Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Inaugural

Next-Generation Immunotherapies

Engineering Next-Gen Biotherapeutics in Immuno-Oncology

August 8-9, 2019

Cambridge Healthtech Institute's Inaugural Next-Generation Immunotherapies conference will feature 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, small molecules, engineered cells, and other innovative approaches.

Final Agenda


7:45 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee


PANEL DISCUSSION: Partnering and Licensing in Immuno-Oncology

Big pharma and biotech are under pressure to compete in the booming Immuno-Oncology market and to capitalize on new technologies and innovations to bring next-generation immunotherapies to the patients. This insider panel will share what they look for in a partner or investment, and discuss opportunities for collaboration or in-licensing of novel immunotherapies, IO targets or biomarkers, and potential combination therapies.


Jeroen H. Blokhuis, PhD

Director, Business Development, Partnerships, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy






Michael Woo, MBA

Head, Search & Evaluation, Immuno-Oncology, Business Development & Licensing, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Inc.





Kathryn McCabe, PhD

Senior Director, Business Development, Emerging Technology and Innovation, Eli Lilly and Company





Scott M. DeWire, PhD

Global Head, Business Development and Licensing, Cancer Immunology, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.





Philip Arlen, MD

President & CEO, Precision Biologics





Stephen Doberstein, PhD

Senior Vice President, R&D and Chief Research and Development Officer, Nektar Therapeutics





9:30 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall. Last chance for poster viewing.


10:10 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Stephen Doberstein, PhD, Senior Vice President, R&D and Chief Research and Development Officer, Nektar Therapeutics

10:15 CUE-101, a Novel Fc Fusion Protein for Selective Targeting and Expansion of Anti-Tumor T Cells for Treatment of HPV-Driven Malignancies

Saso Cemerski, PhD, Senior Director, Translational Immunology, Cue Biopharma

CUE BioPharma’s ImmunoSTATs are proprietary biologics that incorporate, in a single molecular framework, the key signals needed to selectively modulate antigen-specific T cells: namely, the HLA-peptide complex to target the TCR along with relevant co-stimulatory/co-inhibitory signals, dependent upon the disease indication. The protein framework of ImmunoSTATs is based on an Ab Fc backbone and is extremely modular and flexible, which permits for targeting of diverse patient populations and different diseases. The lead clinical candidate CUE-101 is comprised of HLA-A*0201 bound to a peptide epitope derived from the HPV16 E7 protein (amino acid residues 11-20) along with affinity-attenuated human interleukin-2 (IL-2) to selectively activate and expand HPV16 E711-20-specific CD8+ T cells for HPV-driven malignancies, such as head and neck cancer and cervical cancer.

10:45 HERA-CD40L: A Unique Hexavalent CD40 Agonist for Cancer Immunotherapy

Christian Gieffers, PhD, Vice President, Early Drug Development, Apogenix AG

The hexavalent HERA-CD40L is a member of a novel class of TNFR superfamily agonists having the natural ligand conformation in common. The biological in vitro and in vivo activities of HERA-CD40L – determined by immune cell activation, repolarization of M2 macrophages and anti-tumor efficacy in mouse models – demonstrated superiority over other agonistic formats like bivalent antibodies without requiring crosslinking events. Therefore, HERA-CD40L is an excellent candidate for further development into a next-generation CD40 agonistic immuno-oncology drug.

11:15 CB307, a Novel T Cell Enhancing Humabody Therapeutic for PSMA-Positive Tumors

Brian McGuinness, PhD, MBA, Vice President, Crescendo Biologics

Agonistic monoclonal antibodies targeting CD137/4-1BB have shown much preclinical promise but their clinical development has been slowed primarily due to treatment-limiting liver toxicity. Developed using the Crescendo Mouse™, CB307 is a novel half-life extended bispecific Humabody VH targeting CD137 and prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA). The design of CB307 enables agonism of CD137 selectively in the presence of PSMA positive tumor cells enabling tumor-selective T cell activation while minimizing systemic toxicity.

11:45 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

12:15 pm Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

12:45 Session Break


1:40 Chairperson’s Remarks

Stephen Doberstein, PhD, Senior Vice President, R&D and Chief Research and Development Officer, Nektar Therapeutics

1:45 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Cytokine Engineering for Immuno-Oncology Using Polymer Conjugation

Stephen Doberstein, PhD, Senior Vice President, R&D and Chief Research and Development Officer, Nektar Therapeutics

Many of the pathways critical for immune system engagement are driven by binding of cytokines and other ligands to their cognate receptors. However, cytokines act at very short range for brief periods in a context-dependent manner, and therefore have poor properties for use as systemic medicines. Application of advanced polymer conjugation can alter the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties to optimize their use as anti-tumor medicines. This talk will describe several methods of optimizing cytokines such as IL-2 and IL-15 for medicinal applications.

