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Co-Located with BIOTECHNICA 2009, Europe's No.1 Event in Biotechnology and Life Sciences 

Day 1 |  Day 2 


16:00-18:30 Conference Registration

18:30 BIOTECHNICA Opening and EUROPEAN BIOTECHNICA AWARD Ceremony plus Reception



08:30-19:00 Conference Registration

09:00-18:00 Exhibit Viewing


Phage Display of Therapeutic Antibodies


09:00-09:05 Chairperson’s Remarks

Lutz Jermutus, Ph.D., Senior Director, Technology, MedImmune


Andreas Pluckthun Ph.D09:05-09:35 Combinatorial and Evolutionary Protein Engineering

Andreas Plückthun, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry, University of Zürich

Display, selection and iterative evolution has been used in three sce narios. First, to generate binding proteins for therapy, using Designed Ankyrin Repeat Proteins (DARPins). Second, to build a modular system to detect and discriminate linear protein sequences in a sequence-specific manner, using Armadillo Repeat Proteins. Third, to stabilize targets such as GPCRs by directed evolution such that they can be stabilized for structural studies.


Debbie Law, Ph.D09:35-10:05 Bringing Nanobodies to the Clinic

Debbie Law, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Ablynx nv

Nanobodies® are therapeutic proteins based on the smallest functional
fragments of heavy chain antibodies, which occur naturally in the
Camelidae family, including camels and llamas. Due to their inherent biophysical properties, Nanobodies can combine the advantages of both small molecule and traditional monoclonal antibody therapeutics. This presentation will focus on these next-generation biologics and provide examples of how Nanobodies can be formatted to generate clinical candiDates with the desired biological activities including selectivity, high potency, and appropriate half-life.

Georg Feger, Ph.D10:05-10:35 Strategies for a Competitive Biologics Portfolio

Georg Feger, Ph.D., Site Manager, Geneva Research Center, Vice President, Research Head of NBE Technologies, Merck Serono S.A.

Biotherapeutics based on cytokines, growth factors, receptorbodies and monoclonal antibodies are an essential part of today’s medical treatment. The desire for more efficacious treatment with fewer side effects is driving a new innovation cycle that promises to extend the addressable target space, to deliver new binding scaffolds, to increase potency and manufacturability. A balanced portfolio approach to generate a sustainable and competitive biologics portfolio will be discussed.


10:35-11:00 Coffee Break Sponsored bySloning Biotechnology







11:00-11:05 Chairperson’s Remarks

K. Dane Wittrup, Ph.D., Office of the Chief Scientific Officer, Adimab, Inc.

11:05-11:35 Yeast Surface Display

K. Dane Wittrup, Ph.D.

We have developed an integrated platform for the discovery and optimization of human IgGs in the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. A novel form of synthetic library has been designed and constructed that reproduces key features of the preimmune human VHCDR3 repertoire. The abundance of nanomolar-affinity lead antibodies in this repertoire expressed in yeast is 100-fold greater than that from published data for premier phage antibody libraries. Unprecedented speed from antigen to panels of human IgG protein is attained. Optimization of affinity and expression are robust and rapid within the platform.

11:35-12:05 Microdroplets for Directed Evolution

Florian Hollfelder, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge

The potential of water-in-oil microdroplets, generated in microfluidic devices, for future applications in protein engineering is discussed. Catalytic single-cell assays, protein expression from single cells, and cell-free protein expression can be quantitatively monitored. Thermal and isothermal PCR reactions from single DNA molecules bring about ‘monoclonal’ droplets with multiple gene copies. The droplet compartment can also be used to create a covalent genotype-phenotype linkage in ‘SNAP-tag display’. This display system can be engineered to provide a multivalent display systems to take advantage of avidity effects for selections from naive libraries.

Cosmix12:05-12:35 Combining Chemical Protein Synthesis and mRNA Display in a Mirror Image Approach to Generate D-Peptides as a New Generation of Drugs 

Peter Wagner, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, COSMIX molecular biologicals GmbH
Cosmix combined its powerful, proprietary technologies, mRNA display and chemical protein synthesis, to generate D-peptides as next generations of drugs. Mirror images of valiDated targets are chemically synthesized, applied to mRNA display selections and corresponding, identified binding L-peptides are turned into D-peptides to recognize corresponding natural targets in a highly, stereoselective manner of high affinity. Here we demonstrate the Proof of Concept and show the advances to develop a VEGF-binding D-peptide suitable for a wide range of indications.

12:35-13:45 Lunch for Purchase in the Exhibit Hall and Exhibit Viewing



14:00-14:05 Chairperson’s Remarks

Sachdev Sidhu, Ph.D., Banting & Best Department for Medical Research and Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto

14:05-14:35 Synthetic PDZ Domains for Functional Genomics

Sachdev Sidhu, Ph.D.

