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8:00 am

Registration & Welcome Coffee

8:50 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

Translational Models for Novel Immunotherapies

9:00 am In vitro platform to visualize and quantify effects of immunotherapies in a physiologically relevant 3D TME model


  • Combining physiological relevance, assay robustness and reproducibility.
  • Recapitulating tumor micro-environment and its complex interactions between all the different cellular players.
  • Obtaining functional read-outs such as migration of immune cells towards tumoroids, infiltration into the tumoroids and their killing.
  • Better understanding of the immune-modulatory profile of IO drugs.

9:30 am Assessing Tumour Localized 4-1BB Stimulation for Cancer Immunotherapy

  • Thomas Jaquin Principle Scientist & In Vivo Team Leader , Pieris


  • Overcoming 1st generation 4-1BB agonist safety and efficacy drawbacks with a 4-1BB/PD-L1 bispecific Anticalin® protein/mAb fusion protein
  • Harnessing 4-1BB localized activity in the TME, while also offering the benefit of checkpoint inhibition
  • Preclinical data package to guide clinical study

10:00 am Challenging the predictability of preclinical models for assessment of IrAE

  • Kader Thiam Senior Vice President Discovery – Preclinical Models & Services , GenOway


  • Ensuring preclinical and translational studies can closely predict the effects of oncology drug candidates in human
  • Comparing the advantages and limitations of Immunodeficient mice reconstituted with Human Immune System and Syngeneic models

10:30 am SEMMs: Somatically Engineered Mouse Models – A New Tool for Translational Preclinical Research


  • Animal models of cancer are key to understand the mechanism of action of drugs and their influence on the tumour microenvironment
  • SEMMs with the CRISPR/Cas9 system have optimised and made more agile mouse modelling
  • SEMMs can be integrated in the drug discovery pipeline at different levels

11:00 am

Structured Speed Networking & Morning Refreshments


Join this ice-breaking session and use this opportunity to reconnect and meet new fellow colleagues in the preclinical IO space!

Leveraging Next Gen Models to Predict & Minimise Drug Resistance in Clinical Studies

11:30 am MATCH-R, Development of Preclinical Models from Patient with Acquired Resistance to Targeted Therapy


  • Preclinical models developed from patient at time of acquired resistance
  • Demonstrating how these models will be used to improve knowledge on the mechanisms underlying resistance to treatment
  • Exploring the impact on evaluating response to new treatments

12:00 pm The Disease Model Finder: An AI Powered Platform to Enhance Disease Model Sourcing


  • Background on
  • Motivation for the Disease Model Finder
  • Interacting with the Disease Model Finder

12:20 pm Scientific Poster Session


  • See the latest updates from the field in this scientific poster session

12:50 pm

Networking Lunch

Invigorating Novel Preclinical Pipelines

1:50 pm Preclinical Characterisation of Novel Immunotherapies to Redirect Lymphocytes Against Tumours

  • Joaquin Arribas Principal Investigator , Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology


  • Assessing the best tumour models for studying a novel immunotherapy
  • Providing proof of concept to confidently guide progression

2:20 pm HUB Organoids as a New Diagnostic Platform to Improve Cancer Patient Treatment


  • How to generate unique clinically relevant patient-derived models using HUB Organoid Technology
  • HUB Organoids capture tumour heterogeneity and preserve tumour genetic make-up and pathology
  • Published clinical data have shown that HUB Organoids mimic patient response
  • The use of an organoid-based platform for drug screening, patient stratification, and personalised medicine approaches

2:40 pm Off-the-Shelf vs Personalised Organoid Models

  • Anna Popova Postdoc & Project Leader , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


  • Understanding the limitations and advanced of off-the-shelf versus personalised organoid models
  • Exploring the benefits of each to advance IO preclinical studies
  • Answering clinical questions confidently with new insights on a patient by patient basis

3:10 pm Panel Discussion: Realising a Circular Approach to Preclinical Studies

  • Adam Drake Senior Director In Vivo Pharmacology, Ichnos Science
  • Aaron Cranston Head of Translational Research , Almac Discovery Ltd


  • Developing a closer relationship between preclinical and clinical studies
  • Leveraging feedback from clinical trials to guide preclinical decisions
  • Optimising preclinical studies by understanding what questions need answers and how the mechanisms differed in human

3:40 pm

Afternoon Networking Break

Closing the Translational Gap in IO

4:10 pm What’s in Our Translational Science Toolbox? Preclinical Oncology Model Selection in the Genomic Era – A Biotech’s Perspective


  • Current problems and opportunities; what have we learnt from past experience?
  • Exploiting data-driven model selection (exemplified by case studies)
  • First-time right? Delivering POC studies to inform the path to the clinic

4:40 pm Assessing the Impact of PD1 Checkpoint Blockade in a Murine Model of Bladder Cancer by Immunophenotypic & Molecular Profiles

  • Sheri Barnes Associate Director of Scientific Development , Labcorp Drug Development


  • Bladder cancer is the tenth leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Five checkpoint immunotherapies that target the PD-1/PD-L1 axis are FDA approved, and gene- and protein-based approaches are helping to identify new combination treatment strategies for therapeutic intervention.
  • Using the murine MB49 model for bladder cancer, NanoString® and flow cytometry were used to provide gene and cell-specific signatures of the tumor microenvironment (TME) in response to checkpoint blockade by anti-mPD-1.
  • NanoString® and flow analyses were complementary and demonstrated evidence of T cell recruitment and upregulation of genes associated with anti-tumor activity as well as a number of biomarkers suggestive of immunosuppression. These data can be used mechanistically and to inform rational combination strategies.

5:10 pm Talk Details Coming Soon

5:40 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks

5:50 pm End of Day One

For full details on each session, please view the event guide.