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Archive for the ‘Metabolic Immuno-Oncology’ Category


2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for contributions to Cancer Immunotherapy to James P. Allison, Ph.D., of the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Dr. Allison shares the prize with Tasuku Honjo, M.D., Ph.D., of Kyoto University Institute, Japan

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

See

Immune System Stimulants: Articles of Note @pharmaceuticalintelligence.com

Curators: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/05/01/immune-system-stimulants-articles-of-note-pharmaceuticalintelligence-com/

 

Immune-Oncology Molecules In Development & Articles on Topic in @pharmaceuticalintelligence.com

Curators: Stephen J Williams, PhD and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/01/11/articles-on-immune-oncology-molecules-in-development-pharmaceuticalintelligence-com/

 

 

Monday, October 1, 2018

NIH grantees win 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to National Institutes of Health grantee James P. Allison, Ph.D., of the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. Dr. Allison shares the prize with Tasuku Honjo, M.D., Ph.D., of Kyoto University Institute, Japan, for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said, “by stimulating the inherent ability of our immune system to attack tumor cells this year’s Nobel Laureates have established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy.”

Dr. Allison discovered that a particular protein (CTLA-4) acts as a braking system, preventing full activation of the immune system when a cancer is emerging. By delivering an antibody that blocks that protein, Allison showed the brakes could be released. The discovery has led to important developments in cancer drugs called checkpoint inhibitors and dramatic responses to previously untreatable cancers. Dr. Honjo discovered a protein on immune cells and revealed that it also operates as a brake, but with a different mechanism of action.

“Jim’s work was pivotal for cancer therapy by enlisting our own immune systems to launch an attack on cancer and arrest its development,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “NIH is proud to have supported this groundbreaking research.”

Dr. Allison has received continuous funding from NIH since 1979, receiving more than $13.7 million primarily from NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

“This work has led to remarkably effective, sometime curative, therapy for patients with advanced cancer, who we were previously unable to help,” said NCI Director Ned Sharpless, M.D. “Their findings have ushered in the era of cancer immunotherapy, which along with surgery, radiation and cytotoxic chemotherapy, represents a ‘fourth modality’ for treating cancer. A further understanding of the biology underlying the immune system and cancer has the potential to help many more patients.”

“Dr. Allison’s elegant and groundbreaking work in basic immunology over four decades and its important applicability to cancer is a vivid demonstration of the critical nature of interdisciplinary biomedical research supported by NIH,” says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

SOURCE

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-grantees-win-2018-nobel-prize-physiology-or-medicine

 

Dr. Lev-Ari covered in person the following curated articles about James Allison, PhD since his days at University of California, Berkeley, including the prizes awarded prior to the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology.

 

2018 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research goes to NIH’s Dr. Rosenberg and fellow immunotherapy researchers James P. Allison, Ph.D., and Carl H. June, M.D.

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2018/08/15/2018-albany-medical-center-prize-in-medicine-and-biomedical-research-goes-to-nihs-dr-rosenberg-and-fellow-immunotherapy-researchers-james-p-allison-ph-d-and-carl-h-june-m-d/

 

Lectures by The 2017 Award Recipients of Warren Alpert Foundation Prize in Cancer Immunology, October 5, 2017, HMS, 77 Louis Paster, Boston

REAL TIME Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2017/09/08/lectures-by-the-2017-award-recipients-of-warren-alpert-foundation-prize-in-cancer-immunology-october-5-2017-hms-77-louis-paster-boston/

 

Cancer-free after immunotherapy treatment: Treating advanced colon cancer – targeting KRAS gene mutation by tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and Killer T-cells (NK)

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/12/08/cancer-free-after-immunotherapy-treatment-treating-advanced-colon-cancer-targeting-kras-gene-mutation-by-tumor-infiltrating-lymphocytes-tils-and-killer-t-cells-nk/

 

New Class of Immune System Stimulants: Cyclic Di-Nucleotides (CDN): Shrink Tumors and bolster Vaccines, re-arm the Immune System’s Natural Killer Cells, which attack Cancer Cells and Virus-infected Cells

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/04/24/new-class-of-immune-system-stimulants-cyclic-di-nucleotides-cdn-shrink-tumors-and-bolster-vaccines-re-arm-the-immune-systems-natural-killer-cells-which-attack-cancer-cells-and-virus-inf/

 

UC Berkeley research led to Nobel Prize-winning immunotherapy

Immunologist James P. Allison today shared the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for groundbreaking work he conducted on cancer immunotherapy at UC Berkeley during his 20 years as director of the campus’s Cancer Research Laboratory.

