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Key Sessions

Julian Bertschinger, Ph.D.

Successful Biotech Entrepreneurship - Leading from Ground Level to Company Trade Sale

Covagen, Switzerland

Tomoyuki Igawa, Ph.D.

Therapeutic Application of Bispecific Antibody, Recycling Antibody and Sweeping Antibody: Solving Unmet Medical Needs by Antibody Engineering Technology

Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Japan

Janice Reichert, Ph.D.

Antibodies to Watch in 2016: Mid-Year Update

The Antibody Society

8 am 8:15 am (15 mins)

Chairperson's Opening Remarks

  • H. Kaspar Binz, Ph.D., Vice President and Co-Founder, Molecular Partners AG, Switzerland

8:15 am 8:45 am (30 mins)

Successful Biotech Entrepreneurship - Leading from Ground Level to Company Trade Sale

Covagen was established by Julian Bertschinger and Dragan Grabulovski in 2007 to develop bispecific antibodies called FynomAbs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer. The company raised more than USD 60 million venture capital, and entered a strategic collaboration with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. in 2012, eventually catching the attention of the Janssen affiliate Cilag, who acquired Covagen in 2014.

  • Julian Bertschinger, Ph.D., Vice President, Janssen R&D and Managing Director, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Covagen, Switzerland

8:45 am 9:15 am (30 mins)

Therapeutic Application of Bispecific Antibody, Recycling Antibody and Sweeping Antibody: Solving Unmet Medical Needs by Antibody Engineering Technology

This presentation describes how antibody engineering technology can be applied to solve unmet medical needs. 1) Unique application of bispecific antibody; emicizumab, bispecific antibody against FIXa and FX, to mimic the function of FVIII. 2) Exploiting pH or calcium dependent antigen binding for antibody recycling and antigen sweeping; its therapeutic application to second generation tocilizumab and high plasma concentration soluble antigens. 

  • Tomoyuki Igawa, Ph.D., Head of Biologics Discovery, Research Division,, Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Japan

9:15 am 9:45 am (30 mins)

Antibodies to Watch in 2016: Mid-Year Update

Marketing approvals for antibody therapeutics reached an all-time high in 2015, but are company pipelines robust enough for a repeat performance in 2016? Early indications are that matching the record of 9 approvals in the US or EU is achievable in 2016. Antibody therapeutics in Phase 3 studies and regulatory review, and those already approved in 2016, will be discussed.

  • Janice Reichert, Ph.D., Executive Director, The Antibody Society

9:45 am 10:15 am (30 mins)

Networking Refreshment Break in Poster & Exhibit Hall

10:15 am 10:45 am (30 mins)

Blocking IL-17 In Vivo with Unparalleled Affinity Using an Engineered Affibody Based Ligand Trap

Psoriasis is an IL-17 driven disease. An Affibody® based 18.6 kDa ligand trap engineered to block IL-17 with femtomolar affinity will be described. The potency and long plasma half-life translates to superior efficacy in vitro and in vivo compared to antibodies on the market and in development. In addition, the minimized format allows for alternative routes of administration.

  • Fredrik Frejd, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Affibody AB, Sweden

10:45 am 11:15 am (30 mins)

Smart Fusions of Cytotoxic Peptides with RNA and PNA Derivatives

I propose the idea to use the RNA molecules expressed upon disease-type gene expression as instructors for the chemical synthesis of cytotoxic peptidomimetics. By this approach, synergy between the nucleic acid and protein worlds will be harnessed. First experiments show that conjugation with cytotoxic peptides enhances the activity of antisense molecules designed to restore apoptosis in tumor cells.

  • Oliver Seitz, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry,, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany

11:15 am 11:45 am (30 mins)

High Throughput Protein Analysis and Engineering Using Microcapillary Arrays

We developed a new high-throughput screening platform that allows researchers to assay the functional activity of millions of protein variants, displayed on or secreted from cells. This talk will describe several protein analysis and engineering applications performed with this new technology platform.

