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The tools for creating novel biologics have resulted in a broad array of constructs with new modes of action and improved efficacy that are advancing to the clinic. The Fifth Annual Display of Biologics track showcases innovation in discovery, design and engineering of biologics through molecular evolution using phage, yeast and other display methodologies. Insights will be shared on using big data strategies and informatic analysis of next-generation sequencing outputs to improve library design and optimize drug molecules with greater potency, specificity, modes of action and activity than previously achievable.

Final Agenda

MONDAY 12 NOVEMBER | 09:00 - 12:00 | MORNING

Recommended Short Course*

SC2: Making Antibody Libraries in Phage and Yeast - View Detailed Agenda

Andrew R.M. Bradbury, MB BS, PhD, CSO, Specifica, Inc.

In this short course, students will learn about antibody basics, including structure, genetics and the generation of diversity, as well as the creation of naive antibody libraries in the phage and yeast display formats. This will include a description of phage and yeast display technologies, the creation of naïve libraries from natural and synthetic sources. The seminar will be fully interactive with students provided ample opportunities to discuss technology with instructors.

*Separate registration required.


Scientific Advisory Board

Ana Barbas, PhD, Coordinator, Bayer Satellite Laboratory at iBET, iBET and Bayer Portugal SA

Kerry Chester, PhD, Professor, Molecular Medicine, University College London Cancer Institute

David Lowe, PhD, Senior Director, R&D, Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering, MedImmune Ltd.

Ahuva Nissim, PhD, Professor, Antibody and Therapeutic Engineering, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London

Gregory A. Weiss, PhD, Professor, Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine


12:00 Conference Registration (Foyer C)

Auditorium VII

13:30 Organizer’s Welcome

Christina Lingham, Executive Director, Conferences and Fellow, Cambridge Healthtech Institute

13:35 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Ana Barbas, PhD, Coordinator, Bayer Satellite Laboratory at iBET, iBET and Bayer Portugal SA

13:45 Yeast Surface Display Platform for Rapid Discovery of Conformationally Selective Nanobodies

Andrew C. Kruse, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest single class of transmembrane receptors in humans, and include important drug targets for the treatment of a broad range of diseases. We developed a synthetic VHH antibody fragment library displayed on yeast, which allows rapid and efficient isolation of antibody fragments that can bind and modulate GPCR signaling. These are powerful tools to investigate GPCR structure, function, and biology. Similar principles can be applied to identify conventional antibodies that can serve as surrogate agonists, antagonists, and allosteric modulators of GPCR signaling.

14:15 Back to the Future: Bacteriophages as Promising Therapeutic Tools

Pilar Domingo-Calap, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Genetics, Institute for Integrative Systems Biology, University of Valencia

The recent emergence of multi-drug-resistant bacteria needs for alternative therapies, and bacteriophages are potential antibacterial agents. In addition, bacteriophages can be used as promising tools in engineering genetics, mainly thanks to phage display. Drug discovery, vaccine development, antibody engineering, epitope mapping, gene/drug delivery or enzyme technology are examples of the potential use of phages in clinics. Thus, phages can be used in prevention, diagnosis and as treatment of specific diseases.

14:45 Phage Display as a Tool for Bispecific Antibody Generation

Nixon_AndrewAndrew Nixon, PhD, Vice President, Biotherapeutics Molecule Discovery, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Bispecific antibodies have become an important class of antibody drugs with application in a variety of therapeutic areas. Here, we will discuss identification of a pair of serine protease inhibitors from a phage display library, in vitro and in vivo characterization and creation of a dual inhibitory bispecific antibody. Finally, we will review alternate bispecific antibody formats, challenges and applications.

15:15 Further Advancement for Human Ab Discovery

Vera Molkenthin, PhD, Chief Scientist, AbCheck

AbCheck has developed Mass Humanization to generate humanized libraries. This approach utilizes batch cloning of CDR3 immune repertoires from immunized rabbits into selected human frameworks containing specifically diversified CDR1 and CDR2 regions. For selecting high affinity binders from the resulting, highly diverse library, AbCheck routinely applies Phage or Yeast Display under various conditions. In this talk, AbCheck will present new technological developments regarding its human antibody discovery and optimization platform.

15:45 Networking Refreshment Break (Foyer D)

Auditorium I

16:15 Moderator’s Opening Remarks

Janine Schuurman, PhD, Corporate Vice President, Research & Innovation, Genmab BV





16:20 Bicycles and Bicycle Drug Conjugates

Sir Gregory Winter, PhD, FRS, Master, Trinity College and Co-Founder and Director, Bicycle Therapeutics

Bicycles® are a novel therapeutic class of constrained bicyclic peptides that combine antibody-like affinity and selectivity with small molecule-like tissue penetration, tunable exposure and chemical synthesis. They have potential in many indications, including oncology, where Bicycles’ unique properties have been used to develop Bicycle Drug Conjugates™ (BDCs), a novel toxin delivery platform which greatly improves toxin loading into tumour tissues. A BDC is expected to enter clinical trial in Q1 2018.