James Allison

James Allison, who for 20 years was a UC Berkeley immunologist conducting fundamental research on cancer, is now at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

Now at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Allison shared the award with Tasuku Honjo of Kyoto University in Japan “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.”

Allison, 70, conducted basic research on how the immune system – in particular, a cell called a T cell – fights infection. His discoveries led to a fundamentally new strategy for treating malignancies that unleashes the immune system to kill cancer cells. A monoclonal antibody therapy he pioneered was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011 to treat malignant melanoma, and spawned several related therapies now being used against lung, prostate and other cancers.

“Because this approach targets immune cells rather than specific tumors, it holds great promise to thwart diverse cancers,” the Lasker Foundation wrote when it awarded Allison its 2015 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award.

Allison’s work has already benefited thousands of people with advanced melanoma, a disease that used to be invariably fatal within a year or so of diagnosis. The therapy he conceived has resulted in elimination of cancer in a significant fraction of patients for a decade and counting, and it appears likely that many of these people are cured.

“Targeted therapies don’t cure cancer, but immunotherapy is curative, which is why many consider it the biggest advance in a generation,” Allison said in a 2015 interview. “Clearly, immunotherapy now has taken its place along with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation as a reliable and objective way to treat cancer.”

“We are thrilled to see Jim’s work recognized by the Nobel Committee,” said Russell Vance, the current director of the Cancer Research Laboratory and a UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology. “We congratulate him on this highly deserved honor. This award is a testament to the incredible impact that the fundamental research Jim conducted at Berkeley has had on the lives of cancer patients”

“I don’t know if I could have accomplished this work anywhere else than Berkeley,” Allison said. “There were a lot of smart people to work with, and it felt like we could do almost anything. I always tell people that it was one of the happiest times of my life, with the academic environment, the enthusiasm, the students, the faculty.”

In this video about UC Berkeley’s new Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Initiative (IVRI), Allison discusses his groundbreaking work on cancer immunotherapy.

In fact, Allison was instrumental in creating the research environment of the current Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley as well as the department’s division of immunology, in which he served stints as chair and division head during his time at Berkeley, said David Raulet, director of Berkeley’s Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Initiative (IVRI).

“His actions helped create the superb research environment here, which is so conducive to making the fundamental discoveries that will be the basis of the next generation of medical breakthroughs,” Raulet said.

Self vs. non-self

Allison joined the UC Berkeley faculty as a professor of molecular and cell biology and director of the Cancer Research Laboratory in 1985. An immunologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin, he focused on a type of immune system cell called the T cell or T lymphocyte, which plays a key role in fighting off bacterial and viral infections as well as cancer.

Supercharging the immune system to cure disease: immunotherapy research at UC Berkeley. (UC Berkeley video by Roxanne Makasdjian and Stephen McNally)

At the time, most doctors and scientists believed that the immune system could not be exploited to fight cancer, because cancer cells look too much like the body’s own cells, and any attack against cancer cells would risk killing normal cells and creating serious side effects.

“The community of cancer biologists was not convinced that you could even use the immune system to alter cancer’s outcome, because cancer was too much like self,” said Matthew “Max” Krummel, who was a graduate student and postdoctoral fellow with Allison in the 1990s and is now a professor of pathology and a member of the joint immunology group at UCSF. “The dogma at the time was, ‘Don’t even bother.’ ”

“What was heady about the moment was that we didn’t really listen to the dogma, we just did it,” Krummel added. Allison, in particular, was a bit “irreverent, but in a productive way. He didn’t suffer fools easily.” This attitude rubbed off on the team.

Trying everything they could in mice to tweak the immune system, Krummel and Allison soon found that a protein receptor called CTLA-4 seemed to be holding T cells back, like a brake in a car.

Postdoctoral fellow Dana Leach then stepped in to see if blocking the receptor would unleash the immune system to actually attack a cancerous tumor. In a landmark paper published in Science in 1996, Allison, Leach and Krummel showed not only that antibodies against CTLA-4 released the brake and allowed the immune system to attack the tumors, but that the technique was effective enough to result in long-term disappearance of the tumors.

