The PMWC 2020 Immunotherapy Showcase will provide a 15-minute time slot for selected immunotherapy companies to present their latest technologies and advancements to an audience of leading investors, potential clients, and partners. We will hear from companies building new cell-based immunotherapies, work in the growing area of cancer vaccines, that help understand the relevance of the tumor microenvironment, accelerate the patient selection process, or otherwise work towards overcoming to challenges related to therapeutic discovery.
Confirmed Presenting Companies:
Dr. Ostertag directed Poseida’s spin out from Transposagen in February 2015 and has served as our chief executive officer and as a member of our board of directors since May 2015. From October 2003 to July 2015, Dr. Ostertag founded and served as the chief executive officer and president of Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company that commercializes early gene editing technology in the research reagent space. Dr. Ostertag previously co-founded and served as chief executive officer and president of Vindico NanoBioTechnology, Inc., a biotechnology company engaged in the discovery, development, and commercialization of human therapeutics that are based on a nanometer-scale particulate technology. Dr. Ostertag also co-founded and served as executive vice president of PhenoTech, Inc., a biotechnology company engaged in the discovery, development, and commercialization of reagents for diagnostic use in blood banks.
A Novel Approach To CAR-T Therapy
CART Therapeutics comprised of a high percentage of stem cell memory T cells exhibit unique properties that could potentially solve most of the limitations of early-generation CART products, including significant toxicities, historically poor efficacy against solid tumors, and high costs.
Dr. Lim is a co-founder of Xcellbio and is currently leading the company’s effort in the development of an advanced primary cell culture and analytics platform. Focused on technologies that enable therapeutic drug development, Dr. Lim is the inventor of the AVATAR cell control system. This IP protected system allows researchers to study primary cells under a diverse range of microenvironments found in the human body. Applications that utilize discrete pressure and oxygen settings were developed by Dr. Lim’s group to expand rare cell types (circulating tumor cells, cancer stem cells), enhance iPSC differentiation into neurons, and predict CAR-T efficacy utilizing autologous model systems. Dr. Lim received his B.Sc. In Cell Biology from McGill University, and his Ph.D. in Biophysics from The Scripps Research Institute. He conducted his post-doctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and launched Xcellbio while working as a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Xcellbio is a provider of advanced primary cell expansion and analytical technologies.
Advancing Drug Development Through Microenvironment Mimicry
Current approaches to drug development do not incorporate the impact of the tumor microenvironment, a critical parameter that dictates both cellular behavior and drug efficacy. Development of screening platforms that effectively model the human microenvironment can revolutionize early drug discovery.
Dr. Pirouz M Daftarian is a cellular and molecular immunologist with 20-year experience in Immuno-Oncology and vaccinology. Pirouz has shepherded R&D operations in biotech companies, and academia, acted as DOD and NIH intramural panel reviewer, and is the principal inventor of several IO related regular patents. He has authored more than 60 peer reviewed papers. Pirouz completed his PhD in the Ottawa University, his postdoctoral training in the City of Hope National Medical Centre. Prior to JSR Life Sciences, he has served as a faculty in the University of Dalhousie and Miller School of Medicine University of Miami, and in industry, NGM Biopharmaceutical, Immunovaccine, and Nanovax (as a co-founder). Dr. Daftarian is currently working as the Applications Senior Manager in MBL International leading a team of scientists to develop research tools for shortening the process of R&D and biomarkers for the development of immunotherapeutic and vaccines.
JSR Life Sciences
JSR Life Sciences, and its affiliates, MBL Japan, MBLI, CrownBio, KBI, and Selexis aim to improve R&D and to shorten the drug development process.
In vitro T cell Dysfunction / Exhaustion-Like Assays For Functional Characterization And/Or Screening Of Immunomodulatory Candidate Drugs
Dr. Liu founded several biotech startups and Angarus Therapeutics. He helps academic researchers to advance their research work into commercial product development. His contribution to these endeavors by providing the initial funding to jump-start the process, working with the scientific co-founders to transfer their research into commercial entities through a licensing agreement with their institutes, hiring outside experts to manage intellectual property protections, recruiting company’s executives, raising the first round of funding and initiating clinical programs.
Angarus Therapeutics is developing checkpoint inhibitors in the innate immunity STING pathway. Our animal cancer models data demonstrate that a combination of checkpoint blockers, both innate and adaptive, leads to long term survival.
Development Of An Innate Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor
We created novel inhibiting molecules of ENPP1 (ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1), demonstrated that these molecules have anti-tumor activity as monotherapy or in combination with a second agent in animal cancer models, including triple negative breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, neuroblastoma, and colon cancer.
