Problem-Solving Breakout Discussions 

Join your colleagues and fellow delegates for a focused, informal discussion moderated by a member of our speaking faculty.  A small group format allows participants to meet potential collaborators, share examples from their own work and discuss ideas with peers.

MONDAY 9 NOVEMBER | 15:40-16:30

BREAKOUT: Antibody Engineering Approaches to Improve Efficacy of Biologics for Autoimmune Disease
Ahuva Nissim, PhD, Professor, Antibody and Therapeutic Engineering, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London
E. Sally Ward, PhD, Director, Translational Immunology; Professor, Molecular Immunology, Centre for Cancer Immunology, University of Southampton

  • Targeting therapy to diseased tissue epitopes
  • Targeting FcRn to modulate antibody dynamics for the treatment of autoimmunity
  • Engineering antibodies to enhance the clearance of inflammatory mediators

BREAKOUT: Combining ADCs with Immunotherapy Approaches – What Works and What Doesn’t? Lessons Learnt and Next-Steps
Mahendra Deonarain, PhD, Chief Executive and Science Officer, Antikor Biopharma Ltd.

BREAKOUT: Immunosuppressive Mechanisms that Restrict Anti-Tumour Functions of Monoclonal Antibodies in the Tumour Microenvironment and Means of Overcoming Them
Mark S. Cragg, Professor of Experimental Cancer Biology, School of Cancer Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton

  • Target antigen heterogeneity and its influence on anti-tumour functions of antibodies; escape mechanisms.
  • Importance of affinity to the target antigen and to Fc receptors
  • Interrogating the cytokine environment and the immunosuppresive cell populations infiltrating tumours

BREAKOUT: Role of Pattern Recognition Receptors in Tumor Immunity
Subramanya Hegde, PhD, Principal Research Scientist II, AbbVie

  • The family of pattern recognition receptors
  • Role of PRRs in maintenance of homeostasis
  • PRRs in Tumor Growth and Metastasis- immune evasion and angiogenesis
  • Mechanism of PRRs in cancer and its immune microenvironment
  • Clinical applications of PRRs in cancer therapies
    • PRRs as Cancer Biomarkers
    • PRR Signaling as Potential Targets to Inhibit Carcinogenesis
    • PRR agonists to overcome immune checkpoint blockade resistance
    • Impact of Pattern Recognition Receptors on the Prognosis of cancer 

BREAKOUT: Common Issues with Transient Protein Production
Richard Altman, MS, Field Application Scientist, Protein Expression, Biosciences Division, Life Sciences Solutions Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Dominic Esposito, PhD, Director, Protein Expression Laboratory, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research
Henry C. Chiou, PhD, Director, Cell Biology, Life Science Solutions, Thermo Fisher Scientific
Scalable and rapid transient protein production in mammalian cells continues its evolution as an integral part of the biotherapeutic drug discovery process as well as an important tool to generate recombinant proteins for a variety of other applications. We discuss the common issues facing researchers as they try to meet an expanding demand for transiently produced recombinant protein.

  • What are the current challenges to transient protein production?
  • What are the keys to optimizing expression?
  • How do we optimize the whole protein expression process?
  • How can we maintain volumetric yields while scaling transient expression up or down?
  • What cell line(s) should we use and when?
  • What parameters can impact the quality or physical attributes of transiently produced proteins?

BREAKOUT: Generating MAbs Against Multi-Pass Membrane Proteins
Joseph Rucker, Vice President, Research and Development, Integral Molecular

  • Key considerations in antigen design
  • Accessing conserved and functional epitopes
  • Finding your lead molecule

WEDNESDAY, 11 NOVEMBER | 12:45-13:25

BREAKOUT: Innate Immunity, Gamma Delta T Cells, Oncology, Infectious Diseases
Daniel Olive, MD, PhD, Head, Tumor Immunology Marseille Cancer Research Center
René Hoet, PhD, CSO, ImCheck Therapeutics

  • Role of innate immunity in infectious diseases how can we tackle them?
  • What are the the pathologies that are the more relevant for disease: cancer, infectious diseases
  • What might be the respective roles of delta1 and delta 2?
  • Is there an interest for gamma-delta CAR T cells?
  • Is there a role for gamma delta T cells in auto-immune diseases?

BREAKOUT: Next-Generation CAR T-Cells for Solid Tumor Treatment
Sònia Guedan, PhD, Principal Investigator, Department of Hematology and Oncology, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona

  • CAR T cells for solid tumors
  • Next-generation CAR T cells
  • Obstacles that CAR T cells find in solid tumors and how to overcome them


    BREAKOUT: How to Make Antibodies/Therapeutic Proteins Enter Specific Cell Types
    Greta Hultqvist, PhD, Associate Senior Lecturer, Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Uppsala University

    • How to induce endocytosis of specific cells?
    • how to exit the endosome?

    BREAKOUT: Analytical Challenges for Gene & Cell Therapy Products
    Christopher Bravery, PhD, Consulting Regulatory Scientist, Consulting on Advanced Biologicals Ltd.

    • Reference materials for cell and gene products – development to approval/commercial
    • Challenges in potency assay development and qualification during product development, and when seeking approval
    • Managing critical analytical reagents: pre and post approval changes
    • CQA identification and assessment 

    BREAKOUT: Glycosylation of Therapeutic Proteins
    Bjørn Voldborg, MSc, Director, CHO Cell Line Development, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark

    • Why is it important?
    • How do we handle it?
    • Future perspectives