“When Dana showed me the results, I was really surprised,” Allison said. “It wasn’t that the anti-CTLA-4 antibodies slowed the tumors down. The tumors went away.”

After Allison himself replicated the experiment, “that’s when I said, OK, we’ve got something here.”

Checkpoint blockade

The discovery led to a concept called “checkpoint blockade.” This holds that the immune system has many checkpoints designed to prevent it from attacking the body’s own cells, which can lead to autoimmune disease. As a result, while attempts to rev up the immune system are like stepping on the gas, they won’t be effective unless you also release the brakes.

Allison in 1993

James Allison in 1993, when he was conducting research at UC Berkeley on a promising immunotherapy now reaching fruition. (Jane Scherr photo)

“The temporary activation of the immune system though ‘checkpoint blockade’ provides a window of opportunity during which the immune system is mobilized to attack and eliminate tumors,” Vance said.

Allison spent the next few years amassing data in mice to show that anti-CTLA-4 antibodies work, and then, in collaboration with a biotech firm called Medarex, developed human antibodies that showed promise in early clinical trials against melanoma and other cancers. The therapy was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2011 and approved by the FDA as ipilimumab (trade name Yervoy), which is now used to treat skin cancers that have metastasized or that cannot be removed surgically.

Meanwhile, Allison left UC Berkeley in 2004 for Memorial Sloan Kettering research center in New York to be closer to the drug companies shepherding his therapy through clinical trials, and to explore in more detail how checkpoint blockade works.

“Berkeley was my favorite place, and if I could have stayed there, I would have,” he said. “But my research got to the point where all the animal work showed that checkpoint blockade had a lot of potential in people, and working with patients at Berkeley wasn’t possible. There’s no hospital, no patients.”

Thanks to Allison’s doggedness, anti-CTLA-4 therapy is now an accepted therapy for cancer and it opened the floodgates for a slew of new immunotherapies, Krummel said. There now are several hundred ongoing clinical trials involving monoclonal antibodies to one or more receptors that inhibit T cell activity, sometimes combined with lower doses of standard chemotherapy.

Antibodies against one such receptor, PD-1, which Honjo discovered in 1992, have given especially impressive results. Allison’s initial findings can be credited for prompting researchers, including Allison himself, to carry out the studies that have demonstrated the potent anti-cancer effects of PD-1 antibodies. In 2015, the FDA approved anti-PD-1 therapy for malignant melanoma, and has since approved it for non-small-cell lung, gastric and several other cancers.

Science magazine named cancer immunotherapy its breakthrough of 2013 because that year, “clinical trials … cemented its potential in patients and swayed even the skeptics. The field hums with stories of lives extended: the woman with a grapefruit-size tumor in her lung from melanoma, alive and healthy 13 years later; the 6-year-old near death from leukemia, now in third grade and in remission; the man with metastatic kidney cancer whose disease continued fading away even after treatment stopped.”

Allison pursued more clinical trials for immunotherapy at Sloan-Kettering and then in 2012 returned to his native Texas.

Born in Alice, Texas, on Aug. 7, 1948, Allison earned a B.S. in microbiology in 1969 and a Ph.D. in biological science in 1973 from the University of Texas, Austin.

RELATED INFORMATION

SOURCE

http://news.berkeley.edu/2018/10/01/uc-berkeley-research-led-to-nobel-prize-winning-immunotherapy/

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Original Tweets Re-Tweets and Likes by @pharma_BI and @AVIVA1950 at #kisymposium for 17th annual Summer Symposium: Breakthrough Cancer Nanotechnologies: Koch Institute, MIT Kresge Auditorium, June 15, 2018, 9AM-4PM

 

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Reporter and Curator: Dr. Sudipta Saha, Ph.D.

 

A mutated gene called RAS gives rise to a signalling protein Ral which is involved in tumour growth in the bladder. Many researchers tried and failed to target and stop this wayward gene. Signalling proteins such as Ral usually shift between active and inactive states.

 

So, researchers next tried to stop Ral to get into active state. In inacvtive state Ral exposes a pocket which gets closed when active. After five years, the researchers found a small molecule dubbed BQU57 that can wedge itself into the pocket to prevent Ral from closing and becoming active. Now, BQU57 has been licensed for further development.

