Antibody Therapeutics Xchange Europe 2019

Target Selection

Titles and Bullets
8:00am – 8:30am


8:30am – 9:00am

Opening Address & Keynote:

Immunotherapy in the 21st Century: from immune checkpoints to T cell engagers and beyond – Thierry Wurch, Director, External Innovation, Oncology, Servier

9:05am – 10:05am

Challenges with developing antibodies for
treatment of Neurodegenerative Diseases
and the use of bispecific formats
  • What are the implications of low brain bioavailability of antibodies for pharmacological studies and our ability to translate from preclinical models to humans? 
  • Will enhanced brain exposure by receptor mediated transcytosis provide a solution to this problem and at what price tag?
  • Is there an upper limit to the clinical antibodies dose from a biological, regulatory and CMC perspective? 

Senior Director Biotherapeutic Discovery

Allan Jensen is an expert in discovery and preclinical development of antibody based drugs and has several years of experience from various positions in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Allan holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Molecular Biology for University of Aarhus, and entered the field of antibody discovery at Symphogen A/S almost two decades ago, continued his career at Pfizer and more recently joined Lundbeck as Senior Director, with responsibility for Biotherapeutic discovery. He has provided significant scientific input to technologies for antibody discovery and bringing drug candidates into the clinic.

Portrait picture of Allan Jensen
10:10am – 10:40am

1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break

10:40am – 10:50am

Morning Refreshments

10:50am – 11:50am

Implementing discovery strategies to value
the therapeutic potential of lead antibody
  • Optimal discovery method versus available budget – how do we decide the best path?
  • Animal immunizations, natural human antibody repertoire library selection, or synthetic library selection – what are the pros and cons?
  • What is the best strategy for choosing the lead candidate selection criteria and at what point should a functional study be integrated – early or later?
  • What are the ideal immunization and selection tools? If appropriate cell lines and/or recombinant proteins are not available?

Head of Contract Research 
ImmunoPrecise Antibodies

Debby Kruijsen obtained a PhD in immunology at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands in 2011, studying the role of antibodies in affecting antigen presentation and subsequent Respiratory Syncytial Virus specific T cell activation. In 2012, Debby joined ModiQuest Research, an ImmunoPrecise Antibodies, Ltd. company, as a scientist supervising hybridoma antibody discovery projects. She was promoted in 2013 to Head of Contract Research for ModiQuest Research were she is responsible for the daily management within the CRO and is a member of the business development group.

Portrait picture of Debby Kruijsen
11:55am – 12:25am

1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break

12:30pm – 1:30pm

Preclinical validation: How much is enough
and are animal models useful in every
  • How good/predictive are our preclinical models?
  • What do we do in situations where there are no target orthologues in the typical animal models used?
  • Are advanced in vitro models an alternative to animal models?
  • Is it possible to get investigational new drug approval without animal efficacy data?

Vice President Research

Mikkel has more than 10 years’ of experience as scientific leader of oncology and immuno-oncology projects from concept over lead selection through to clinical development. 

Major achievements include the discovery and development of six clinical stage programs. He is also the co-author of 35 peer-reviewed papers in the oncology space.

Currently Mikkel is heading the Research Department at Symphogen and is responsible for antibody discovery, in vitro functional screening and mechanisms of action studies.

Portrait picture of Mikkel Wandahl Pedersen

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Networking Lunch

2:30pm – 3:00pm

Poster Session – Novel and unique platform for discovery of human lead antibody molecules utilizing OmniMouse ImmunoPrecise Antibodies

3:00pm – 3:30pm

1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break

3:30pm – 3:40pm

Afternoon Refreshments

3:40pm – 4:10pm

1-2-1 Meetings / Networking Break

4:15pm – 5:15pm

Considerations and challenges guiding target selection: No one-size-fits-all solution
  • Well-validated vs new/novel targets? Evolutionary vs revolutionary approach to target selection? Where to find a balance.
  • What are the key approaches used to discover novel and disease-relevant targets and does this vary between big pharma and small biotech?  
  • How important is in-house target validation prior to start of lead discovery?
  • How much consideration is given to FTO, IP potential and competitive landscape during the target selection process?
  • How important is cross-species homology of target and the likelihood to be able to generate a cross-reactive antibody for preclinical research?  
  1. What is the willingness to engage a surrogate strategy?

Group Leader, Antibody Lead Discovery

Fionnuala received her PhD (Microbiology) from Trinity College Dublin in 2002.  Her post-doctoral studies were carried out at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (NY) where she worked on S. aureus antibiotic resistance mechanisms.  She then transferred to the Global Biologics organization at Wyeth (Cambridge, MA; acquired by Pfizer in 2009) where she spent 5 years as a Senior Scientist working primarily with phage display in the antibody lead discovery department.  In 2010, she moved to Heidelberg Germany in a role as Head of Antibody Lead Discovery for Affimed, generating bispecific NK and T-cell engagers.  Since 2013, Fionnuala has been a Group Leader in the Antibody Lead Discovery department within Biologics Research at Bayer (Cologne, Germany).

Portrait picture of Fionnuala McAleese Eser
5:15pm – 5:45pm

Closing Keynote & Address:
Antibody Development in the 21st century: Facing the reality that monoclonality does not mean monospecificity – Jonny Finlay, Chief Executive Officer, UltraHuman
Canape/Drinks Reception


Antibody Therapeutics Xchange | Europe 2019