May 22, 2023

Welcome to hubXchange’s Antibody Therapeutics Xchange East Coast 2023, bringing together executives from pharma and biotech to address and find solutions to the key issues faced in developing antibody therapeutics, through a series of roundtable discussions.

Discussion topics will cover Target Selection, Lead Identification & Optimization, Formats & Scaffolds, Bi/Multi-Specifics and Emerging Technologies.

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

Please note this is an In-Person meeting.

VENUE DETAILS: Hilton Boston Woburn Hotel, 2 Forbes Road, Woburn MA 01801


  • Considerations and challenges guiding target selection in the development of antibody-based therapeutics for cancer
  • Selecting target pairs for bispecific therapeutic antibody development
  • Strategies and considerations of discovering antibodies against novel targets
  • Challenging targets: Opportunity, vs effort, vs risk: General strategies vs custom approaches: In the end you want the best antibody, no matter what
  • One size doesn’t fit all: Key considerations for successful therapeutic antibody discovery for various modalities and indications.
  • Can NGS data from antibody screening be used to identify rare and high-affinity clones using machine learning?
  • Fc engineering for improved antibody druggability
  • Considerations for CAR-T/CAR-NK Cell binder format designs during screening and selections
  • Current Challenges in design of bispecific /chimeric antigen receptors for solid tumors
  • Bi/tri-specific strategies for overcoming cell engager toxicity
  • What is the optimum human CDR-H3 repertoire for antibody discovery?
  • Mining antibody repertoire from tumor patients

Full Xchange Agenda

Click on each track for detailed agenda

Target Selection

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

Opening Address & Keynote Presentation
Evolution of In Vivo Platforms for Antibody Drug Discovery

Ninety percent of the mAbs currently approved in the United States originated from immunized wild-type or human immunoglobulin (Ig) transgenic animals. Since the introduction of hybridoma technology in 1975, ongoing paradigm-shifting advances in novel technology platforms and antibody discovery methods have improved speed and efficiency, and overcome technical challenges.  As a result, in vivo platforms continue to offer for the foreseeable future the widest applicability and most risk-mitigated path for successful antibody drug discovery and development. This talk will feature insights from AlivaMab Discovery Services and Ablexis, from our position as leaders in the discovery of superior antibody-based therapeutics for dozens of partners and with over a century of cumulative experience and success in the field.


Vice President, Antibody Discovery, Alivamab

Jane received her PhD from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and completed her post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School. She has over a decade of experience in antibody discovery for biologics drug development using in vivo approaches. Prior to joining AlivaMab Discovery Services, Jane led the In Vivo Antibody Discovery team at AbbVie, where she introduced and implemented multiple technology platforms, including hybridoma automation and direct antibody cloning from human patient samples. Jane has led projects across diverse therapeutic areas and enabled antibody discovery campaigns resulting in several clinical candidate molecules.

jane seagal
09:05 – 10:05

Considerations and challenges guiding target selection in the development of antibody-based therapeutics for cancer

  • What are the key criteria for selecting an antigen target? What specific considerations should be taken into account for tumor-associated antigens?
  • What are the pros and cons of targeting cell surface receptors vs. ligand targets? In the context of cancer, what are the pros and cons of targeting over-expressed self-antigens, cancer germline antigens, and neoantigens?
  • What impact, if any, does tumor type play in guiding target selection (i.e. liquid vs. solid tumors)?
  • What antibody parameters should be considered when selecting an antigen target? Antibody affinity? Epitope? Internalization rate? Other?
  • How does therapeutic modality influence target selection? (i.e. ADC, CAR-T, T-cell engager, conventional mAb)

Senior Director, External Innovation, Johnson & Johnson

Gadi Bornstein is a member of the External Innovation Team within Discovery, Product Development & Supply (DPDS) at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in Boston. As a senior member of the global External Innovation Team, Gadi has overall strategic and operational responsibility for scouting and evaluation of external opportunities across all biologic drug modalities. Gadi has over twenty years of experience in oncology R&D with an emphasis in preclinical antibody discovery. He has led academic alliances as well as industry partnerships throughout his career. Prior to joining Janssen, Gadi was a Senior Director at TESARO, where he led and directed biologics discovery efforts in immuno-oncology. Before TESARO, Gadi held roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen Fremont Inc. (formerly Abgenix Inc.), AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Novartis. Gadi received his B.S. in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral training at Stanford University in the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology. He has authored numerous research papers, reviews, as well as book chapters, and is a co-inventor on multiple patents.

Portrait picture of Gadi Bornstein
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
11:20 – 12:20

Screening and discovery of novel nanobodies and their applications

  • What is the driving force for discovery of nanobodies compared to conventional antibodies?
  • What are the current methods for nanobody discovery and their advantages and limitations?
  • What is the current application and potential use of nanobodies in academic research, immunotherapy and clinical diagnostic imaging?
  • What can AlpalifeBio offer and deliver for our customers?