17:20 Paracrine Delivery: Therapeutic Biomolecules Produced in Situ

Andreas G. Plückthun, PhD, Professor and Director, Department of Biochemistry, University of Zürich

Cancer will have to be fought with cocktails of therapeutics acting locally, which may have to include therapeutic antibodies against receptors, checkpoint inhibitors, as well as cytokines to modify the tumor microenvironment. We have recently developed a technology of using non-replicative adenovirus carrying no viral genes, engineered to target desired cells and also to be shielded from the immune response, as a vehicle for simultaneous delivery of multiple genes of therapeutic proteins, produced and secreted by the infected cells.

18:20 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Pavilion 1)

19:30 End of Day


07:45 Registration (Foyer C) and Morning Coffee (Foyer D) 

Auditorium VII

08:30 Chairperson’s Remarks

Kerry Chester, PhD, Professor, Molecular Medicine, University College London Cancer Institute

08:35 Virus-Like Particle Display of HER2 Induces Potent Anti-Cancer Responses

Palladini_AriannaArianna Palladini, PhD, Department of Experimental Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (DIMES), University of Bologna

Susan Thrane, MSc, PhD, Postdoc, Institute for Immunology and Microbiology, Centre for Medical Parasitology, Copenhagen University

Monoclonal antibody therapy improves management of HER2-driven mammary carcinoma, but its utility is limited. Active vaccination represents a promising alternative. Using a novel virus-like particle platform, we developed an active vaccine with a high-density display of HER2. Vaccine induced anti-HER2 autoantibodies were able to prevent mammary carcinoma onset in transgenic mice and inhibit HER2-positive tumor growth in wild-type mice. This vaccine represents a cost-effective treatment for HER2-positive cancer.

09:05 Anticalin Drug Candidates Selected against Therapeutic Targets with Innovative Formats and Modes of Action

Skerra_ArneArne Skerra, PhD, Professor & Chair, Technical University of Munich

Anticalin proteins are an emerging class of clinical stage biopharmaceuticals with high potential as an alternative to antibodies. Anticalins can be selected using phage display and bacterial surface display techniques against a wide range of medically relevant targets, from small molecules to peptides and proteins. Their mode of action comprises growth factor antagonists, receptor agonists and small molecule scavengers/antidotes. Moreover, Anticalins allow molecular formatting as bi- and even multispecific fusion proteins, also in combination with antibodies that provide a second specificity.

09:35 Direct Functional Screening for Antibody-Drug Conjugates Using Transpo-mAb Mammalian Cell Display

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

Transpo-mAb is a novel and highly efficient non-viral antibody discovery and engineering platform, allowing for the efficient display of full-length antibodies on the surface of B lymphocytes. Due to a built-in switch between surface and secreted expression, functional screening can be seamlessly integrated into the antibody discovery workflow. A case study showcasing the direct identification of fully human mAbs suitable as backbones of antibody-drug conjugates will be presented.

10:05 Problem-Solving Breakout Discussions (Foyer E)

Phage and Yeast Antibody Libraries

Moderator: Andrew R.M. Bradbury, MB BS, PhD, CSO, Specifica, Inc.

  • How to make them
  • Synthetic or natural?
  • Yeast or phage or both?

10:30 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Pavilion 1)

Auditorium VII


Saravanan Rajan, PhD, Scientist II, Antibody Discovery & Protein Engineering, MedImmune

11:15 Discovery of a Cryptic Peptide Binding Site on PCSK9 and Design of Antagonists

Zhang_YingnanYingnan Zhang, PhD, Senior Scientific Manager, Early Discovery Biochemistry, Genentech

PCSK9 is a negative regulator of hepatic LDLR. Discovery of small molecule therapeutics is hampered by the relatively flat EGF(A) binding site on PCSK9. We discovered that P’-helix of PCSK9 is flexible to reveal an N-terminal groove adjacent to EGF(A) binding site. Peptides accessing the groove were discovered from a phage displayed anchor-peptide-directed library and were further engineered into antagonists, which encroach on the EGF(A) binding site and inhibit LDLR binding.

11:45 Microfluidics and Genomics for Polyclonal and Monoclonal Antibody Drugs for Infectious Disease

Johnson_DavidDavid S. Johnson, PhD, Founder and CEO, GigaGen, Inc.

Human B cell repertoires encode a diversity of antibodies with high potential as therapeutics. Because of technical challenges, commercial groups do not typically make use of human B cell repertoires to identify candidates for antibody therapeutics. We have developed a suite of novel technologies to capture and express highly diverse, natively paired antibody libraries from human B cell repertoires. We are mining these libraries for efficacious monoclonal antibodies for infectious disease. We are also using the repertoires to manufacture recombinant hyperimmune polyclonal gammaglobulin drug candidates.

TTPlabtech_tagline 12:15 Screening Smarter to Derive Data Driven Decisions Faster

Sarah Payne, PhD, Product Manager, Marketing, TTP Labtech

There’s a smart way to increase the pace of therapeutic antibody and vaccine discovery. Derive data driven decisions faster with no-wash, cell, or bead-based immunoassay screening workflows that can be multiplexed to combine hit identification with selectivity, species cross-reactivity, viability, infectivity, or titer for accelerated decision making.

