Focus Day

Tuesday, April 13th 2021

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.

9:00 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

9:10 am Novel Approaches for More Effective Neoantigen Identification

  • Alena Gros Principal Investigator, Tumor Immunology & Immunotherapy, Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology


• Development of novel personalised T cell therapies for cancer treatment
• Optimizing neoantigen discovery: Identifying neoantigens, isolating T-cell subsets
• Identification of neoantigen-specific TCRs
• Combining tandem minigene screens and peptide pool screens for neoantigen identification

9:40 am Delving into the Properties of T-Cell Recognised 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

10:10 am Leveraging Neoantigens for Personalised TCR Gene Therapy


• Characterising NEON antigen reactivity in TIL products and in blood of treated patients
• How TCR gene therapy compares to TIL therapy
• Developing a neoantigen directed T cell products: a new generation of personalized T cell therapy

10:40 am Morning Refreshments and 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

12:20 pm Designing Best in Class TCR Cell Therapies Against Novel Antigens

  • Luke Lee CEO, Co-Founder, 3T Biosciences


• 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 Networking Lunch

1:50 pm Accelerating Neoantigen Based TCR Therapy to the Clinic


• Identifying the nuances of neoantigen TCR-based therapies to allow acceleration to the clinic
• Progressing past challenges in clinical development for the next generation TCR therapy
• Ensuring safety and efficacy of treatments in vivo
• Highlighting the importance of end-to-end immune monitoring from pre-clinical to clinical stages
• Reflecting on the powerful potential of neoantigen based TCR therapy

2:20 pm Learning from the Past and the CAR-T Cell Therapy Field – A Regulatory Perspective

  • Carla Herberts Senior Clinical Assessor & CAT member, Medicines Evaluation Board


• Chimeric T cell receptors have been around for a long time, but only relatively recently they have proven to be effective against
haematological malignancies. What has happened?
• Autologous products have inherent variability, and are patient-specific. How can this be captured into one product/registration?
• Challenges and future perspective in the CAR-T cell field

2:50 pm Roundtable Discussions:

Assessing combinatorial approaches to successful personalized T-cell therapy

Identifying where the challenges lie in targeting shared neoantigens for TCR based off the-shelf immunotherapy

How can we overcome clinical & logistical challenges in neoantigen based TCR therapy

3:30 pm End of Focus Day