San Francisco
February 6, 2023​

Welcome to hubXchange’s Advanced Therapies Xchange 2023, West Coast, bringing together executives from pharma and biotech to address and find solutions to the key issues faced in cell and gene therapeutics.

Discussion topics will cover Cell Tx Development, Gene Tx Development, C&G Tx Bioprocessing and C&G Tx Manufacturing.

Take advantage of this unique highly interactive meeting format designed for maximum engagement, collaboration and networking with your peers.

Venue Details: DoubleTree by Hilton San Francisco Airport Hotel, 835 Airport Boulevard, Burlingame CA 94010-9949


  • Implementing NGS and predictive analytics in cell therapy development
  • Maximizing clinical benefit in solid tumor therapies: Combination therapies and other strategies
  • Overcoming resistance to currently approved autologous engineered T cell based therapies
  • Challenges to effective in vivo gene therapy with CRISPR/Cas
  • Demonstrating efficacy and value for one-and-done therapies
  • Optimizing downstream purification
  • Transduction and cryopreservation
  • Steps to bedside manufacturing/point of care manufacturing
  • Anticipating the future of autologous cell therapy
  • Current CMC challenges in AAV manufacturing

Full Xchange Agenda

Click on each track for detailed agenda

Cell Tx Development

Titles and Bullets
08:00 – 08:30
08:30 – 09:00

Opening Address & Keynote Presentation
Process Development Services to Automate your Cell Therapy Manufacturing

There has been tremendous progress in the cell therapy field, as hundreds of therapeutic candidates progress toward and through clinical trials. One of the many challenges facing our industry is how to effectively manufacture approved therapies at commercial scale. This talk will address how to seamlessly transfer programs to an automated cell therapy manufacturing system, the Lonza Cocoon® Platform. By using the expertise of Lonza’s Process Development team, it is possible to further optimize and automate manufacturing of adoptive cell therapies. Advances in the Cocoon® Platform and future directions of the technology will also be discussed.

Senior Clinical Application Specialist, Personalized Medicine Division, Lonza

Jerry Jiang is currently the Senior Clinical Applications Specialist for Lonza’s Personalized Medicine Business Unit. His focus is on the Cocoon® Platform, a functionally closed and automated cell therapy manufacturing solution. Jerry has a BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UC San Diego and has been in the Cell and Gene therapy space for since 2015. Jerry joined the team in 2022.

Jerry Jiang
09:05 – 10:05

Implementing NGS and predictive analytics in cell therapy development

  • What are the barriers to routine implementation of NGS during cell therapy development?   
  • How are people using NGS data in decision making, and at what stages of product development?   
  • What predictive analytics are being implemented to integrate internal and external data? 

Director, Systems Biology, Notch Therapeutics

Dan Kirouac leads the Systems Biology department at Notch Therapeutics, integrating bioinformatics, dynamical systems modelling and machine learning to design and deliver the next generation of T cell therapies.  Prior to joining Notch in 2020, he held scientific positions in large pharma (Genentech), mid-size biotech (Merrimack Pharmaceuticals) and consulting (Applied BioMath), and has been developing mathematical models of biological systems for almost 20 years.  Dan did post-doctoral training at MIT and Harvard Medical School, holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and Bachelors’ in both Chemical Engineering and Genetics from the University of Western Ontario.  

Dan Kirouac
10:10 – 10:40
1-2-1 Meetings/Networking Break
10:40 – 11:10
1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break
11:10 – 11:20
Morning Refreshments
12:20 – 13:20

Networking Lunch

13:20 – 13:50

Spotlight Presentation
Outsource the compliance, control the manufacturing: A different way of thinking about biomanufacturing

  • Understand biomanufacturing landscape and traditional options available for clinical and commercial manufacturing
  • Provide data and insights on how the industry utilizes those traditional options
  • Introduce a hybrid option that minimizes compliance and capital risk while maximizing flexibility in development and production

Vice President of Client Development, Azzur Group

David Frank, VP of Client Development, leads customer-facing initiatives for Azzur Group nationwide including Azzur Cleanrooms on Demand™, consulting and advisory services, labs, and training. For the past decade, David has consulted some of the world’s largest pharmaceuticals, medical devices, technology, and financial services companies, aligning people, processes, and technology to drive sustainable business results. He has been recognized for leading award-winning teams over the past 20 years and is passionate about developing individuals into leaders. David received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The Pennsylvania State University and is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and PMP.

David Frank
13:55 – 14:25
1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break
14:25 – 14:55
1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break

15:00 – 15:30

Poster Session 
Optimizing T Cell Therapy Outcomes with TCR Engineering: A Path to Success in Cancer Treatment

T cell therapies have shown promising therapeutic potential in a variety of contexts, from in vitro studies to advanced clinical trials. However, the high cost and complexity of such
therapies can significantly slow down their technological development.
Our interdisciplinary team has developed a suite of computational solutions to streamline the end-to-end development of cellular therapies for cancer treatment. These services can help identify T-cell targets, predict epitope presentation, describe the dynamics of T-cell
repertoires and tumor microenvironment through NGS data analysis, and identify potential T-cell off-target toxicities. The TCR optimization module also enables us to engineer T-cell receptors (TCRs) to enhance the therapeutic potential of T-cell candidates by proposing mutations designed to lengthen the interaction time between TCRs and their targets. Such services can be extended to other therapeutic modalities targeting antigens (CAR-Ts, NKs, antibodies, nanobodies, DARPins, etc.).

Lead Scientist, Ardigen

Giovanni Mazzocco is a computational biologist expert with over a decade of experience in both academic and commercial projects. He has collaborated with a variety of institutions, including universities, scientific institutes, and medical research centers, as well as pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Throughout his career, Giovanni hasconducted research in various areas of bioinformatics and computational biology, including enzyme discovery, molecular modeling, protein dynamics and interactions, chromatin modeling, design of statistical learning methods for predicting protein interactions, vaccine design, NGS analysis and more.
Giovanni is currently working at Ardigen, where he is using AI to advance precision medicine in oncology. He is leading the TCR optimization project in the immunology team, and is responsible for proposing and exploring new scientific directions for the Immunology Business Unit.

Giovanni Mazzocco
15:35 – 16:35

Maximizing clinical benefit in solid tumor therapies: Combination therapies and other strategies

  • Prevention of exhaustion: Checkpoints (PD-1 and Combos), Epigenetic Modulators and others (chemo)
  • Prevention of and overcoming resistance: Drug sequencing, multiple targets, combinations
  • Expanding the addressable market: Minimizing toxicity, minimizing in-patient time, cost

Chief Operations Officer, VisiCELL Medical

George Smith is the COO at VisiCELL Medical, developing cell therapy imaging diagnostics, and is an advisor to advanced therapy companies. Recently, he led strategy and development of next generation TIL therapies at Myst/Turnstone Biologics. He founded the IQVIA Cell and Gene Therapy Center, helping companies develop advanced therapies. He is a SME for clinical and preclinical development strategy, pharmacology, translational medicine and asset evaluation. He has worked for small and large biopharma companies for a wide variety of therapeutic areas and modalities from concept through Phase III, including inventing Paxlovid. Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. and MBA from UCSD.  

George Smith
16:35 – 16:45
Afternoon Refreshments

16:45 – 17:45

Overcoming resistance to currently approved autologous engineered T cell based therapies

  • ~80% ORRR, 50% CR yet in 3rd line, >60% of patients relapse from currently approved CAR T Therapy across indications
  • Advanced and next generation cell therapy product development needed to meet emerging CAR refractory patient population
  • Solid tumor indications remain and unmet need

Vice President, Translational Medicine, Cargo Therapeutics

John Rossi is Vice President of Translational Medicine at CARGO Therapeutics.  John is an experienced Cell Therapy and Biotechnology leader with over 22 years of experience building robust clinical pharmacology, predictive biomarker, and correlative science processes to support oncology drug development. Significant scientific accomplishments include the discovery of novel metrics to characterize CAR T cells based on functionality and fitness, novel biomarker knowledge helping to elucidate CAR T-cell mechanism of action in humans, mechanistic information on CAR-related toxicities, novel insights into the biology of the tumour immune microenvironment, and the pivotal role of IL-15 in the context of CAR T-cell function. John has co-authored over 35 publications in the field of cell therapy and is co-inventor on 9 issued or submitted patents. 
Rossi John
17:45 – 18:45
Canape/Drinks Reception


Advanced Therapies Xchange | West Coast 2023