Chief Technology Officer, AlpalifeB

JinJun Gong
12:20 – 13:20
Networking Lunch
13:20 – 13:50

Spotlight Presentation
Wrangling diverse OmniAb antibody repertoires with OmniDeep

We are presenting a showcase of discovering common light chain antibodies against a NK cell target. OmniDeep is a suite of in silico tools for antibody therapeutic discovery and optimization. Deep screening and high-throughput expression/characterization were used to seed information on top of NGS data sets. Our results demonstrate the power of this approach in corralling diverse OmniAb antibody repertoires and accelerating the development of effective therapeutics.

Senior Director, Systems Engineering, OmniAb

Bob Chen is Senior Director of Systems Engineering at OmniAb. Dr. Chen leads the development of our xPloration® platform. Dr. Chen previously was the Chief Technology Officer and a co-Founder of xCella Biosciences, an antibody discovery and technology company based in Menlo Park, California, that was built on scientific research from Stanford University and MIT and acquired by Ligand Pharmaceuticals in 2020. Dr. Chen earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT and a PhD in Bioengineering from Stanford University.

Bob Chen
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
Lead Identification & Optimization Topic
The future of developability profiling: AI-driven in silico immunogenicity screening and high throughput in vitro characterization

  • In silico immunogenicity and liability workflows leverage artificial neural networks to analyze proteins with unmatched throughput, speed, scalability, and accuracy.
  • Comprehensive and customizable in vitro characterization of physiochemical properties. 
  • Combined in silico and in vitro output ranking benchmarked against >150 clinical mAbs

Senior Director of Client Relations – East Coast & Europe, ImmunoPrecise Antibodies

Shuji Sato holds a PhD from Tufts University in Massachusetts and completed his postdoctoral training at the New England Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School. Prior to joining IPA, he worked for a variety of organizations in biotech and pharma, including Cell Signaling Technology and Pfizer, and most recently, he held the position of Associate Director, Antibody Discovery with Dragonfly Therapeutics.

Shuji Sato
15:35 – 16:35

Selecting target pairs for bispecific therapeutic antibody development

  • What are the key drivers for selection of target combinations?
  • Where are we most successful at identifying effective target combinations (e.g. specific class of MoAs, etc.)? Why are some more successful or easier than others?
  • What are some of the methods, data, assays being utilized for increasing the probability of success of selected target pairs? Can discovery of target pairs be industrialized?
  • How can ML/AI methods be applied for effective selection of target pairs?

Head of Biologics Research US & Global Head Digital Biologics Platform (ML/AI), Large Molecule Research, Sanofi

Maria Wendt is the Global Head of Digital Biologics and Biologics Strategy, Large Molecule Research Platform at Sanofi, based in Cambridge, MA. She has spent over 20 years at the interface of computation and biology. At Sanofi, she oversees the strategic innovation portfolio that ensures Sanofi is always in the forefront of molecular and computational innovations for biologics. She manages a global team in seven sites and five countries creating the next generation of smart biologics medicines using novel molecular engineering techniques, synthetic Biology and AI. She addresses novel biology for Immuno-oncology, Immunology, Inflammation and Rare and Neuro Disease therapeutic areas.

Maria Wendt
15:35 – 15:45
Afternoon refreshments
15:45 – 16:45

Strategies and considerations of discovering antibodies against novel targets

  • What is known about the target’s biology? How should the antibody impact this biology?
  • What is your draft target-candidate-profile? What is your final antibody format?
  • What reagents and comparator antibodies do you have at your disposal to characterize newly discovered antibodies?
  • What antibody discovery technologies should you deploy for your novel target? Should you consider an immunization or display-based antibody discovery platform? How will you screen for your desired candidate antibodies?

Director Biology, Mersana Therapeutics

Jan received his PhD from Weill Cornell and completed post-doctoral training at Genentech. He has over a decade of experience in cancer target discovery and biologics drug development. Jan started his industry career at Amgen, where he led surface antigen discovery and validation efforts for gastric cancer. Subsequently, he managed an antibody discovery team at Igenica Biotherapeutics, a company that focused on mass spectrometry-based antigen discovery for cancer immunotherapy. At Iconic Therapeutics, his team discovered and developed Tissue Factor-targeted biologics. Prior to joining Mersana Therapeutics, Jan had a senior role on the biologics team at Gilead Sciences, supporting protein therapeutics discovery across multiple disease indications. In his current role at Mersana, he is actively engaged in antibody drug conjugate discovery for oncology indications with high unmet need.

Jan-Willem Theunissen
17:45 – 18:45
Evening Drinks Reception


Antibody Therapeutics Xchange | East Coast 2023