With more than fifteen years of experience in drug discovery and preclinical drug development for small molecules and antibodies, Dr. Duramad oversees BryoLogyx’s preclinical pathway in immuno-oncology. Additionally, Dr. Duramad is Founder of IQ Biosciences where he oversees IQ’s In-vitro Assay Services (Testing, Safety, Toxicology, & Immunology). Previously, Dr. Duramad held positions of increasing responsibility at REGiMMUNE, IGM Biosciences, Neothera Biosciences, and Dynavax Technologies. An immunologist by training, Dr. Duramad has received several awards such as the Schissler Foundation Fellowship in Cancer Research, American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship for Cancer Research, and the Vivian L. Smith Award for Outstanding Immunologist and has been an invited speaker at conferences such as Keystone Symposia, American Society of Hematology, and American Transplant Congress. Dr. Duramad obtained Ph.D. in Immunology & Cancer Biology from the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Making Tumors Hot: Tumor-antigen stimulating drugs to enhance the efficacy of cancer immuno-therapeutics.
Expanding The Horizon Of Immuno-Oncology
We will show how we are addressing antigen escape and why we believe our efforts will have a significant impact on increasing immunotherapy response rates and durable responses for cancer patients.
Ray Takigiku is the founder of Bexion Pharmaceuticals, an oncology-focused company with a novel compound in clinical development for solid tumors, including glioblastoma multiforme, a deadly form of brain cancer; and potential for other rare tumors. Ray is an entrepreneurial life scientist with over 30 years of experience in the discovery, development, and market support of innovative pharmaceuticals. At P&G Pharmaceuticals, Ray was on the leadership team behind the blockbuster Actonel. After leaving P&G, Ray joined SIDIS Global, an investment and management firm creating cutting edge bio-instrumentation and next generation medical devices.
Bexion is clinical stage, oncology-focused company with an innovative pipeline-in-a-product asset.
Safety And Pharmacokinetics Of BXQ-350 In A Phase 1a And 1b Trial Of Solid Tumors And High-Grade Glioma
Bexion believes that combining current approaches with novel, innovative therapeutics will create new avenues of stopping disease progression and prolonging patient lives. Key to these innovative therapeutics will be strong safety profiles, and demonstrated tumor targeting properties.
Vicki Plaks is a Principal Scientist, Department of Translational Medicine at Kite, A Gilead Company. Vicki is supporting the development of CAR-T therapeutics in B cell malignancies. As a Translational Lead to various clinical programs, Vicki is focusing on clinical pharmacology, biomarker strategies and reverse translation efforts to expand YESCARTA into new indications and facilitate next-generation programs as well as understanding mechanisms of CAR-T related toxicities. Prior to Kite, Vicki had worked at Genentech, where she gained experience in supporting cancer immunotherapy antibody drug development, while leading bioanalysis, circulating biomarker strategies and assay development for solid tumors. From her time as a postdoc and Assistant Adjunct Prof at UCSF, Vicki gained extensive expertise in leading pre-clinical targeted cancer drug discovery research for breast cancer. She focused on tumor-stromal immunobiology and cancer stem cell signaling. Thus far, Vicki published numerous (29) first author, senior author, and collaborative peer-reviewed publications.
Kite, A Gilead Company is focused on curative cell therapies for hard-to-treat cancers.
Biomarkers Associated With Clinical Outcomes Supporting Approval of YESCARTA®
YESCARTA® is a CAR-T therapy that was approved by the US FDA and European Commission for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed/refractory large B cell lymphoma after ≥ 2 lines of systemic therapy. Three-year data for the pivotal ZUMA-1 trial indicates 47% Overall Survival rate. This presentation will review key biomarkers that supported the approval, yielding a mechanistic model of efficacy, toxicities and resistance.
Lee Kozakiewicz Rafsky, Ph.D. is an immunologist by training and is currently serving as the Medical Science Liaison at Jounce Therapeutics, a Cambridge-based biotech company focusing on the early stage development of new medicines for immuno-oncology. Before joining Jounce, she served as Medical Science Liaison at various pharmaceutical companies, including AbbVie Pharmaceuticals, Allergan plc, and Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, where she supported medical affairs activities for various commercialized therapies and drug launches. Prior to becoming an MSL, she earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she studied the role of B cells and the humoral response during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and BCG vaccination. Following completion of her doctoral defense, Lee did a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai School, where her research focused on myeloid derived suppressor cell-mediated suppression of antitumor T cell immune responses. She holds a B.A. in Biology from Colby College.
Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company dedicated to transforming the treatment of cancer by developing therapies that enable the immune system to attack tumors and provide long lasting benefits to patients through a biomarker-driven approach.