Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration two years ago, adoptive cell therapy have shown its incredible values in many cancer types; however, there is still much to be done to reach its full potential. Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Inaugural Adoptive Cell Therapy conference program will gather experts in the field to address clinical progress, discuss strategies to reduce toxicity, increase efficacy, production and cost-effectiveness, along with showcasing emerging unconventional cell therapies such as gamma-delta T cells, NK cells, dendritic cells, macrophages and ILCs.

Final Agenda

Tuesday, March 3

7:30 am Registration Open

9:40 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing, Speed Networking, Book Signing, and Meetup Group

REGULATion and personalized adoptive cell therapy

Chairperson’s Remarks

Ross Wilson, PhD, Project Scientist and Principal Investigator, UC Berkeley & the Innovative Genomics Institute

10:40 Regulatory Approaches for Development of CAR T Therapies

Spanjaard_ElenaElena Spanjaard, PhD, Global Head of Regulatory Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, Celyad

I will define IND requirements for genetically-modified CAR T therapies and discuss the tailored regulatory strategies to address unique program features.

11:10 Personalized Multi-Targeted Adoptive Cell Therapy

Walter_SteffenSteffen Walter, PhD, CSO, Immatics US

Despite its great potential, adoptive cellular therapy (ACT) has shown limited clinical success in solid tumors. Major challenges of ACT in solid tumors include heterogeneity of tumor antigen expression, tumor escape (e.g. after addressing only one target) and toxicities (e.g. due to expression of targets on healthy tissue). In this presentation, we will show recent data from several complementary clinical-stage approaches to treat solid tumors using personalized combinations of multiple novel targets.

10X-Genomics 11:40 Accelerating Biology in True Resolution - Single-Cell Genomics for Gene Editing and Cellular Therapies

Brian R. Fritz, PhD, Associate Director, AMR Regional Marketing, 10X Genomics

12:10 pm Session Break

12:20 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

1:20 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing, Speed Networking, Book Signing, and Meetup Group

2:00 Breakout Discussions in the Exhibit Hall (please click here for details)

3:00 Transition to Keynote Session


3:15 Organizer’s Remarks

Christina Lingham, Executive Director, Conferences and Fellow, Cambridge Healthtech Institute

3:20 Keynote Introduction

Mallory_AllisonAllison Mallory, PhD, Director, R&D Molecular Biology, Stilla Technologies




3:35 What Does the New Era of Genomic Medicine Look Like? Effects on Patient Care, Therapeutics, and Diagnostics

20 years after the completion of the first draft of the Human Genome Project, there is compelling evidence of genomics delivering the rich promise of precision medicine. There have been major advances in the throughput and affordability of genome sequencing, enhanced tools for genome analysis and interpretation, new paradigms for therapeutics and strong signs of clinical benefit using genome editing. But major challenges remain. In this special plenary roundtable, three established pioneers of genomic medicine – David Haussler, Stephen Kingsmore, and Liz Worthey – offer their insights on the extraordinary advances in genomic medicine over the past 1-2 decades and share their hopes and concerns for the future of our field.

Davies_KevinModerator: Kevin Davies, PhD, Executive Editor, The CRISPR Journal, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Kingsmore_StephenPanelists: Stephen Kingsmore, MD, DSc, President/CEO, Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine

Haussler_DavidDavid Haussler, PhD, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Distinguished Professor, Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Santa Cruz; Scientific Director, UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute; Scientific Co-Director, California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3)

Elizabeth Worthey, PhDElizabeth Worthey, PhD, Director, Genomic Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham School of Medicine

4:50 Spring Fling Celebration in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing, Speed Networking, Book Signing, and Meetup Group

6:00 End of Day

Wednesday, March 4

6:45 am Registration Open

7:00 BREAKFAST PANEL DISCUSSION: The Time is NOW: Creating Meaningful Change for Women in the Workplace (Sponsorship Opportunity Available)

(please see Women in Science page for details)

Toft_RobinModerator: Robin Toft, Author of WE CAN, The Executive Woman’s Guide to Career Advancement; Founder and Chairman, Toft Group Executive Search

Samuels_CamillePanelists: Camille Samuels, MBA, Partner, Venrock

Hastings_PaulPaul Hastings, President and CEO, Nkarta Therapeutics, Inc

Wright_TerryTeresa L. Wright, MD, Staff Physician, Medicine, San Francisco Veterans Administration


8:00 Organizer’s Remarks

Ngoc ‘Emily’ Le, PhD, Conference Producer, Cambridge Healthtech Institute

8:05 Chairperson’s Remarks

Chantale Bernatchez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Melanoma Medical Oncology - Research, Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

8:10 Investigating the Power of Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes for Treatment of Cancer

Cécile Chartier, PhD, VP, Research, Iovance Biotherapeutics

Iovance is focused on the commercialization of autologous tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapies that amplify the body’s own immune response in order to eradicate solid tumors. Iovance has reported clinically meaningful responses in disease areas or populations with unmet medical need. Iovance is conducting Phase II clinical trials to assess the efficacy and safety of autologous TIL therapy for treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma, cervical cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and non-small cell lung cancer.

