Immunotherapy Safety and Efficacy banner

The 2nd Annual Immunotherapy Safety & Efficacy conference at PEGS Europe presents a range of emerging modalities, armed with better understanding of the tumour microenvironment and new IO-combination strategies, with promise to overcome toxicities and drug resistance, and improve clinical outcomes. Examples include: T cell engagers, checkpoint inhibitors, bispecifics, ADCs and adjuvant immunotherpy.

Sunday, 13 November

Recommended Short Courses*14:00

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

Wednesday, 16 November

Registration and Morning Coffee (Garden Room)07:30

ROOM LOCATION: Diamant + Coral



Chairperson's Opening Remarks

Lenka Sadilkova, PhD, Head, Preclinical R&D, Mablink


Electrostatic-Driven Interactions Enhance Intratumoral Retention and Antitumor Efficacy of Immune Checkpoint Blockade Antibodies

Debadyuti R. Ghosh, PhD, Associate Professor, Molecular Pharmaceutics & Drug Delivery, University of Texas, Austin

Local immunotherapy is attractive to overcome the challenges of toxicity and limited bioavailability observed with systemic delivery of immunotherapies yet elicit systemic immunity. We show that cationic peptides can be deployed as a modular anchor to enhance intratumoral retention and penetration of immune checkpoint inhibitor antibodies in tumor ECM via electrostatic interactions towards improved antitumor efficacy.


Overcoming Safety and Efficacy Challenges of Dual Checkpoint Inhibitor Combinations

Jonathan D. Cheng, Senior Vice President & Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology Clinical Development, Bristol Myers Squibb Co.

The field of immunotherapies has transformed the treatment of cancer by providing durable responses to many difficult to treat cancers. Immunotherapy combinations are a major focus area for drug developers given the opportunity to improve on established treatment options and identify novel combinations that have the potential to deliver transformative clinical outcomes for oncology patients. This presentation will provide an overview of the immunotherapy combination therapies in solid tumor oncology, highlighting the need for further research to understand the mechanisms of potential combinatory benefit, lessons learned where combination benefit was lacking, and understanding combination toxicities that may be dose-limiting.

09:30 Evaluation of Safety and Efficacy of Antibody Based and CAR T Therapies in Humanized Mice

James G. Keck, PhD, Senior Director, Innovation and Product Development, The Jackson Laboratory

JAX has developed a fast, sensitive and reproducible in vivo platform for evaluating CAR T therapies in PBMC humanized mice.

The platform is being applied to both autologous and allogeneic CAR Ts with an evaluation of cytokine release syndrome, efficacy and CAR T expansion with the goal to help de-risk CAR T preclinical development.

Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing (Verdi and Vivaldi 1&2)10:00



Immunotherapy of Cancer Using TGF Beta Educated Gamma Delta T Cells

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

9The talk will explain how expansion of peripheral blood gamma delta T cells in the presence of TGF beta enhances the yield and fitness of these cells, leading to an increase in their intrinsic anti-tumour activity. As a result, we are exploring the use of these TGF-beta-educated gamma delta T cells as a potential off-the-shelf CAR T cell strategy, benefitting from this increase in anti-tumour activity together with novel cytokine armouring technologies.


CyCAT: A Dual Targeting Anti-CD3 Split Domain-Based T Cell Engager Platform and the Use of Symmetric and Asymmetric Heterodimers to Maximize Potency and Safety

Markus Moosmeier, PhD, Associate Director and Team Leader, Discovery Biology, MorphoSys AG

MorphoSys´ CyCAT (Cytotoxic Cell Activation at Tumor) platform is based on novel T cell engagers that become activated after dual-tumor target binding and reassembling of proprietary anti-CD3 VH/VL split domains. To enhance CyCAT potency, a set of formats was developed with different structures and distances between the binding domains that can be freely combined to enable formation of an optimized immunological synapse between the T cell and the tumor cell especially when different target epitopes, membrane distal and proximal, are simultaneously targeted.


An Avidity-Driven DARP in T Cell Engager Approach by Targeting Three Tumor-Associated Antigens to Improve Safety and Efficacy for the Treatment of AML

Christian Reichen, PhD, Associate Director, Oncology Research, Lead Generation, Molecular Partners AG

We have designed MP0533, the first avidity-driven T cell engager (TCE) targeting three tumor-associated antigens (TAA) on AML cells to ensure potent T cell-mediated killing of malignant cells while sparing healthy cells. MP0533 has been generated by selecting an optimal affinity against CD70, CD123, and CD33, combined with a suitable CD3-binding DARPin and an optimal molecular architecture to allow exceptional efficacy and superior safety profile vs mono-specific TCE approaches.

12:15 Streamline T Cell Engager Discovery with Diverse CD3 Antibodies and an Integrated Bispecific Engineering Platform

Raffi Tonikian, Head, Target Product Profile Integration, AbCellera

T cell engagers are widely recognized for their tremendous potential for cancer therapies, but with hundreds in development, only two are on the market. Limited pools of parental antibodies and limited access to bispecific engineering technologies have been barriers to bringing T cell engagers to the clinic. We combine a diverse panel of fully human CD3-binding antibodies with our clinically-validated bispecific engineering platform to streamline discovery of T cell engager therapies.

Session Break12:45

12:50 Deconvoluting Receptor Targets and Assessing Off-Target Activities of Antibodies, Protein, and Cell Therapeutics Using Human Cell Microarray Technology

Diogo Rodrigues, Senior Account Manager, Charles River

Human cell microarray screening enables the discovery of primary cell surface receptors as well as potential off-targets for a variety of biologics, including peptides, antibodies, scFvs, proteins, CAR T and other cell therapies. This presentation describes the generation of extensive screening libraries of expressed human plasma membrane and tethered secreted proteins, highlighting the role of the technology in identifying novel druggable targets and providing specificity screening case studies relevant to safety assessment and IND submissions.