 

Researchers have a growing genetic data on bladder cancer, some of which threaten to overturn the supposed causes of bladder cancer. Genetics has also allowed bladder cancer to be reclassified from two categories into five distinct subtypes, each with different characteristics and weak spots. All these advances bode well for drug development and for improved diagnosis and prognosis.

 

Among the groups studying the genetics of bladder cancer are two large international teams: Uromol (named for urology and molecular biology), which is based at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), based at institutions in Texas and Boston. Each team tackled a different type of cancer, based on the traditional classification of whether or not a tumour has grown into the muscle wall of the bladder. Uromol worked on the more common, earlier form, non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer, whereas TCGA is looking at muscle-invasive bladder cancer, which has a lower survival rate.

 

The Uromol team sought to identify people whose non-invasive tumours might return after treatment, becoming invasive or even metastatic. Bladder cancer has a high risk of recurrence, so people whose non-invasive cancer has been treated need to be monitored for many years, undergoing cystoscopy every few months. They looked for predictive genetic footprints in the transcriptome of the cancer, which contains all of a cell’s RNA and can tell researchers which genes are turned on or off.

 

They found three subgroups with distinct basal and luminal features, as proposed by other groups, each with different clinical outcomes in early-stage bladder cancer. These features sort bladder cancer into genetic categories that can help predict whether the cancer will return. The researchers also identified mutations that are linked to tumour progression. Mutations in the so-called APOBEC genes, which code for enzymes that modify RNA or DNA molecules. This effect could lead to cancer and cause it to be aggressive.

 

The second major research group, TCGA, led by the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute, that involves thousands of researchers across USA. The project has already mapped genomic changes in 33 cancer types, including breast, skin and lung cancers. The TCGA researchers, who study muscle-invasive bladder cancer, have looked at tumours that were already identified as fast-growing and invasive.

 

The work by Uromol, TCGA and other labs has provided a clearer view of the genetic landscape of early- and late-stage bladder cancer. There are five subtypes for the muscle-invasive form: luminal, luminal–papillary, luminal–infiltrated, basal–squamous, and neuronal, each of which is genetically distinct and might require different therapeutic approaches.

 

Bladder cancer has the third-highest mutation rate of any cancer, behind only lung cancer and melanoma. The TCGA team has confirmed Uromol research showing that most bladder-cancer mutations occur in the APOBEC genes. It is not yet clear why APOBEC mutations are so common in bladder cancer, but studies of the mutations have yielded one startling implication. The APOBEC enzyme causes mutations early during the development of bladder cancer, and independent of cigarette smoke or other known exposures.

 

The TCGA researchers found a subset of bladder-cancer patients, those with the greatest number of APOBEC mutations, had an extremely high five-year survival rate of about 75%. Other patients with fewer APOBEC mutations fared less well which is pretty surprising.

 

This detailed knowledge of bladder-cancer genetics may help to pinpoint the specific vulnerabilities of cancer cells in different people. Over the past decade, Broad Institute researchers have identified more than 760 genes that cancer needs to grow and survive. Their genetic map might take another ten years to finish, but it will list every genetic vulnerability that can be exploited. The goal of cancer precision medicine is to take the patient’s tumour and decode the genetics, so the clinician can make a decision based on that information.

 

References:

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29117162

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27321955

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28583312

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24476821

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28988769

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28753430

 

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CHI’s 5th ImmunoModulatory Therapeutic Antibodies for Cancer Conference, August 28-29, 2017 Sheraton Boston Hotel | Boston, MA

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

ANNOUNCEMENT

Leaders in Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence (LPBI) Group will cover the event in

REAL TIME

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN will be streaming live from the floor of the Sheraton Hotel in Boston on August 28 and August 29, 2017

@pharma_BI

@AVIVA1950

 

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 5th Annual

Immunomodulatory Therapeutic Antibodies for Cancer

Scientific Strategies for Discovering and Developing Novel Immunotherapies and Agents to Improve the Efficacy and Toxicology Profiles of T Cell-Targeted Biotherapeutics
August 28-29, 2017 Sheraton Boston Hotel | Boston, MA

http://www.immuno-oncologysummit.com/Immunomodulatory-Antibodies-Cancer/

 

MONDAY, AUGUST 28

7:30 am Registration & Morning Coffee

8:25 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Yan Qu, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Pfizer

 

8:30 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Enabling Effective Immuno-Oncology

Greg_AdamsGregory Adams, Ph.D., CSO, Eleven Biotherapeutics

Checkpoint inhibitors and other immune-oncology agents have shown significant promise in the treatment of a variety of cancers. However, many of these agents are only effective when an existing host immune response has already been induced by other therapeutic approaches. I will discuss strategies that may be used to effectively set the stage for immune-oncology treatments including Eleven BioTherapeutics’ Targeted Protein Therapeutics.