8:40 Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) Therapy for Solid Tumors

Bernatchez_chantaleChantale Bernatchez, PhD, Assistant Professor, Melanoma Medical Oncology - Research, Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Adoptive transfer of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL ACT) is one of the first living immunotherapies to be tested in multiple clinical trials in metastatic melanoma and results consistently in a 40 to 50% overall response rate. In our recent publication, we evaluated the impact of pretreatment with anti-CTLA4 in TIL ACT-treated patients. New data and future outlook for TIL therapy for the treatment of checkpoint refractory metastatic melanoma patients will be discussed.

9:10 Lymphodepletion-Generated Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSC) Decrease the Efficacy of Adoptive T Cell Therapy

Pilon-Thomas_ShariShari Pilon-Thomas, PhD, Associate Member, Immunology; Co-Director, Center for Immunization and Infection Research in Cancer (CIIRC), Moffitt Cancer Center

In melanoma and lung cancer patients, MDSCs rapidly expanded within one week after completion of a lymphodepleting regimen and infusion of autologous tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). Increased MDSC frequency was associated with disease progression, poor survival, and reduced TIL persistence in vivo.

9:40 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing, Speed Networking, Book Signing, and Meetup Group


10:40 Clinical Evaluation of CD5 CAR T Cells for T Cell Malignancies

Maksim_MamonkinMaksim Mamonkin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pathology & Immunology, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine

Development of effective CAR T cell therapies for T cell leukemia/lymphoma requires minimizing CAR-driven fratricide of normal T cells. We have developed a CD5-specific CAR that enables T cells to resist fratricide and retain high cytotoxicity against a broad range of T cell malignancies. In the clinic, CD5 CAR T cells produce high anti-tumor activity without eliminating the endogenous T cell compartment.

11:10 Mechanisms of Resistance to Anti-CD19 CAR T Therapy

John Rossi, Director, Translational Medicine, Kite a Gilead Co.

Limited data has been published describing mechanisms of resistance to CAR T cell therapy. The well-annotated ZUMA-1 clinical trial serves as a benchmark to address outstanding questions. Translational research focusing on the association between CAR T cell product attributes, tumor immune microenvironment and resistance will be presented.

11:40 Advancing CAR T Cell Therapy for Solid Tumors

Priceman_SaulSaul Priceman, PhD, Assistant Professor, Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, City of Hope Beckman Research Institute

While impressive clinical responses have been observed with CAR T cell therapy in B cell malignancies, the responses in solid tumors have to date been underwhelming. Building on our experience at City of Hope with CAR T cell therapy, and encouraging results in hematological malignancies and recurrent glioblastoma, we are expanding our translational research program to treat patients with other solid tumors, including prostate, breast, and ovarian cancer. Additionally, we are building more clinically relevant mouse models to address the major challenges in developing safe and effective CAR T cell therapies for solid tumors, including target selectivity, tumor antigen heterogeneity, and the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.

Stratec 12:10 pm Multifunctional Microfluidic Allows a New Level of Personalized Medicine

Schimke_MagdalenaMagdalena Schimke, Sales Specialist, Stratec Consumables GmbH

Single cell sorting, imaging and analytics become more and more important in the field of basic and applied sciences as well the drug discovery industries to serve clinical trials.


12:25 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

12:40 Session Break

12:50 Precision Health Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

1:20 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Last Chance Poster Viewing, Speed Networking, Book Signing, and Meetup Group


2:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Peggy Sotiropoulou, PhD, Director, R&D, Celyad

2:05 Expansion and Engineering of Allogeneic Natural Killer Cells for Enhanced Anti-Tumor Activity

Trager_JamesJames Trager, PhD, CSO, Nkarta

Natural Killer (NK) cells play an important role in tumor control; their lack of HLA restriction provides an opportunity for development of effective off-the-shelf NK cell products. Increasing understanding of the mechanisms by which NK cells are activated and inhibited in the tumor microenvironment has allowed targeted engineering to enhance their anti-tumor activity.

2:35 Exploiting Natural Killer Cell Receptors for Autologous and Allogeneic CAR T Cell Therapy of Cancer

Sotiropoulou_PeggyPeggy Sotiropoulou, PhD, Director, R&D, Celyad

The NK cell activating receptor NKG2D binds to eight different ligands commonly over-expressed in cancer, while being generally absent from healthy tissues. Preliminary data from clinical trials assessing NKG2D-based CAR T cells have shown promising clinical activity in both hematological and solid tumors. Our results in using autologous and allogeneic NKG2D-based CAR T cells will be discussed.

3:05 Enhancing CAR T Cell Therapies with Precision Genome Engineering

Juillerat_AlexandreAlexandre Juillerat, PhD, US Laboratory Head and Team Leader, Cellectis

We have successfully developed GMP-compliant manufacturing of TALEN®-based edited CAR T cells for clinical use, which has led to two allogeneic CAR T cell product candidates in the clinic. Using our proprietary nuclease-based gene editing technologies, we showed our ca-pability to efficiently edit any gene in primary T cells with very high precision. Here, we de-scribe how TALEN® gene-editing technology allows us to create CAR T cells that can be used in allogeneic setting and, additionally, empowers them with improved safety and efficacy at-tributes. Among others, new features include expression control properties, resistance to stand-ard oncology treatments, prevention of engineered CAR T cells fratricide and controlled release of key effector molecules.

3:35 Close of Conference

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