Focus Day

Monday September 19, 2022

To see the full workshop details download the full event guide!

Enhancing Efficacy with Combination Therapy

Innovations in Gene Engineering & Editing

Achieving Success in the Solid Tumor Setting

9.00 Overcoming the Challenges & Limitations of
Monotherapy with Combinations

  • Mapping out the challenges of monotherapy for cellbased and non cell-based forms to identify their
    limitations and how combinations can help
  • Assessing the success stories and failures to take key
    learnings into future investigations
  • Using combination therapy to provide a personalized medicine
    to streamline clinical development and path to market

Daniel Corey, Chief Scientific Officer, CERo Therapeutics, Inc

Gene Tech 101

This dedicated quick-fire session is your gene editing roadmap to understanding the pros, cons and applications of the key gene editing technologies that are spearheading the cell therapy field.


  • 9.00 Harnessing the Power of Epigenetic Editing for
    Gene & Cell Therapy

    Blythe Sather, Vice President, Head of Research, Tune Therapeutics
  • 9.10 Improving Manufacturability of Multiplex Edited Allogeneic CAR-T Cells Using Cytosine Base Editing
    Melissa Le, Scientist, Beam Therapeutics
  • 9.20 Harnessing a Safer Piggybac System, a Virus-Free Vector System for Next Generation Cell & Gene Therapy
    Sareina Wu, Founder & Chief Executive Officer/Chief Scientific Officer, Genome Frontier Therapeutics
  • 9.30 Making RNA Editing a Reality in Cell Therapy
    Miloš Miljković,  Chief Medical Officer, Cartesian Therapeutics
  • 9.40 Q&A Session

9.00 Panel Discussion: Brainstorming the Challenges to Addressing & Overcoming the Solid Tumor Microenvironment

Erika von Euw, Vice President, Discovery & Translational Research, Devarra Therapeutics

Gavin MacBeath, Chief Scientific & Operations Officer, TScan Therapeutics

Gary Lee, Chief Scientific Officer, Lyell Immunopharma

9:30 Enabling Cell Therapy in Solid Tumors by Reprogramming the Tumor Microenvironment with TLR9 Stimulation & Novel Delivery Technology

  • Exploiting a tailored immunomodulation approach
    to overcome suppressor cells of the liver tumor microenvironment
  • Overcoming intra-tumor pressure which limits cell therapy and immunomodulator delivery in many solid tumors
  • Surpassing the challenges of cell therapy performance in solid tumors with innovative drug-device combinatorial strategies

Steven Katz, Chief Medical Officer, TriSalus Life Sciences

10:00 Rationalizing Effective Phase 1 Trial Design for Combination Therapies: Combining Mesothelin-Specific CAR-T (huCART-meso) Cells with Oncolytic Virus VCN-01

  • Overcoming the exclusion and suppression of T-cells by
    the tumor microenvironment with CAR-T therapy in solid
    tumors with combination therapies
  • Utilizing VCN-01, a PH20 hyaluronidase-armed oncolytic virus,
    to degrade the tumor extracellular matrix, reprogram the tumor microenvironment and draw T-cells into tumor lesions
  • Designing a combination trial NCT05057715 to establish the safety, feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a combination of huCART-meso cells and VCN-01 in patients with pancreatic or ovarian cancer

Neil Sheppard,  Director, T-Cell Engineering Lab, University of Pennsylvania, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies

10.00 Understanding the Transformative Impact Gene Engineering has had on the Cell Therapy Field, Taking Translational Learnings & Uncovering Future Challenges

  • Exploring the current landscape of technologies which are
    supercharging cell therapies
  • Harnessing translational learnings from clinical failures to avoid further difficulties
  • What are the key focus areas to continue rapid growth of cell therapies with gene innovations?

Tony Ho, Industry Expert, Self Employed, Previously CRISPR Therapeutics

Stunting Solid Tumors: Modality 101

Twenty minute back-to-back presentations will provide a comprehensive insight into how to tackle the solid tumor interface with different immune cells and modalities.


  • 9.30 CAR-Macrophages (CAR-M): A Novel Approach to Solid Tumor Immunotherapy
    Debora Barton, Chief Medical Officer, Carisma Therapeutics
  • 9.50 Dialling Up the Heat on Cold Tumors with CAR-NK Therapy
    Yu-Waye Chu, Chief Medical Officer, Fate Therapetuics
  • 10.10 Q&A with the Modality Experts Yu-Waye Chu, Chief Medical Officer, Fate Therapeutics
    Michael Klichinsky, Chief Scientific Officer, Fate Therapeutics

10:30 Networking

Assessing Combination Approach Case Studies to Fuel Pipeline Strategy

Providing Supplementary Functionality to a Cell with New Gene Additions

Stunting Solid Tumors: Modality 101

11:00 Combination Immunotherapy of Adoptive T-Cell Therapy with Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Nanogel Based Cancer Vaccine

Takashi Nakai, Lead Expert, Asahi Kasei

11.00 Harnessing CRISPR to Knock Out Checkpoint Inhibitors to Enhance CAR-NK Function

  • Detailing the technology of knocking out checkpoints and
    inhibitory receptors to overcome the immunosuppressive
    tumor microenvironment
  • Presenting preclinical data for multiple myeloma
  • Detailing plans to expand to the clinic

