SC3. Mutation and Selection Strategies Beyond Affinity Optimisation

MONDAY, 18 NOVEMBER | MORNING, 09:00 - 12:00

Room 5C

ABOUT THIS COURSE: In therapeutic antibody discovery, few lead molecules meet all the demands required of a truly manufacturable drug. Most lead candidates require some form of engineering and optimization. This course will begin with an introduction to the multiple display technology platforms, mutagenesis strategies and library generation options that exist to enable antibody optimization. In the simplest application, generated libraries can be selected for improved antigen binding. However, increasingly these strategies are being used for more complex applications from humanization to ortholog cross-reactivity, stability, solubility and specificity optimizations. This workshop will use case studies to help attendees navigate the complex workflows and technological options available to ensure success.


  • Display technologies
  • Optimization library design, build & selection strategies
  • Case studies using novel strategies for therapeutic optimization
    • Library based mutagenesis for humanization
    • Stability, solubility & specificity engineering
    • Combining rational & Darwinian approaches for optimal affinity

Cunningham_OrlaOrla Cunningham, PhD, Senior Director, BioMedicine Design, Pfizer, Ireland
Orla is senior director of Pfizer’s BioMedicine Design antibody discovery and optimization group based in Dublin. Her team use advanced protein engineering technology platforms to discover, evolve and optimize therapeutic antibodies, supporting programs across Pfizer’s diverse therapeutic research units based in the US including oncology, immunology, cardiovascular & rare diseases. Orla obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from Trinity College Dublin and followed this with postdoctoral research in cancer cell biology at the institute for molecular oncology in Milan. Orla has co-authored numerous publications and patents in the field of therapeutic antibody engineering.

Finlay_JonnyJonny Finlay, PhD, CEO Ultrahuman, UK
Jonny Finlay is the CEO of UltraHuman, an antibody drug discovery biotech in the UK that is developing a series of therapeutics for inflammation and oncology. Prior to co-founding UltraHuman, Jonny led research teams in Biologics Discovery at Pfizer and Wyeth, and carried out postdoctoral research in recombinant protein engineering at several institutes, including the Centre for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA.