SC10. Engineering of Bispecific Antibodies and Multi-Specific Non-Antibody Scaffolds

THURSDAY 21 NOVEMBER, 17:30 - 20:30

Part One: Bispecific Antibodies – A Review of Opportunities, Challenges and Achievements

ABOUT THIS COURSE: Over the last decade, the field of bispecific antibodies (BiAbs) has significantly matured. Today, BiAbs represent a clinically validated class of therapeutic molecules as bispecific antibody 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. Different bispecific antibody platforms will be compared, and examples of bispecific antibodies in drug development and in clinical trials will be presented.  Opportunities, challenges and current trends in the field of bispecific antibodies will be discussed, highlighting pros and cons of different approaches.


  • 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 and developability
  • Modes of action enabled by bispecific antibodies
    • Cell retargeting strategies
    • Tissue- or cell-specific targeting
    • Bridging two proteins
    • Blocking multiple pathways
  • Case studies of bispecific antibodies from discovery, clinical studies and approved drugs
    • Examples covering different formats and supporting different modes of action

Part 2: Non-Antibody Multi-Functional Scaffolds

ABOUT THIS COURSE: Non-antibody scaffolds represent a new class of therapeutic molecules that fill a molecular weight gap between antibodies and peptides. While sharing the high specificity and potency of antibodies, their low molecular weight and simple structure make them amenable to peptide-like properties such as high tissue penetration. They are also easy to assemble, providing then a straightforward “plug and play” approach to combine active modules into a single molecule that displays the desired druglike properties. At the age of multi-functional therapeutic molecules, non-antibody scaffolds continue to rise with an increasing number of ongoing clinical phases, making them valuable assets in the landscape of next generation biologics.

In this interactive workshop, you will be provided with an overview on existing non antibody scaffold technologies. Challenges in their development will be discussed together with their pros and cons regarding antibody-based therapeutics. Applications and therapeutic needs that are targeted with non-antibody scaffolds will be also addressed, highlighting the diversity of formats currently in development. Eventually, take home messages will be given over the review of several case studies.


  • General overview on non-antibody scaffolds
    • Existing scaffolds
    • Pros and cons of non-antibody scaffolds: can they overcome antibody limitations?
    • Alternative scaffold development challenges
  • From single building blocks to multi-specific fit-for-purpose therapeutic leads
    • Monospecific compounds
    • Multispecific compounds
    • Empowerment of antibodies
  •  Case studies
    • Unfortunate development case
    • Successful development case


Simon BrackSimon Brack, Ph.D., Director External Innovation; Discovery, Product Development and Supply Chain DPDS, Janssen R&D
Simon Brack PhD serves as Director External Innovation in the Discovery, Product Development and Supply (DPDS) organization of Janssen R&D. Before moving to his current role in February 2019, Simon headed the Oncology Discovery at the Covagen / Janssen R&D site in Zürich-Schlieren, Switzerland for four years where he led several multispecific antibody programs for Immuno-Oncology applications. Simon has worked for Covagen, which was acquired by Janssen in 2014, since 2007 and helped to develop Covagen’s multispecific FynomAb pipeline. Simon earned his PhD in Prof. Dario Neri’s lab at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

Mathieu CinierMathieu Cinier, PhD, CSO, Affilogic
Affilogic is a privately-owned biotech company specialized in discovery and development of a novel class of protein therapeutics called Nanofitins. Since joining Affilogic in 2011, Dr. Mathieu Cinier successfully led 60+ Nanofitin generation programs for a wide range of applications, and Nanofitin-based biotherapeutics are currently being developed in collaboration with Sanofi, Takeda Pharmaceutical and other undisclosed international pharmaceutical companies. He also applied its extensive protein engineering knowledge to expand the potential of the Nanofitin technology, and is now assuming the position of Scientific Director.