SC 10: Engineering of Bispecific Antibodies
Thursday 17 November | 17:30 – 20:30

Room Location: Room 3C


Nicolas Fischer, Ph.D., Head, Research, Novimmune SA

Michela Silacci, Ph.D., Director, Discovery Research, Covagen AG, part of J&J

Over the last decade, the field of bispecific antibodies (BiAbs) has significantly matured. Today, BiAbs represent a clinically validated class of therapeutic molecules as three products have been approved for different therapeutic indications and many others BiAbs are in clinical trials. Protein engineers have been incredibly active and inventive, providing numerous solutions to the fundamental problem of how to effectively combine two antibody specificities into a single molecule. These efforts resulted in the vast array of formats that is currently available. Different BiAb formats have distinct characteristics, supporting the unique modes of action that are enabled by BiAb. Beyond biology and therapeutic activity, manufacturing and stability of these innovative molecules has been and remains an important factor that can limit progression of BiAb towards the clinic.

By attending this interactive workshop, you will learn about the various approaches used for the engineering of bispecific antibodies and bispecific scaffold-based binding proteins. Different technologies will be compared and examples for applications of bispecific antibodies in drug development will be presented. Opportunities and challenges in the field of bispecific antibodies will be discussed, highlighting pros and cons of different approaches.

Topics covered will include:

  • Possible strategies to create bispecific molecules
    • General overview of bispecific formats
      • Fragment based, Fc containing or IgG-like formats
      • Forced chain pairing or post expression assembly strategies
      • Format valency and architectures
    • Development challenges: manufacturability
  • Modes of action enabled by Bispecific antibodies
    • Cell retargeting strategies
    • Tissue or cell specific targeting
    • Non-oncology applications
  • Case studies from discovery and from clinical studies
    • Examples covering different formats and supporting different modes of action
    • Oncology and non-oncology indications

Fischer_NicolasNicolas Fischer, Ph.D., Head, Research, NovImmune SA

Nicolas Fischer obtained a PhD in Biology from the Department of Molecular Biology University of Geneva on the structure and function of photosynthetic complexes. As a postdoctoral fellow he joined the Group of Sir Greg Winter at the MRC Department of Molecular Biology in Cambridge UK to study protein folding and Antibody engineering using phage display. In 2001 he joined NovImmune and led several therapeutic antibody discovery programs that have reached clinical development stage. He is now heading the Research Department and developing next generation bispecific therapeutic antibodies.

Silacci_MichaelaMichela Silacci, Ph.D., Director, Discovery Research, Covagen AG, part of J&J

Michela Silacci is Director in Discovery Research at Covagen, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of J&J. Since joining Covagen in 2009, Michela has been the discovery leader of several projets both in the field of Immunology and Oncology. At present she is responsible for Covagen’s discovery activities in the field of Immunology. Michela studied biochemistry and molecular biology at the ETH Zurich. After a short internship in the laboratories of Sir Gregory Winter at the MRC in Cambridge (UK), Michela Silacci joined the group of Prof. Dario Neri at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences at ETH for her PhD thesis. Main focus of the thesis was the construction and validation of an antibody phage library for the isolation of therapeutic antibodies. After obtaining her Ph.D., she joined Roche Glycart where she worked for 3 years as a scientist in the protein engineering group.