Winning Strategies for CAR T, TCR, and TIL Therapies banner

The immunotherapy field is vibrant with rapid progress being made on the targeting of solid tumours and enhancing effector function. Novel platforms for creating off-the-shelf therapies including cell therapy and antibody-based approaches will be discussed. More than five CAR Ts, and more than 80 (bispecific) T cell engagers are in the clinic with new generations of exciting approaches currently in development that promise greater precision and safety.

Sunday, 13 November

Recommended Short Course*14:00

SC2: The Tumour Microenvironment and Response to Cancer Immunotherapy
*Separate registration required. See short courses page for details.

Tuesday, 15 November

Registration and Morning Coffee07:30

ROOM LOCATION: Diamant + Coral



Chairperson's Remarks

Paul Parren, PhD, Executive Vice President and Head, Research and Development, LAVA Therapeutics; Professor, Molecular Immunology, Leiden University Medical Center


KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Advances in Bispecific T Cell Engager Therapies

Koustubh Ranade, PhD, Head, Translational Medicine, Immunocore LLC

Unlike antibodies that target extracellular proteins, T cell receptors can target intracellular proteins, processed into peptides, and brought to the surface by HLA. Most solid tumor protein targets are intracellular. Tebentafusp, a bispecific gp 100 peptide-HLA-directed CD3 T cell engager indicated for the treatment of HLA-A*02:01-positive adult patients with unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma was the first TCR therapeutic to demonstrate a survival benefit in a Phase III trial.


Novel Bispecific Gamma-Delta T Cell Engagers for Treating Prostate Cancer

Paul Parren, PhD, Executive Vice President and Head, Research and Development, LAVA Therapeutics; Professor, Molecular Immunology, Leiden University Medical Center

LAVA Therapeutics is developing a Gammabody that engages V?9Vd2-T cells and a cascade of downstream immune cells to attack tumor cells expressing PSMA as a novel bispecific antibody therapeutic for the treatment of prostate cancer. The presentation will address the lead candidate selection as well as our progress to the clinic.


Innate Cell Engagers as Combination Partners: Early Clinical Outcomes of AFM13 Combined with Cord Blood-Derived NK Cells in Patients with CD30-Positive Lymphoma

Arndt Schottelius, MD, PhD, CSO, Affimed GmbH

Engaging the innate immune system is a novel approach in immuno-oncology and Affimed’s innate cell engagers (ICE) redirect innate immune cells to kill tumors. Combining ICE with adaptive immuno-therapeutic agents, e.g. checkpoint inhibitors, or with NK cells holds promise to elicit maximum clinical benefit. Early results from a Phase 1/2a study of the ICE AFM13 precomplexed with cord blood-derived NK cells, followed by AFM13 monotherapy, showed highly encouraging response rates.

10:00 Automated Synthetic Biology Solutions for Optimizing CAR-T Development Workflows

Jason Lehmann, PhD, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Product Marketing, Telesis Bio

We will present a series of case studies demonstrating how our automated synthetic biology workstation can rapidly accelerate CAR-T/TCR workflows.

Learn how gene fragments, variant libraries, and discovery grade mRNA can all be built at scale from a digital sequence, in less than a day via a single hands-free instrument run. By addressing key synthesis bottlenecks in discovery cycles, researchers can now rapidly evaluate candidate immunotherapy biologics at speeds previously unattainable.

Session Break and Transition into Plenary Keynote10:30




Plenary Keynote Introduction

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


Evolution of Antibody Technologies

Jane K. Osbourn, PhD, CSO, Alchemab Therapeutics Ltd.

It is nearly fifty years since the discovery of monoclonal antibodies, the first drug approval coming soon after in 1986. From this early success, approval rates took time to ramp up and significant efforts were focused on building a range of technologies to deal with the technical challenges of antibody-drug discovery. This talk will discuss how antibody technologies have evolved and consider where future innovation may lie.

Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing11:30



Chairperson's Remarks

John Maher, PhD, Consultant & Senior Lecturer, Immunology, Kings College London; CSO, Leucid Bio


New Targets and Technologies for CAR T Cells

Justus Weber, University Hospital Wuerzburg

This talk will feature novel mechanisms of resistance to CAR T therapy, novel target antigens and CAR T cell products for treating multiple myeloma, virus-free transposon-based gene-transfer for CAR T manufacturing, and a novel application for CAR T in fungal infections.

12:45 Bioluminescent Assay Platforms for Phase-Appropriate Engineered T Cell Potency Assessment

Julia Gilden, Sr Research Scientist, Integrated Biology, Promega Corporation

Engineered T cell therapies present many analytical challenges over the course of development. We will describe a reporter bioassay for selection of optimal CARs and TCRs during early discovery, and homogenous LUMIT cytokine immunoassays for fast and easy characterization of T cell therapies. Finally, we will discuss use of HiBiT Target Cells in MoA-based assays for quantitative measurement of CAR-T cytotoxicity, specificity, and kinetics in late stage clinical and commercial products.

13:15Enjoy Lunch on Your Own



Chairperson's Remarks

René M.A. Hoet, PhD, Chief Innovation Officer, FairJourney Biologics


ADI-001: First-in-Class Allogeneic Gamma Delta CD20 CAR T Cells in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Francesco Galimi, PhD, Senior Vice President & CMO, Adicet Bio, Inc.

γd T cells are an attractive platform for off-the-shelf, allogeneic CAR T cell therapy. ADI-001, the first CAR-engineered γd T cell product to reach the clinic, consists of allogeneic peripheral blood Vd1 γd T cells expressing a second-generation CAR directed against CD20. We will discuss available clinical data from the ongoing Phase I trial of ADI-001 in patients with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.


CAR T-Cell Immunotherapy of Solid Tumours: Working Through the Generations

John Maher, PhD, Consultant & Senior Lecturer, Immunology, Kings College London; CSO, Leucid Bio

I will present the results of the dose escalation phase of a phase 1 CAR T-cell clinical trial of second generation T4 immunotherapy in patients with relapsed refractory head and neck cancer. Thereafter I will describe two new CAR platforms entitled parallel CAR and adapter CAR with potential for greater impact in relapsed refractory solid tumours.

15:35 A High Throughput mRNA-Based Method for Screening Chimeric Antigen Receptors in T Cells

Pinar Aksoy, PhD, Scientist II, Translational Medicine, Alloy Therapeutics

Alloy Therapeutics has developed an integrated workflow for CAR-T discovery, incorporating human antibody discovery, HTS for evaluating CAR functions, and an mRNA-based screening method using a cost-efficient PCR template without cloning. This novel approach offers one-stop-shopping, from antigen-binding domain identification through assessment and optimization of CAR constructs as receptors in T cells, and accelerates the timeline of cell therapy development from target to clinical candidate nomination. 


Refreshment Break in the Hall with Poster Viewing16:05



Chairperson's Remarks

John Maher, PhD, Consultant & Senior Lecturer, Immunology, Kings College London; CSO, Leucid Bio


Exploiting Glycosylation Inhibition to Improve CAR T Cell Efficacy in Solid Malignancies

Monica Casucci, PhD, Group Leader, Innovative Immunotherapies, San Raffaele Hospital

We recently described that malignant cells overexpress branched N-glycans that protect them from CAR T cell targeting, interfering with proper immunological synapse formation and promoting T cell exhaustion. Disrupting N-glycans synthesis with the glucose/mannose analogue 2DG allows to overcome this barrier and improve CAR T cell efficacy in different solid tumors. Currently, we are trying to expand this scenario by investigating the impact of N-glycosylation blockade on cellular components within the tumor microenvironment.


Imaging of CAR T Cell Success and Failure in Human Tumors

Emmanuel Donnadieu, PhD, Team Leader & Director, Research, Immunity & Infection & Inflammation, Institut Cochin

CAR T-cell therapy has shown significant clinical efficacy in hematological malignancies but not in solid tumors. Using an experimental system of human tumor slices combined with dynamic imaging microscopy, we previously demonstrated that a dense extracellular matrix and tumor-associated macrophages hinder anti-tumor functions of T cells by reducing their migration and interaction with tumor cells. Once CAR T-cells have overcome the obstacles found in the stroma, they need to form productive conjugates with tumor cells. We have recently uncovered a new mechanism by which CAR T cells infiltrate islets of carcinomas in a two-step process dependent on IFNg and ICAM-1. 


Bringing CAR T to the Next Generation for Efficacy and Safety

Maria Themeli, PhD, Assistant Professor, Hematology, Vrije University Amsterdam

Despite the high remission rates achieved against B cell leukemias, CAR T cell therapy is less effective for other tumor types, while there are still challenges hindering its broader usage. Next-generation genetic engineering employing multi-targeting, multi-costimulation, and spatially-controlled activation can overcome the current limitations in efficacy and safety. 



Sebastian Kobold, MD, Professor, Clinical Pharmacology, Klinikum der Universität München

CAR T cell therapy in solid tumors is limited by the access of the therapeutic cell to cancer tissue. Migration of cells is a tightly regulated process involving chemokine receptors and their matching ligands guiding cells to specific sites. We have developed approaches how we can target T cell migration to tumor tissue by means of engineering. I will discuss different translational approaches along these lines.

Close of Winning Strategies for CAR T, TCR, and TIL Therapies Conference19:00