispecific antibodies, which simultaneously target CD3 on T cells and tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) to recruit cytotoxic T cells to cancer cells, are a promising new approach for the treatment of various liquid and solid tumors. We recently described the synthesis of a chemically defined anti-CD3 Fab-folate conjugate that targets cytotoxic T cells to folate receptor positive (FR+) tumors. Here, we report further optimization of the anti-CD3 Fab-folate conjugate for optimal efficacy, reduced toxicity and optimal pharmacokinetic (PK) properties. To strike an optimal balance between efficacy and toxicity due to cytokine release syndrome (CRS), we fine-tuned the affinity of the anti-CD3 antibody as well as optimized the TAA binding. To increase the in vivo half-life (T1/2), we simultaneously conjugated both folate and PEG molecules of various sizes by the use of bi-functional linkers. The optimized conjugates showed potent and selective in vitro activity, good serum half-life, and potent in vivo activity in xenograft mouse models. This semisynthetic approach is likely to be applicable to the generation of additional anti-CD3 bispecific agents using small molecule ligands selective for other TAAs.

Enhancement of Anti-Tumor Immunity via Targeted Alteration of the Microbiome

Bruce Roberts, PhD, CSO, Vedanta Biosciences

Recent clinical data suggests a link between the microbiome and efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors. These observations suggest alteration of the microbiome via administration of live bacterial consortia may have beneficial effects. Vedanta has characterized immunostimulatory commensal compositions capable of inducing CD8 T cells in germ free mice. Results will be presented illustrating these T cell stimulatory consortia enhance anti-tumor efficacy when used in combination with checkpoint inhibitors in animal models.

*Separate registration required for Short Courses.


* The program is subject to change without notice, due to unforeseen reason.

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