Interactive Discussions

Engage in in-depth discussions with industry experts and your peers about the progress, trends and challenges you face in your research!

Interactive discussion groups play an integral role in networking with potential collaborators. They provide an opportunity to share examples from your work, vet ideas with peers, and be part of a group problem-solving endeavor.

MONDAY May 15: 12:45 – 1:30 PM EST


How to Discover Antibodies Against Novel/Difficult Targets
Moderator: Horacio G. Nastri, PhD, Associate Vice President, Biotherapeutics, Incyte Corporation

  • What makes a target particularly difficult?
  • How to evaluate the challenges
  • Selection of therapeutic modality
  • Selection of optimal discovery strategy
  • Screening alternatives

Failures and Successes in TNFRSF Agonist Antibody Drugs, and Future Outlook
Moderator: Jieyi Wang, PhD, Founder & CEO, Lyvgen Biopharma

  • Mechanisms of action of TNFRSF agonistic antibodies
  • Lessons learned in the clinic
  • FcγR2B and tumor targeted conditional agonisms
  • New clinical developments to watch


Future Directions in Antibody Development
Moderator: Ahuva Nissim, PhD, Professor, Antibody and Therapeutic Engineering, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London

  • How can we address the challenges of difficult targets?
  • Can we still improve the next generation of repertoires?
  • What are the Impacts of machine learning and bioinformatics?
  • What is the niche for academic vs. industry research?

WEDNESDAY May 17: 2:15 – 3:00 PM EST


Implementation Challenges for Machine Learning as a Tool for Antibody Discovery
Moderator: Christopher R. Corbeil, PhD, Research Officer, Human Health Therapeutics, National Research Council Canada

  • Current successes
  • Experimental validation and POC
  • Bottlenecks and challenges
  • Needs from IT and solution providers


CAR-Ts for Solid Tumors
Moderator: Mitchell Ho, PhD, Senior Investigator and Deputy Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Biology; Director, Antibody Engineering Program, National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health

  • Recent advances in GPC2 and GPC1 as new targets in solid tumors
  • Engineering CAR T cells for treating neuroblastoma and pancreatic cancers
  • New strategies using camel nanobodies to improve efficacy of CAR T cells


Predictive Assays, Studies, and Tools: How Can These be Improved?
Moderator: Rita Martello, PhD, Associate Director, EMD Serono

  • In-silico and in-vitro tools: State-of-the-art
  • In-vitro/in-vivo correlation of immunogenicity: What do we know?
  • Immunogenicity strategy: How do we select the right assay?
  • Interpretation of results and decisions: De-immunization vs immunogenicity risk and impact on project timelines
  • Examining the regulatory requirements

FRIDAY May 19: 7:30 – 8:25 AM EST


ADCs in the Era of Immunotherapy - Their Current Roles and Potential Future
Moderator: Greg M. Thurber, PhD, Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan

  • Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) have achieved 8 new approvals in the past 5 years.
  • ADCs can initiate immunogenic cell death without the broad immunosuppression of small molecule chemotherapy and interact via their Fc-domain. 
  • Discussion on current therapeutics that are being combined with checkpoint inhibitors, anti-VEGF therapy, and other treatments to potentially increase the immune response.
  • Conversation about new avenues that are being developed to maximum the immune response with these novel therapeutics

Next-Generation Antibody Drug Conjugates: What Do We Need to Do for the Next Major Step Up?
Moderator: Mahendra P. Deonarain, PhD, Chief Executive and Science Officer, Antikor Biopharma Ltd.

  • Radical or incremental innovations - novel formats, conditional activation, unconventional targets or payloads
  • Which innovation will make a real impact in the treatment of solid tumors?

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