13:20Session Break

Dessert Break in the Exhibit Hall & Last Chance for Poster Viewing (Verdi and Vivaldi 1&2)13:50

Breakout Discussions14:45

Breakout Discussions are informal, moderated, small-group discussions, allowing participants to exchange ideas and experiences and develop future collaborations around a focused topic. Each discussion will be led by a facilitator who keeps the discussion on track and the group engaged. For in-person events, the facilitator will lead while sitting with delegates around a table. For virtual attendees, the format will be in an online networking platform. To get the most out of this format, please come prepared to share examples from your work, be a part of a collective, problem-solving session, and participate in active idea sharing. 


Improving Immunotherapy Safety and Managing Toxicity (IN-PERSON ONLY)

Sara M. Mangsbo, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Pharmacy, Uppsala University

  • Impact of tumour microenvironment on safety and efficacy
  • Engineering immunotherapeutics to improve safety and reduce toxicity
  • Emerging trends and technologies



Chairperson's Opening Remarks

Oliver Schon, PhD, Vice President Development and CMC, BiVictriX Therapeutics PLC


Immunotherapy of Cancer in the Adjuvant Setting

Nageatte Ibrahim, MD, Vice President, Oncology & Global Clinical Development, Merck


Improving Safety and Efficacy of CD40 Agonistic Antibodies by the Adaptable Drug Affinity Conjugation (ADAC) Technology

Sara M. Mangsbo, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Pharmacy, Uppsala University

CD40 agonistic antibodies rely on antigen-presentation for optimal efficacy. The source of antigen can be either from the tumor or by exogenous delivery of antigens. Via the ADAC technology, any synthetically produced peptide can be delivered to dendritic cells for optimal cargo delivery and simultaneous immune activation. This strategy improves efficacy while allowing for a dose reduction, thus also reducing the risk for toxicity.

16:30 Quantification of Bispecific Antibody Mediated T Cell Activation with Engineered CD3 Effector and Tailored Target Cells

Michael Schwenkert, PhD, Chief Technology Officer, Svar Life Science AB

Bispecific antibodies efficiently in trigger T-cells mediated cytotoxicity and many T cell engaging biopharmaceuticals are in clinical development. Current analytical methods measuring T cell activation are not optimal. Here we showcase an improved bioassay platform for reliable assessment of T cell activation using CD3xCD19. Effector T cells carry a reporter gen downstream the CD3 signaling cascade and a pair of engineered target cells is used as antigen-positive/-negative control.

16:45 iCIEF-Coupled to Chemometrics Analysis to Identify Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies and Detect their Degraded States

Cécile Tardif, Ms, University-Paris-Saclay

Monoclonal antibodies are increasingly employed in hospitals, particularly in the field of cancer therapy. However, mAbs treatments represent a high immunological risk due to degradation and aggregation issues that may occur during the compounding process and manipulations at the hospital. This study provides insights into the use of Imaged Capillary Isoelectric focusing (icIEF) as a QC tool to detect mAbs degradations by controlling both, mAbs identity and degradation state in the infusion bag. 


Imvotamab: A Bispecific IgM T Cell Engager against CD20 with Enhanced Potency and Safety

Bruce Keyt, PhD, CSO, R&D, IGM Biosciences, Inc.

Imvotamab (IGM-2323) is a bispecific IgM antibody that binds very tightly to CD20 and engages CD3 on T cells. This bispecific IgM shows superior binding to CD20+ cells and out-competes a bivalent anti-CD20 IgG. In vitro, Imvotamab can kill lymphoma cells via CDC and T cell-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. With robust cytotoxicity and low cytokine release, Imvotamab exhibits an improved safety profile compared to bispecific IgGs. Imvotamab is in clinical trials in patients with relapsed/refractory B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


The Emerging Use of Kinase Inhibitors for the Mitigation of T Cell Bispecific (TCB) Antibody-Induced Cytokine Release

Gabrielle Leclercq, PhD, Postdoctoral Scientist, Pharma Research & Early Development, Roche

CRS is one of the major safety liabilities associated with T cell engaging therapies in the clinic, including CAR T cells and T cell engagers. A recent screening of FDA-approved kinase inhibitors identified JAK, mTOR, and Src inhibitors as potential candidates for the mitigation of CRS. Here, we present in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies showing the effects of kinase inhibitors on cytokine release and anti-tumor efficacy.


PSARlink-Based ADCs: Increasing Therapeutic Index of Next-Generation ADCs by Maximizing the Exposure to the Drug While Minimizing Dose-Limiting Toxicities

Lenka Sadilkova, PhD, Head, Preclinical R&D, Mablink

Mablink is building a diversified proprietary pipeline of novel antibody-drug conjugates based on the strong potential of “hydrophobicity masking” concept with orthogonally-embedded chemical modifiers grafted into drug-linker constructs of ADCs to significantly improve their therapeutic index. Non-clinical data collected so far in all proprietary ADC candidate programs represent a broad proof-of-concept and non-clinical validation of hydrophilic monodisperse polysarcosine-based ADCs in targeting of both liquid and solid tumors, illustrating its impact on physicochemical and pharmacological properties of these conjugates. 

  • Potential to improve therapeutic index of previously failed ADCs.
  • Grafting of various payloads with differentiated MoA to match with the target.

Close of Summit18:30