PDZ domains are peptide-recognition modules that recognize C-terminal sequence to assemble signaling complexes. We have significantly expanded the PDZ family specificity range by engineering synthetic domains that target novel C-terminal sequences. Synthetic PDZ domains represent a new class of affinity reagents that can be tailored for the recognition of peptide motifs in natural proteins to enable numerous functional genomics applications.


14:35-15:05 Engineered Cystine Knot Miniproteins for Diagnostics and Therapy

Harald Kolmar, Ph.D., Department of Biochemistry, Technical University of Darmstadt

Due to their outstanding inherent stability, as well as their small size of only around 30 amino acid residues, cystine knot miniproteins (knottins) are an attractive class of agents for the development of peptide-based pharmaceuticals. Potent and selective knottins with predefined binding characteristics were obtained by rational protein design as well as by combinatorial library screening using phage and bacterial display strategies.

15:05-15:35 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

15:35-16:00 Refreshment Break Sponsored by Biosilta


From Discovery to Clinic

16:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Dario Neri, Ph.D., Professor, Chemistry & Applied Biosciences, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, ETH Zürich


Featured Presentaion

Pamela A. Trail, Ph.D16:05-16:35 Development of an EphA2 Antibody Drug Conjugate for the Treatment of Cancer

Pamela A. Trail, Ph.D., Vice President, Oncology, MedImmune, Inc.

The use of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to selectively deliver highly po tent cytotoxic drugs to tumors can both improve efficacy and reduce sys temic toxicity. It is important to consider each of the components, the MAb and its target antigen, the linker, and the cytotoxic drug, during the design of an antibody drug conjugate (ADC). In particular, the choice of an appropriate target antigen is critical to the efficacy and safety of the ADC. The antigen should be expressed in high density on malignant cells, have limited normal tissue expression, and be internalized following ADC binding. This presentation will focus on the design and development of ADCs consisting of human antibodies against EphA2, a tyrosine kinase receptor that is over-expressed on a variety of malignant tumors.

16:35-17:05 Combining Radioimmunotherapy and Antivascular Agents: Using Human Ex Vivo Phage Display Selection to Derive Clinically Relevant Targeting Moieties

Tim Meyer, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Medical Oncology, UCL Cancer Institute, University College London

The results of a recently completed Phase 1 trial combining the CEA targeting antibody 131I-A5B7 with combretastatin A4 Phosphate will be presented. In addition, a novel strategy for deriving clinically relevant scFvs using ex vivo human organ perfusion will be presented.

17:05-17:35 Vascular Tumor Targeting: From the Bench to the Clinic

Dario Neri, Ph.D., Professor, Chemistry & Applied Biosciences, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, ETH Zürich

The recent identification of good-quality markers of angiogenesis opens new avenues for the antibody-based selective delivery of therapeutic agents to primary tumors and metastatic sites.

17:35-17:45 Move to Breakout Discussion Groups


17:45-19:00 Interactive Breakout Discussion Groups

Antibody Fragments and Scaffolds

Moderator: Sachdev Sidhu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Banting & Best Department for Medical Research and Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto

  • Limitations of conventional igg antibodies in terms of production, delivery and efficacy
  • Features and caveats to be considered in the design and application of igg alternatives
  • Advantages and disadvantages of antibody fragments relative to iggs
  • Advances in alternative scaffolds beyond the immunoglobulin fold
  • Key application niches for antibody fragments and alternative scaffolds

Delivery into Tumors

Moderator: K. Dane Wittrup, Ph.D., J.R. Mares Professor, Chemical Engineering & Bioengineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Targeted nanoparticles
  • Immunotoxins & antibody-drug conjugates
  • Vascular targeting
  • Micropharmacokinetics

Immunoconjugates for Cancer Therapy

Moderator: Dario Neri, Ph.D., Professor, Chemistry & Applied Biosciences, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, ETH Zürich

  • Action at the tumor cell (e.G., Internalizing antibodies) vs. Effector functions with
    cross-fire effect (e.G., Adept, radionuclides)
  • Antibodies against cell membrane antigens vs. other possible targets
    (e.G., Ecm components)
  • Effector functions: radionuclide vs. cytokine vs. drug vs. other toxic moieties
  • Integration of imaging and therapy

Increasing Efficiency of Libraries and Selection

Moderator: Andreas Plückthun, Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry, University of Zürich

Engineering Approaches to Minimize Aggregation and/or Immunogenicity

Moderator: David Lowe, Ph.D., Head, Display Technology, RI & A, MedImmune, Inc.

  • Selections for solubility
  • Selections for thermostability
  • Designing libraries for solubilization
  • Screens for thermostability and solubility


19:00-21:00 CHI Reception Sponsored by Biosilta   DNA 2.0 GeneartNEW

For questions, please contact:
Christina Lingham
Executive Director, Conference
Cambridge Healthtech Institute
Phone: 781-972-5464
Fax: 781-972-5425

For exhibit and sponsorship information, please contact:
Carol Dinerstein
Cambridge Healthtech Institute
Phone: 781-972-5471