12:45 The Journey to “the” Antibody: Accessing a Versatile Toolbox

Maria González-Pajuelo, PhD, CSO, FairJourney Biologics, S.A.

To maximize the possibility to select “the” antibody, at FJB we have taken antibody discovery to an unprecedented level by creating a versatile toolbox that allows the selection by phage display of antibody fragments of different species from large naïve and immune repertoires. Ultimately these fragments can be engineered and converted to mono- and bi-specific formats that are produced in CHO cells.

Sphere-Fluidics 13:15 Luncheon Presentation: Accelerate your Antibody Discovery and Cell Line Development Workflows with Cyto-Mine®

Xin Liu, PhD, Principal Scientist, Biology, Sphere Fluidics

Cyto-Mine® is the world’s first fully integrated platform for high-throughput single cell analysis based on microfluidic picodroplet technologies. By encapsulating single cells in picolitre volume droplets, Cyto-Mine® enables the rapid analysis, sorting and dispensing of single cells into individual wells of microtitre plates, reducing both time and costs required compared to traditional approaches. In this talk, we will introduce the key functionalities of Cyto-Mine® and its applications for antibody discovery and cell line development.

13:45 Dessert Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

Auditorium VII

14:15 Chairperson’s Remarks

Gregory A. Weiss, PhD, Professor, Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine

14:20 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Single Cell Selections of Recombinant Antibodies Binding to Circulating Tumor Cells

Kristensen_PeterPeter Kristensen, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Aalborg University

Metastatic cancer is closely linked to circulating tumor cells. The mechanisms behind the dissemination of cancer through these metastatic seeds however remain incompletely understood. To reveal novel biomarkers, and gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of cancer metastasis, we have used an advanced single cell selection on circulating tumor cells from patients diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer. In the presentation, the potential of single cell selection of recombinant antibodies will be discussed.

14:50 Dual Display: Phage Selection Driven by Co-Engagement of Two Targets

Hartley_OliverOliver Hartley, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva

This presentation will describe the design and preliminary evaluation of a new phage display approach enabling compatible pairs of antibody fragments to be co-selected based on co-engagement of their respective targets. Phagemids encoding a first scFv fused to phage g3p protein via a first leucine zipper are rescued in bacteria expressing a second scFv fused to a complementary leucine zipper, which is incorporated into phage during assembly.

15:20 Phage Display Selection of Chemically Cyclized Peptides for the Development of Therapeutics

Heinis_ChristianChristian Heinis, PhD, Professor, Laboratory of Therapeutic Peptides and Proteins, Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne (EPFL)

My laboratory is engaged in the discovery and development of cyclic peptides for therapeutic application. A major focus is the generation of ligands based on bicyclic peptides by phage display. In my talk, I will present new chemical reactions that we have applied to generate structurally highly diverse cyclic peptide libraries, and I will show recent data on the therapeutic activity of bicyclic peptides in vivo.

15:50 Validation of Llamda, Isogenica’s Humanized Single Domain Antibody Library

Guy Hermans, PhD, CSO, Isogenica Ltd.

We have previously discussed the design and validation of llamdA, Isogenica’s fully synthetic camelid single domain antibody library. Here, we will disclose novel data on the design and validation of a humanized variant of the library. Examples will be provided on how this library, combined with our CIS Display enabled high throughput screening method, can generate high affinity lead panels in weeks rather than months.

16:20 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Pavilion 1)

17:00 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: From Systems Biology to Systems Biologics

Sidhu_SachdevSachdev Sidhu, PhD, Professor, Molecular Genetics, The Donnelly Centre, University of Toronto

We have established a platform to combine large-scale systems biology approaches with the discovery and development of new antibody drugs, and to develop efficient, systems-scale strategies to target intracellular signaling networks at the protein level with ubiquitin variants and other scaffolds. This efficient pipeline connects basic research to translational science in a new model for drug development, which we have termed “Systems Biologics”.

Auditorium VII


Ahuva Nissim, PhD, Professor, Antibody and Therapeutic Engineering, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London

17:30 Novel Therapeutics for Glycoantigens – Their Role in the Modulation of Immune Responses in Inflammation and Cancer

Paula, Videira, PhD, Assistant Professor, Life Sciences Department, UCIBIO, Science and Technology Faculty, NOVA University of Lisbon

18:00 Discovering Antibodies against Challenging Epitopes and Challenging Antigens

Ruud de Wildt, PhD, Director, Head of Lead Discovery, Biopharm, GlaxoSmithKline

Raising antibodies to complex antigens or neo-epitopes is a considerable challenge. This talk will discuss the progress with the isolation of antibodies for a number of projects in the autoimmune disease area using GSK’s Antibody platforms. Innovative design and selection approaches will be discussed, including isolating antibodies against complex targets such as GPCRs and methods that allow the isolation of antibodies against antigens that are unstable or short-lived. Development of CAR T therapy for non-oncology applications.

18:30 End of Display of Biologics