Michael O’Dwyer, Chief Scientific Officer, ONK Therapeutics

11.00 Overcoming Major Barriers of Solid Tumors with Genetic & Epigenetic Reprogramming of CAR-T cells

Gary Lee, Chief Scientific Officer, Lyell Immunopharma

11.20 Extending the Success of TIL Therapies in Solid Tumors – What we Have learned & Where do we go Next?

Parameswaran Hari, Senior Vice President Clinical Sciences, Iovance Biotherapeutics

11.40 Developing Customizable Multiplexed TCR Therapy to Treat a Wide Range of Patients with Cancers

Gavin MacBeath, Chief Scientific & Operations Officer, TScan Therapeutics

11:30 Roundtable: Evaluating the Synergistic Potential of Combination with Anti-PD1 & Other Frontline Treatments to Distinguish the Best Combination Approach

Amy Jensen-Smith, Senior Director, Head of Discovery Research, SOTIO Biotech










11.30 Engineering Solid Tumor T-Cell Therapies with Multi-Function Integrated Circuits Delivered by CRISPR Gene Editing

  •  Implementing site-specific integration of large transgene
    cassettes to increase design space and predictability of
    cell therapy programming
  • Providing dditional constitutive and antigen-inducible
    synthetic functions to increase drug potency
  • Harnessing logic gate targeting of tumor antigens to
    increase therapeutic index of higher potency drug designs

Aaron Cooper, Senior Director of Synthetic Biology, ArsenalBio

12.00 Q&A with the Modality Experts

  • Ask our cell and modality experts your burning questions

Debora Barton, Chief Medical Officer, Carisma

Lawrence Lamb, Chief Scientific Officer, IN8Bio

Gary Lee, Chief Scientific Officer, Lyell Immunopharma

Gavin MacBeath, Chief Scientific & Operations Officer, TScan Therapeutics

Parameswaran Hari, Senior Vice President Clinical Sciences, Iovance Biotherapeutics

12:30 Lunch & Networking

Learning from Previous Failures to Supercharge Safe & Efficacious Combination Investigations

Exploiting iPSC-Derived Therapies for the Next Wave of Cell Therapy

Implementing Adoptive Cell Therapy Strategy into Preclinical & Clinical Investigations

13:30 Engaging & Empowering the Innate Immune System: FLEX-NK™ Engager Antibodies & IPSC Derived NK Cells (iNKs)

  • Describing the structure and function of FLEX-NK engagers
  • Harnessing iNK function for the next generation of cell therapies
  • Leveraging the potential synergy of combination therapy

Stanley Frankel, Chief Medical Officer, Cytovia Therapeutics

13.30 Genetically Modifying iPSCs for Development of Universal Cell Therapy

  • Discussing the impact of timing duration and intensity of notch signaling on T-cell lineage commitment
  • Harnessing scaled iPSC-T differentiation
  • Optimizing process development in the era of big data

Christopher Bond, Vice President Preclinical & Translational Sciences, Notch Therapeutics

13.30 Developing & Validating a Multiplexing Approach for Co-Targeting Tumors

  • Summarizing a novel CAR Platform, a parallel (p)CAR, consisting of a CD-28-containing CAR and a 4-1BB containing chimeric co-stimulatory receptor
  • Demonstrating superior restimulation potential in vitro and superior efficacy in model systems
  • Exhibiting superior in vivo activity in a range of cell line and patient derived xenograft models when compared to linear CAR designs

Marc Davies, Vice President, CAR Engineering, Leucid Bio

14:00 Creating Effective Preclinical Models for Combination Studies in Cell Therapy

  • Elucidating the case for combining cell therapy with checkpoint molecules and other interventions
  • Building models to recapitulate key immunologic mechanisms underlying anti-cancer responses
  • Providing a case study of invariant natural killer cell therapy combos

Marc van Dijk, Chief Scientific Officer, MiNK Therapeutics

14.00 Leveraging mRNA Based Gene Editing to Optimize Advancement of Safe & Cost-Effective iPSC Products

  • Engineering stealthing edits and performance enhancements to iPSCs with mRNA-based gene edited tools for enhanced persistence and potency
  • Avoiding viral and DNA vectoring approaches and using a fusogenic lipid delivery system to add CARs safely
  • Expanding iPSCs to yield large numbers of allogeneic NK and T-cell therapies within short time frames for fast delivery to patients

Gregory Fiore,  Chief Executive Officer, Exacis Biotherapeutics

14.00 Lessons Learnt in Utilizing Cell Therapies To Target the Solid Tumor Environment

Practical and highly interactive breakout-style roundtables where attendees can crowd-source solutions and share their opinions around cell therapy combinations with frontline treatments. This is a valuable opportunity for you to voice your experiences and debate best practice while identifying unique solutions.

Marc Davies, Vice President, CAR Engineering, Leucid Bio

15:30 Networking

16:00 CAR-TCR Think Tank

Luis Borges, Chief Scientific Officer, Century Therapeutics

Adrian Bot, Chief Scientific Officer, Research & Development, Capstan Therapeutics

17:00 Diversity in CAR-TCR

Angela Justice, Chief People Officer, TCR2

Brad Hartman, Chief People Officer, Be Biopharma

Albeena Nisar, Scientific Officer, CAR-T Cell Therapy Centre & cGMP Cell Therapy Centre, Tata Memorial Centre Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research & Education in Cancer

Samik Basu, Chief Scientific Officer, Cabaletta Bio

Blythe Sather, Vice President, Head of Research, Tune Therapeutics

18:30 Ambassador Reception hosted by Precision Advance & Terumo BCT