9:00 Immunomodulatory Antibodies – Potentiation by Fc Receptor Engagement

Rony_DahanRony Dahan, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel

Immunomodulatory mAbs are revolutionizing cancer treatment due to their clinical effective stimulation of therapeutic anti-cancer immunity. Recent studies demonstrated the importance of the Fc domain of these types of mAbs. Their optimal activity can be critically depended on their ability to engage defined FcgR pathways. I will discuss our recent characterization of these FcgR-dependent mechanisms, and how they can be exploited for introducing second generation Fc-optimized immunomodulatory mAbs.

TD2 tagline9:30 Coffee Break

 

MECHANISMS OF ACTION

10:00 The Role of Metabolism in Immune Response in Tumors: Merging the Past and the Present of Tumor Microenvironment

Allison_BetofAllison S. Betof, M.D., Ph.D., Medical Oncology Fellow, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Tumors are not simply collections of cancer cells that arise in a vacuum; they are instead complex structures composed of blood vessels, immune cells, and other supporting structures that interact, consume oxygen and other nutrients, and produce waste. Tumor metabolism has long been viewed as a therapeutic target. I will discuss recent data on how metabolism influences immunobiology and our group’s approach to harness these interactions to improve therapeutic outcomes.

10:30 PI3Kgamma Is a Molecular Switch that Controls Immune Suppression

Megan_KanedaMegan M. Kaneda, Ph.D., Assistant Project Scientist, University of California, San Diego

Macrophages play critical but opposite roles in inflammation and cancer. We have found that the predominant isoform of PI3K in myeloid cells, PI3Kgamma, controls the switch between immune stimulation and immune suppression. Inhibition of macrophage PI3Kgamma activity promotes an immunostimulatory transcriptional program that restores CD8+ T cell activation and cytotoxicity and synergizes with checkpoint inhibitor therapy to promote tumor regression and extend survival in mouse models of cancer.

11:00 Avelumab (hIgG1 Anti-human PD-L1) Mediates the anti-Tumor Efficacy via Multiple Pathways in Preclinical Models

Yan_QuYan Qu, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Pfizer

Analysis of PD-L1 expression on various immune subpopulations in human patient samples showed that PD-L1 is enriched on non-T cells. In tumor-bearing mice, the percentage of splenic NK cells was increased with WT avelumab treatment but not with the Fc isotype variant. Avelumab-induced tumor shrinkage, tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cell increase, and tumor PD-L1+ immature myeloid cell decrease appear to require NK cells, as such changes were abolished upon NK depletion.

ProImmune11:30 Epitope Identification and Clinical Immune Monitoring in Immune Oncology Programs

Emilee KnowltonEmilee Knowlton, Ph.D., Immunology Sales Specialist, ProImmune

 

12:00 pm Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

12:30 Session Break

TARGET DISCOVERY FOR NEXT GENERATION IMMUNOTHERAPIES

1:25 Chairperson’s Remarks

Stephen Beers, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Southampton, United Kingdom

1:30 Functional Characterization of Macaque Fcr and IgG Subtypes

Margie Ackerman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Engineering, Dartmouth College

A number of antibody therapies rely on Fc receptor (FcR)-mediated effector functions for optimal activity, prompting the need to understand how native and IgG domains engineered to differentially bind to the human receptors translate in non-human primate (NHP) models. We report characterization of the affinity between an IgG Fc variant panel (including subclass, Fc mutants and glycosylation) and major human and rhesus FcR allotypic variants.

2:00 Utilizing Patient-Derived Organoids and High-Content Imaging for Screening and Characterization of Bispecific Antibodies

Mark_ThrosbyMark Throsby, Ph.D., EVP & CSO, Merus N.V., The Netherlands

This presentation will provide a case study on how panels of patient-derived organoids grown ex-vivo in 3D culture combined with high-content imaging can be applied to bispecific antibody screening. Lead candidate bispecifics were selected targeting the wnt pathway with novel modes of action including immunomodulation.