2:15 Intratumoral Anchoring of Immunomodulators Potentiates Systemic Immunotherapy

K. Dane Wittrup, PhD, Carbon P. Dubbs Professor, Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cytokines are plagued by high toxicity and narrow therapeutic windows due to systemic exposure and activation. We have engineered collagen-binding cytokines that are efficiently retained following intratumoral administration and find that persistent local activation unexpectedly leads to improved tumor control at contralateral and metastatic sites, likely due to improved T cell priming in the tumor draining lymph node. This approach shows strong promise for potentiating multiple systemic immunotherapies.

2:45 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

3:15 Refreshment Break

3:45 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Immunocytokine Strategies in Prostate Cancer

Ravi Madan, MD, Clinical Director, Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, National Cancer Institute

To this point immunotherapy has yielded minimal benefits in prostate cancer beyond Sipuleucel-T and immune checkpoint inhibitors in small subsets of patients. New strategies are required to augment immune responses in men with advanced prostate cancer. Immunocytokines may have pleiotropic effects in the tumor microenvironment and has the potential to enhance clinical outcomes in prostate cancer.

4:15 Deep-Primed™ Immune Cell Therapeutics

Thomas Lars Andresen, PhD, CSO and Co-Founder, Torque Therapeutics

4:45 Intratumoral Cytokine Therapy; Regaining Anti-Tumor Immune Responses with IL-12

Kellie Malloy, Chief Clinical Development Officer, OncoSec

Checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs), while transforming cancer immunology, have not improved responses for the majority of patients. Researchers are exploring intratumoral cytokines for CPI resistant patients. Intratumoral cytokines avoid toxicities commonly associated with intravenous cytokine administration, while enabling a whole-body immune response. Intratumoral modalities include gene therapy via plasmid-based electroproration (EP), viral and RNA platforms. Plasmid-based EP is advantageous because it can transfect millions of tumor cells with relevant genes.

5:15 Close of Day


8:30 am Breakout Discussion Groups with Continental Breakfast


9:30 Chairperson’s Remarks

Roger R. Beerli, PhD, CSO, NBE-Therapeutics AG

9:35 Novel Immune-Stimulatory ADCs (iADCs) for Effective Targeting of Solid Tumors

Roger R. Beerli, PhD, CSO, NBE-Therapeutics AG

This presentation will cover: 1) exploring site-specific conjugates with ultra-potent anthracycline toxins; 2) discovering immune-oncology function of NBE’s iADCs; and 3) reviewing preclinical validation of a ROR1 targeting iADC.

10:05 TPST-1120 Antagonism of PPARα Metabolic Checkpoint Suppresses Tumor Growth and Stimulates Anti-Tumor Immunity

Chan Whiting, PhD, Senior Vice President, R&D, Tempest Therapeutics

Tumors evolve fatty acid oxidation (FAO) metabolism to promote their own survival and to suppress tumor-specific immunity. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARα) is the principal transcription factor that regulates the expression of FAO genes. TPST 1120 is a first-in-class selective competitive antagonist of the human PPARα. TPST-1120 induces direct tumor cytotoxicity and generates potent anti-tumor immunity. Preclinical studies indicate TPST-1120 confers anti-tumor efficacy as a monotherapy and augments response when combined with anti-cancer agents including anti-PD1 therapy. A Phase 1/1b open-label, dose-escalation and dose-expansion study of TPST-1120 as a single agent or in combination with systemic anti-cancer therapies is initiated.

10:35 Tomivosertib (eFT508), a Potent and Highly Selective Inhibitor of MNK1 and MNK2, Enhances Checkpoint Inhibitor and CAR T Cell Activity through Modulating T Cell Differentiation

Kevin R. Webster, PhD, Senior Vice President, eFFECTOR Therapeutics

Tomivosertib is a potent, highly selective inhibitor of MNK1/2 that biases T cell differentiation towards TSCM and TCM populations through regulating mTOR signaling. Tomivosertib treatment of T cells yields increased memory populations in vitro and in vivo while maintaining or increasing T cell proliferation, interferon-ɣ production and cytotoxic function. Combination of tomivosertib with checkpoint inhibitors or CAR T cell therapy delivers improved efficacy consistent with increased memory T cell function.

11:05 Small Molecule Approaches to Enhancing Immunity in the Tumor Microenvironment

David Wustrow, PhD, Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery and Preclinical Development; FLX Bio, Inc.

Tumors negatively modulate the immune system through a variety of mechanisms. Studies have revealed that regulatory T cells (Treg), myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and T cell anergy can play important roles in suppressing the immune response to cancer cells in the tumor microenvironment. This talk will highlight FLX’s platform to identify and develop small molecules which target mechanisms of tumor immune suppression.

11:35 am Close of Conference

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

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