  • Jennifer Cochran, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering, Stanford University

11:45 am 12:15 pm (30 mins)

OPN-305, A First In Class Toll Like Receptor (TLR) Antibody Inhibitor

Opsona Therapeutics is a leading immunology drug development company focused on novel therapeutic approaches to key targets of the innate immune system. The targeting of TLRs has the potential to treat a diverse range of major human diseases including autoimmune/inflammatory diseases with specific focus on solid organ transplantation and oncology. The lead compound OPN-305 is a first in class humanized state of the art IgG4 molecule inhibiting TLR2, which is currently in clinical development for solid organ transplantation and oncology.

  • Martin Welschof, Ph.D., CEO, Opsona Therapeutics Ltd., Ireland

12:15 pm 1:25 pm (70 mins)

Networking Luncheon in the Poster & Exhibit Hall

1:25 pm 1:30 pm (5 mins)

Chairperson’s Remarks

  • Jonathan Davis, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Protein Design, Bristol-Myers Squibb

2 pm 2:30 pm (30 mins)

Characterization of Next Generation Antibody Therapeutics with Designed and Engineered Fc Regions

Many approaches of IgG engineering are currently applied to modulate the binding affinity of antibodies to Fc recognizing receptors including to various FcR's and to FcRn. This includes modification of binding to the human Fc receptor neonatal (FcRn) which is is responsible for endosomal antibody transport and mediation of antibody half-life. A possible pitfall of such approaches is the isolated view only at the Fc domain. This presentation covers analytical tools, engineering concepts and various observations that we made with different Fc-engineered antibodies. These analyses reveal that Fc-engineering cannot be based of analyzing the Fc regions just by themselves, instead antibodies must be considered as a whole entity for appropriate Fc engineering.

  • Tilman Schlothauer, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Functional Characterization, Large Molecule Research, Pharma Research and Early Development(pRED), Roche Innovation Center Penzberg, Germany

2:30 pm 3 pm (30 mins)

Protein Engineering of Intrabodies with Potential for Gene Therapy

Going from phage display selection of human antibodies to a mouse knockdown phenotype in a single cloning step opens the way for both a functional approach for the discovery of target/antibody drug combinations and a new therapeutic paradigm.

  • Stefan Dübel, Ph.D., Professor, Institute of Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany

3 pm 3:30 pm (30 mins)

Networking Refreshment Break in Poster & Exhibit Hall

3:30 pm 4 pm (30 mins)

Developing Molecules by Design for Influenza

Rosetta computational design can create proteins that target neutralizing epitopes on Influenza hemagglutinin. These designed proteins bind like broadly neutralizing antibodies, but in a smaller molecule that is both more manufacturable and stable. In animal models they inhibit the function of hemagglutinin and prevent viral infectivity. These computationally designed binders represent a new class of protein therapeutics for infectious diseases.

  • Aaron A. Chevalier, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, Virvio, Inc.

4 pm 4:30 pm (30 mins)

Multivalent Antibody-TRAIL Fusion Proteins for Cancer Therapy

The antibody-mediated delivery of TRAIL fusion proteins showed selective induction of tumor cell death. We have engineered optimized single-chain derivatives of TRAIL and different homodimerization modules to generate multivalent antibody-scTRAIL fusion proteins with improved properties. Tumor targeting as well as enhancing the valency of scTRAIL fusion proteins provides enforced apoptosis induction together with good antitumoral activity and tolerance in vivo.

  • Oliver Seifert, Ph.D., Institute of Cell Biology and Immunology, University of Stuttgart, Germany

4:30 pm 5 pm (30 mins)

Designing and Developing Truly Native Bispecific Human Antibodies

Development of bispecific antibodies has been hampered by expression and stability issues. Bispecific κλ bodies benefit from an unmodified human IgG structure, are expressed at multigram per liter and effectively purified using a generic downstream process. The components of the κλ-body platform and its robustness will be highlighted by the discovery of a CD19xCD47 κλ body and its development for immuno-oncology.

  • Nicolas Fischer, Ph.D., Head of Research Department, NovImmune SA, Switzerland

5 pm 6 pm (60 mins)

Networking Cocktail Reception in the Poster & Exhibit Hall