Focus Day

Challenges & Opportunities For Neoantigen Cell-Based Therapy

Tuesday 20 April - 10.00am - 4.00pm CEST

This focus day aims to delve deep into the promise, the progress and the pitfalls related to weaponising
neoantigen cell-based immunotherapies.

Much of the neoantigen field is dominated by efforts towards personalised vaccines; this session is solely focused on the challenges and opportunities related to neoantigen cell-based therapy.

10:00 am Chairs Opening Remarks


  • Setting the scene: Why choose personalised cell therapy over personalised vaccines?
  • Quick introduction as to why neoantigen cell therapy is behind neoantigen vaccine development in terms of number of active clinical trials
  • Why pioneers in this space believe that cell therapy will soon surpass vaccines

10:10 am Novel Strategies to Improve Personalized Neoantigen Discovery


  • Development of novel personalized T cell therapies for cancer treatment
  • Optimizing neoantigen discovery: novel strategy to preselect candidate neoantigens; comparison of tandem minigene screens and peptide pool screens for neoantigen identification
  • Identification of tumor-infiltrating and peripheral blood T cell subsets enriched for neoantigen recognition

10:40 am Delving into the Properties of T-Cell Recognized Neoantigens


  • Leveraging an in-silico prediction pipeline
  • Identifying T cell recognized neoantigens
  • Elucidating properties that may lead to T cell recognition
  • How can we use this platform to help predict immunogenicity

11:10 am Morning Refreshments

11:40 am Leveraging the experience from development of individualized cancer vaccines to vaccines against infectious diseases, including pandemics using the Vaccibody platform technology


Targeting antigens to antigen presenting cells to generate more rapid, strong, broad and long-lasting responses

Transferability of manufacturing considerations

Weighing the importance of humoral versus cellular responses, including choice of antigens

12:10 pm Computational Design of a Global Peptide-based COVID-19 vaccine for Variable Viral Strains and Variable Human Genetics


• Validated strategy to optimize vaccines for individuals and populations instead of distinct HLA alleles, using in silico clinical
trials of real subjects
• Safety and immunogenicity of PolyPEPI-SCoV-2 in 2 mouse models
• How a cocktail of 9 peptides mimics the diversity of T cell responses induced by natural SARS-CoV-2 infection
• Extrapolation of findings in COVID-19 convalescent subjects to 16,000 HLA-genotyped subjects with 16 different ethnicities

12.50 pm Lunch

1:50 pm Building on Experience: A T cell epitope-driven COVID-19 Vaccine using the iVAX Platform


• Fast, safe, and effective: T cell epitope driven vaccines
• Power of iVAX toolkit and Rationale for pivot to COVID-19
• Current Plans for safety and immunogenicity studies

2:20 pm FLOVID-20: A Targeted T-cell Immunotherapy for COVID-19 using a Nebulizer



Microsphere technology encapsulates peptides and adjuvant for inhaled delivery to stimulate the immune system towards SARS-CoV-2.

Non-human primates vaccinated via inhalation were shown to have an immune response towards SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein, leading to protection against COVID-19.


2:50 pm Designing Best in Class TCR Cell Therapies Against Novel Antigens


  • Identifying the nuances of neoantigen TCR-based therapies to allow acceleration to the clinic
  • Importance of diversity for identifying first in class targets and best in class T cell receptors while minimizing off-target toxicity
  • Characterizing T cell receptors with the ideal binding profile.
  • Utilization of a mass spectrometry independent yeast display platform that leverages in silico based prediction models to de-risk T cell receptor cell therapies.

3:20 pm Engineered T cells for the Treatment of Malignancy


  • Challenges with current therapeutic modalities, and why engineered T cell therapeutics are an attractive option.
  • Challenges and improvements to in silico based prediction methods for selecting epitopes for generating TCRs against.
  • Current strategy for selecting epitopes for engineering T cells against using a combination of biochemical and mass spectrometric approaches.

3:50 pm Closing Remarks

4:00 pm End of Focus Day