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March 19-21, 2019 | Boston, MA



Day One
March 20, 2019

Day Two
March 21, 2019

Chair’s Opening Remarks

Navigating the complex ICI-IO landscape – Recent updates and Future Challenges

  • Mark Yore Manager of Corporate Development , Jounce Therapeutics


  • As the number of CPI-IO trials continue to grow at unprecedented rates, understanding the complex nature of this landscape is critical for clinical and commercial success.
  • During the presentation I will discuss the landscape as it stands today, how it’s evolving, and key challenges that face ICI-containing IO-combinations in the future

Establishing a New Set of Biological Goals for Checkpoint Inhibitors and IO Combinations

  • Paul Rennert President and Chief Scientific Officer, Aleta Biotherapeutics


  • Look at the current standards that are in place for ICIs and IO combinations
  • Set new goals that scientists must strive to achieve in order to set a new standard of care

Model Aided Drug Invention Case Study: GITR-mediated T cell dynamics in Mouse Tumor Micro Environment

  • John Burke President, Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder, Applied Biomath


  • Model Aided Drug Invention (MADI) is a mechanistic mathematical modeling approach used tohelp reduce late stage attrition rates, help accelerate the development of premier (or best-in-class) therapeutics and identify potential R&D hurdles.
  • In this collaboration, a MADI approach was used to develop and analyze a systems pharmacology model of an anti-GITR (Glucocorticoid-Induced TNFRRelated protein)agonist antibody to predict Treg and Teff dynamics in the tumor microenvironment in two syngeneic mouse models following administration of anti-GITR agonist antibody.
  • The model adequately described the time profiles of intratumoral Treg and Teff, captured Teff immune checkpoint, Treg depletion by ADCP, and Teff proliferation and differentiation into cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). The model also provided a quantitative understanding of the trade-off between maximizing Treg depletion vs. Teff agonism

Speed Networking & Morning Refreshments

Broadening Understanding of the Biological Effects of Checkpoint Inhibitors

Supercharging the Tumor Microenvironment: Lessons from NKTR-214 and Opdivo

  • Stephen Doberstein Senior Vice President - Research, Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Research & Development Officer, Nektar Therapeutics


  • The idea of combining the immune modulating properties of checkpoint inhibitors and the immune stimulating function of engineered cytokines is conceptually powerful
  • Cytokine engineering can alternative cytokines to be more powerful medicines, while controlling adverse events
  • The combination of NKTR-214 with opdivo has demonstrated powerful anti tumor effects and profoundly alters the tumor microenvironment, increasing effector T-cell counts, increasing PD-1 expression on tumor T-cells, and converting PD-L1 negative tumors to positive, while maintaining a more tolerable AE profile than traditional cytokine therapies

A Clinically-Predictive Ex-Vivo Tumor Modelling Platform for Drug Discovery and Development

  • Mark Paris Director - Translational Applications, Mitra Biotech


  • Mitra Biotech has developed and clinically validated a fully human ex-vivo tumor platform technology (CANscript™)
  • CANscript ™ uses patient material (tumor, autologous ligands and PBMCs) to explore the mechanism of action and predict efficacy for clinically-directed compounds in a modality agnostic way using phenotypic readouts
  • This talk will explore how we use CANscript to measure the effect of checkpoint inhibitor monotherapy or combination to deepen our understanding of response and resistance

Lessons Learned from a Clinical Trial Targeting ICOS

  • Beth Trehu Chief Medical Officer , Jounce Therapeutics


  • JTX-2011, an ICOS agonist, was evaluated as monotherapy and in combination with nivolumab in the ICONIC trial
  • Responses and tumor reductions observed with monotherapy and combination were associated with a mechanism related pharmacodynamic biomarker
  • Reverse translational analyses enabled by biomarkers have redirected JTX-2011 clinical development strategy


Enhancing Therapy Efficacy at the Preclinical Level

14.00 RNAi-mediated Inhibition of β-catenin IncreasesnResponses to Multiple Immunotherapy Regimens Across a Spectrum of Preclinical Tumor Models

  • A systemically-administered RNAi drug product targeting β-catenin increases APCs and cytotoxic T-cells in the TME, and promotes synergistic efficacy in combination with immunotherapy in multiple preclinical models
  • Identification of a novel mechanism by which Wnt/β- catenin signaling promotes resistance to immunotherapy
  • Strategies to rationally design RNAi-containing drug combinations to increase the response rates to checkpoint blockade and IDO inhibition

Shanthi Ganesh, Associate Director – Oncology, Dicerna

14.30 Delineating Myeloid Cell Subsets and Their Role in Response to Cancer Immunotherapy

  • Myeloid cell subsets associated with immune suppression and immune activation in cancer
  • Combination therapies reveal new insights into the proand anti-tumor contribution of myeloid cells in cancer
  • Emerging novel strategies for targeting myeloid cells to enhance cancer immunotherapy

Amy-Jo Casbon, Scientist – Oncology Research, Amgen

15.00 Bispecific and Biparatopic Human Heavy Chain Antibodies in Immune Oncology

  • Discuss different formats of T cell engaging bispecific antibodies
  • Explore biparatopic heavy chain antibodies against CD38

Wim Van Schooten, Chief Scientific Officer, TeneoBio

Overcoming Resistance & Personalizing Combination Therapies

14.00 Targeting the PI3K Pathway to Overcome Immune Resistance

  • Discuss how tumor intrinsic signaling pathways modulate T cell-mediated antitumor immune responses.
  • Identification of the mechanism by which oncogenic activation of the PI3K pathway promotes immune resistance
  • Development of therapeutic strategies to improve the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy by combining with
    PI3K inhibition

Weiyi Peng, Assistant Professor, MD Anderson Cancer Centre

14.30 Discuss Our Innovative Platform and Core Technology Designed to Overcome Key Challenges in NGS from Poor Sample Quality and Quantity to Sequencing Gaps

  • Introduce Personalis platform for neoantigen identification and biomarker discovery
  • Enable comprehensive characterization of tumor immunogenomics including neoantigens, the tumor microenvironment, HLA, immunomodulators and mechanisms of tumor escape

Speaker TBC , Personalis

15.00 BiTE® in Hematologic Malignancies: a Road for a Cure?

  • Review BlincytoÒ Biomarker data for R/R B-ALL patients with an emphasis on predictive and/or prognostic biomarkers, Pharmacodynamic, Mechanism of action and drug resistance mechanisms post treatment.
  • Review Biomarkers data for other Hem/Onc BiTE® molecules currently in Phase 1 Cedric Dos Santos, Principal Scientist – Heme, Oncology, Clinical Biomarkers & Therapeutic Areas Lead, Amgen

Cedric Dos Santos, Principal Scientist – Heme, Oncology, Clinical Biomarkers & Therapeutic Areas Lead, Amgen

Afternoon Refreshments

Stages 1 – 3: Improving Cancer Antigen Presentation, Driving Stronger Priming and Immune Activation

Discover how Utilisation of the STING pathway has Bolstered the Effectiveness of PD-L1


  • Hear an update on the novel STING pathway system uses interferon expression to activate the innate response
  • Understand how ICI’s work with the innate immune system to improve effectiveness of preventing metastasis

T Cell Dysfunction and Combination Immunotherapy


  • Single-cell analysis of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes to probe the mechanisms for combination immunotherapy
  • PD1/GITR combination immunotherapy led to a synergistic increase in tumor antigen–specific memory precursor effector T cells dependent on availability of the CD226 costimulatory pathway

Chair’s Closing Remarks