Focus Day

Challenges & Opportunities For Neoantigen Cell-Based Therapy

Tuesday 13 April - 10.00am - 15.00pm 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

  • Alena Gros Principal Investigator, Tumor Immunology & Immunotherapy, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (V.H.I.O)


  • 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

  • Pia Kvistborg Junior group leader, Department of Immunology , The Netherlands Cancer Institute


  • 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 & Speed Networking

11:40 am Engineered T cells for the Treatment of Malignancy

  • Jennie Lill Senior Director of Proteomics & NGS, Genentech


  • 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.

12:10 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.

12.50 pm Lunch

1:50 pm Audience discussion


This session is designed for you to work in groups to network and collaborate with delegates from different companies to share
your insights and overcome common challenges in the field.

  • Looking to the future – How do we develop a strategy for combining cancer vaccines with T-cell therapies to enhance efficacy of treatment?
  • Where do the challenges lie in targeting shared neoantigens for TCR based off the-shelf immunotherapy?
  • How can we overcome clinical and logistical challenges in neoantigen based TCR therapy?

2:50 pm Closing Remarks

3:00 pm End of Focus Day