 

2:30 Discovery and Development Strategies for New Small Molecule Immunotherapies

Nicola_WallisNicola Wallis, Ph.D., Senior Director, Biology, Astex Therapeutics, Ltd.

Small molecules are of interest as immunotherapies as both single agent and combinations, offering the possibility of modulating different aspects of the immune system to biologics. We are exploring targeting a number of different immunomodulatory mechanisms with small molecules derived using fragment-based drug design and will describe examples in this presentation.

TD2 tagline3:00 Refreshment Break

 

IMMUNE SYSTEM PRIMING AND ACTIVATION

3:30 STING Adjuvants for Immune System Priming for Antibody Therapy

Stephen_BeersStephen Beers, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Southampton, United Kingdom

Successful tumor-targeting antibody approaches appear to rely predominantly on the effector function of Fcγ receptor (FcγR) expressing macrophages. Unfortunately, tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) are frequently poorly cytotoxic, contribute to immune suppression and have suboptimal FcγR expression making treatment less effective. Here we show that STING agonists are able to overcome immunosuppression in the tumour microenvironment effectively reversing the TAM inhibitory FcγR profile and provided strong adjuvant effects to antibody therapy.

4:00 Next-Generation Cancer Vaccines

Daniel_LeveyDaniel L. Levey, Ph.D., Senior Director, Vaccine Research, Agenus

Agenus is advancing two fully synthetic cancer vaccine platforms. The first is based on identification of mutations encoded in the tumor genome while the second relates to a novel class of tumor specific neo-epitopes arising from inappropriate phosphorylation of various proteins in malignant cells. The platforms support the manufacture of both individualized and off-the-shelf cancer vaccines against a range of tumor antigens, increasing the likelihood of immune recognition of tumors.

4:30 Oral T Cell Vaccines Targeting Immune Organs of the Gut for Generating Systemic Antigen Specific T Cells

Marc_MansourMarc Mansour, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer, Vaximm AG

We use attenuated Salmonella typhi Ty21 as a vector to deliver a plasmid encoding antigens of interest via the oral route to Peyer’s patches. The bacteria have built in adjuvant properties and induce cross presentation to produce a systemic T cell response. Monotherapy with a candidate targeting VEGFR2 produced clinical responses in GBM, highlighting the unique properties of this T cell vaccine approach.

5:00 End of Day

 

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 29

7:25 am Breakout Discussion Groups with Continental Breakfast

Join a breakout discussion group. These are informal, moderated discussions with brainstorming and interactive problem solving, allowing participants from diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas and experiences and develop future collaborations around a focused topic. Details on the topics and moderators are below.

New Understandings of the Mechanisms of Action for Immunomodulatory Antibodies

Moderator: Stephen Beers, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Southampton, United Kingdom

  • What are we learning about MOA from clinical trial data?
  • Optimizing MOA in next generation immunomodulators
  • The role of effector and receptor engagement
  • MOA and bispecific antibody design
  • Overcoming resistance mechanisms

Target Discovery for Next Generation Immunotherapies

Marc Mansour, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer, Vaximm AG

  • Tumor antigen identification: strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies
  • Drugable IO targets- using macromolecules versus small molecule
  • Novel targets in the tumor microenvironment

NON-RESPONDERS, SIDE EFFECTS AND TOXICOLOGY

8:25 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Adam J. Adler, Ph.D., Professor, Immunology, University of Connecticut

8:30 Cancer Immunotherapy with Live-attenuated, Double Deleted Listeria Monocytogenes (LADD) Combination Strategies for the Treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Chan_WhitingChan C. Whiting, Ph.D., Director, Immune Monitoring and Biomarker Development, Aduro Biotech

We are advancing CRS-207, a clinical LADD strain engineered to express mesothelin, in combinations with various modalities for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma.  Data from a Phase 1b study combining CRS-207 with standard chemotherapy demonstrating encouraging clinical and immune responses will be discussed.  An overview of the Phase 2 study design and progress of the CRS-207/Pembrolizumab combination study will also be highlighted.

