Antibody Therapeutics Xchange
November 30, 2021

Welcome to hubXchange’s European Antibody Therapeutics Xchange 2021, 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, Antibody Strategies Driving Cell Therapies 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 now a fully VIRTUAL meeting.

Target Selection

Titles and Bullets
8:00 – 8:30am
8:30 – 9:00am
Opening Address & Keynote: DNA Aptamers as a Promising Alternative for Analytical and Therapeutic Applications

Adjunct Scientist, Sapidyne Instruments & Professor of Physics, Boise State University
Sapidyne Instruments

Daniel Fologea’s research interests are focused on biophysical characterization of molecular interactions, transport of ions and molecules through artificial and natural membrane systems, and investigations on ligand-membrane interactions. Such fundamental processes are essential components of the molecular machineries responsible for cell functionality in health and disease. Understanding, harnessing and controlling these biological aspects is anticipated to open novel avenues for development of drugs, artificial carriers for targeted and controlled drug delivery at precise locations in the human body, and adjuvant therapy strategies intended to prevent and mitigate bacterial and viral infections.

9:05 – 10:05am
Strategies for GPCR-targeted discovery
  • VLPs, nanodiscs, and other formats for GPCR antigen presentation: what works, and for which applications?
  • Immunisation approach: choice of species, and of B cell screening technologies.
  • Display-based technologies: phage, yeast, mammalian and others.
  • Screening for functional properties of anti-GPCR antibodies.

Chief Scientific Officer
DJS Antibodies

Joe Illingworth is the Chief Scientific Officer and Founder at DJS Antibodies. The company has a preclinical pipeline in the inflammatory disease space, with a first-in-class mAb in IND-enabling studies, an anti-GPCR bispecific in late candidate selection studies, and our unique HEPTAD technology which enables the discovery of new pipeline assets. Joe is currently overseeing work involving a range of anti-GPCR antibody-discovery approaches, lead optimisation including affinity maturation, as well as downstream pharmacology, translational and developability studies.

10:10 – 10:40am
1-2-1 Meetings/Networking Break
10:40 – 11:10am
1-2-1 Meetings/Networking Break
11:10 – 11:20am
Morning Refreshment Break
11:20am – 12:20pm
Including proteins in antibody discovery with polyclonal antibody sequencing
  • When conventional antibody discovery techniques fail, what do you do?
  • Can your library of polyclonal antibody reagents be the fuel for your next discovery campaign?
  • Can you complement your existing programs with serum proteomics?

Director, International Business Development
Rapid Novor

Anthony has been heading the business development at Rapid Novor for nearly 5 years, merging his previous 8 years of experience in the business roles with a strong passion for biomedical research, stemming from his training in biomedical engineering. His current efforts are focused on the growth of the REpAb™and NovorIg™ platforms with pharmaceutical and biotech companies globally. His partnerships are focused on using REpAb in patients or animal models to sequence monoclonal antibodies from polyclonal sera, as well as immune system profiling using NovorIg, the team’s NGS based analysis to monitor the relative quantity of specific antibodies over time. Anthony’s a maker and in his spare time takes advantage of the Toronto HackLab to do biological research and other engineering projects.

Portrait picture of Anthony Stajduhar
12:20 – 1:20pm
Networking Lunch Break
1:20 – 1:50pm
Spotlight PresentationThere’s So Much More Than Binding – An Update on Customized Solutions for Antibody Discovery with Challenging Target Product Profiles
Specific requirements have to be met for the discovery of antibodies with challenging Target Product Profiles (TPPs). AbCheck has developed a technology to efficiently meet these requirements for e.g. functional antibodies or antibodies against targets with high homology. Our novel, tailored microfluidics technology is based on high throughput functional sorting of immune plasma cell repertoires at single cell level.

Managing Director

Volker Lang has over 20 years’ experience in development and commercialization of biotechnology products, encompassing basic research, R&D, BD & licensing, commercial operations and management. Before joining AbCheck, Volker served as CBO of Affimed Therapeutics AG (now Affimed N.V.), AbCheck’s parent company, and held management positions at Scil Technology GmbH, where he successfully partnered the company’s technology portfolio with two major pharmaceutical companies, and at Pieris AG, where he successfully closed key strategic partnership deals. Prior to Pieris, Volker served as COO at Cosmix GmbH and as Biotech Manager at Fresenius Kabi AG. Volker holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Braunschweig, Germany.

1:55 – 2:55pm

Antibody target selection challenges: splicing, multimeric complexes and glycosylation

  • Identification of relevant isoforms or splice variants for antibody generation – Canonical or disease-associated?
  • Choice of expression systems – Prokaryotic vs Eukaryotic and the role of post-translational modifications in antibody discovery.
  • Recombinant protein quality control – is functional analysis essential?

Group Leader, Protein Technologies

Michael Mullin is an experienced molecular biologist and protein engineer with over 11 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Michael gained his Ph.D. at Queen’s University Belfast studying ligand-receptor interactions using phage display. He joined GSK in 2010 within the antibody engineering team and has experience of drug development with respect to challenging target classes, GPCRs and ion channels to support antibody discovery. He is currently leading the Protein Technologies group which focuses on developing novel high-throughput technologies for recombinant protein secretion/expression and purification.

3:00 – 3:30pm
1-2-1 Meetings
3:30 – 4:00pm
1-2-1 Meetings
4:00 – 4:10pm
Afternoon Refreshments

4:10 – 4:40pm

Poster Session: LEAD IDENTIFICATION & OPTIMISATION topic – Immunosuppressive myeloid cell targeting Semaphorin 4D antibody for cancer immunotherapy

Immunosuppressive myeloid cells infiltration in tumor microenvironment causes resistance to cancer immunotherapy. Targeting immunosuppressive myeloid compartment is considered to be a promising approach for cancer immunotherapy and can overcome resistance to cancer immunotherapy. Overexpression of Semaphorin 4D (SEMA4D) has been frequently observed in head and neck cancer, as well as many others such as prostate, colon, breast, and lung cancers. SEMA4D drives immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment through the inhibition of immune cell migration, activation of endothelial cell and plays a critical role in resistance to cancer immunotherapy. Therapeutics targeting SEMA4D thus was developed for cancer immunotherapy and overcoming resistance to cancer immunotherapy.

SEMA4D antibodies cross reactive to human, cyno and mouse SEMA4D were generated with naïve human scFv phage display approach. Clone that blocked SEMA4D interaction with its ligands PlexinB1 and PlexinB2, antagonized SEMA4D induced tumor cell migration and myeloid derived cell proliferation were affinity matured to sub-nanomolar affinity. In vivo studies with CT26 syngeneic mouse model demonstrated tumor growth inhibition and prolonged survival by SEMA4D antibody alone and in combination with anti-PD-1 antibody.

To summarize, we have generated a fully human anti-SEMA4D antibody with superior in vitro and in vivo potency and is currently in preclinical development stage.

Vice President, Head of Biologics Discovery

Teddy Yang has almost 15 years of industry experience gained with several companies including Genentech, China Novartis Institute of BioMedical Research, RuiYi Biopharmaceuticals and ChemPartner where he has been the Vice President and Head of Biologics Discovery for the past 6 years. Teddy has numerous patents pending in the antibody space and has had his research published in many peer-reviewed publications over the years. Teddy has a BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Hong Kong as well as Post-Doctoral Fellow studies at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

4:45 – 5:45pm

How to gain the full potential out of the emerging TCE, Co-stim, checkpoint and immuno-cytokine modalities in cancer therapy

  • Beyond the classic checkpoint inhibitors targeting PD-(L)1 or CTLA-4, other immunomodulatory compounds could so far not fulfill the expectations
  • Especially in solid cancer a lot of different combination studies are undergoing clinical development, but success stories are still rare
  • What are the lessons learnt from the unsuccessful attempts?
  • What are the future direction in development?

Director, Protein Engineering
Ridgeline Discovery

Christian Kunz is a biochemist by training and was working for 15 years at MorphoSys before joining Ridgeline Discovery in September this year.

At MorphoSys he was working as a Director, supervising a project team in therapeutic antibody discovery. He was focusing in the beginning of his career on selection and screening system to obtain a broad epitope and functional diversity of lead antibodies. In the recent years, his main focus was the development of immuno-modulatory compounds using various bispecific entities for different oncological indications.

Currently he is working at Ridgeline Discovery, a Versant Ventures Discovery Engine, that enables new start-up companies to successfully develop their innovative technologies.

Portrait picture of Christian Kunz
5:45 – 6:45pm
Closing Address & Canape/Drinks Reception

Lead Partner


Antibody Therapeutics Xchange | Europe 2021