9:00 Tumor and Class-Specific Patterns of Immune-Related Adverse Events of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: A Systematic Review

Aaron_HansenAaron Hansen, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto; Medical Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Center

Through a systematic review, we identified distinct immune related adverse event (irAE) profiles based on tumor type and immune checkpoint inhibitor class (CTLA-4 and PD-1). CTLA-4 inhibitors have a higher frequency of grade 3/4 irAEs. Furthermore, for patients treated with PD-1 inhibitors, those with melanoma had a higher frequency of gastrointestinal and skin irAEs, and lower rate of pneumonitis compared with patients with NSCLC and RCC. Different immune microenvironments may drive histology-specific irAE patterns.

PROTEIN ENGINEERING

9:30 Combination Therapy with PD-1 Blockade Enhances the Antitumor Potency of T Cells Redirected by Novel Bispecific Antibodies

Ken_ChangKen Chang, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Development, Immunomedics

Novel bispecific antibodies that bind bivalently to tumor antigens and monovalently to CD3 can redirect T cells to kill Trop-2- or CEACAM5-expressing solid cancer cells grown in monolayer cultures at low picomolar concentrations. The antitumor efficacy was demonstrated also in a humanized mouse model and in 3D spheroids generated with cells from TNBC and colonic cancers. Combining anti-PD-1 increased cell death in 3D spheroids and prolonged survival of tumor-bearing animals.

MaxCyte no tagline10:00 Accelerated Production of Immunomodulatory Therapeutic Antibodies & Bispecific Molecules Using Scalable Cell Engineering

James_BradyJames Brady, Ph.D., Vice President, Technical Applications & Customer Support, MaxCyte

Antibodies and antibody-like molecules are a proven means of modulating effective anti-tumor immune responses. MaxCyte’s delivery platform facilitates rapid, fully scalable, high quality transient protein production in the cell line-of-choice, as well as streamlined stable pool and cell line generation enabling accelerated development of relevant immunomodulatory candidates. Case studies will illustrate the identification and development of antibodies, tribodies & bi-specific T cell engaging molecules (BiTEs) using the MaxCyte platform.

10:30 Grand Opening Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

11:15 A Novel, Dual-Specific Antibody Conjugate Targeting CD134 and CD137 Costimulates T Cells and Elicits Antitumor Immunity

Adam_AdlerAdam J. Adler, Ph.D., Professor, Immunology, University of Connecticut

Combining agonists to different costimulatory receptors can be more effective in controlling tumors compared to individual agonists, but presents logistical challenges and increases the potential for adverse events. We developed a novel immunotherapeutic agent by fusing agonists to CD134 and CD137 into a single biologic, OrthomAb, that potentiates cytokine secretion from TCR-stimulated T cells more potently than non-conjugated CD134 + CD137 agonists in vitro, and reduces tumor growth in vivo.

11:45 Targeted Tissue Delivery Using Caveolae Technology Improves Drug Efficacy

Ruchi_GuptaRuchi Gupta, Ph.D., Team Lead Scientist, MedImmune

Current biotherapeutics focus on the molecular targets expressed on cells/tumors. However, less than 10% of the IV administrated biologics can reach the diseased tissues. Tissue targeting using caveolae proteins can allow for specific delivery to organs of interest. This talk will focus on caveolae technology that shows specific delivery to lungs and kidneys and improves drug efficacy. This targeting holds potential for several diseases including fibrosis, COPD, Infections as well as tumors.

12:15 pm Close of Immunomodulatory Therapeutic Antibodies for Cancer

 

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Agios Pharmaceuticals target the metabolism of cancer cells for making drugs that essentially try to repair cancer cells

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

A small biotech behind a groundbreaking approach to tackling cancer just got its first drug approved

http://www.businessinsider.com/fda-approves-agios-pharmaceuticals-drug-targeting-cancer-cell-metabolism-2017-8

See

Cancer Metabolism

http://www.agios.com/research/cancer-metabolism/

Metabolic Immuno-Oncology

http://www.agios.com/research/metabolic-immuno-oncology/

 

 

The VOICE of Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP

Cancer cells didn’t need as much oxygen to metabolize sugar as normal cells. 

Not correct. Cancer cells metabolize glucose by aerobic glycolysis (4 ATP) with an impaired mitochondrial oxygen utilization (36 ATP). 

There is a reverse Warburg effect in which the underlying stromal cell carries out crosstalk with the epithelial cell. 

There is also a 3rd dimension. Cells undergo a series of adaptive changes tied to proteostasis. This involves the sulfur amino acid cysteine and disulfide bonds, which is involved with protein oligomerization in the ER, and also signaling in the mitochondria with mDNA and the nucleus. 

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