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7:30 am

Welcome Coffee & Registration

8:30 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

Humanised Mouse Model: Where Do We Draw the Line?

8:40 am Development of NK Humanized Mice Models for the In Vivo Evaluation of NK Cells Engagers and/or Immune-Modulators Targeting NK Cells


  • Development of robust in vivo models that allow the engraftment and maintenance of fully functional human NK cells
  • Evaluation of several strains of immunodeficient transgenic mice for human cytokines (IL-15)
  • Determination of optimal parameters of NK engraftment
  •  In vivo efficacy pilot studies in these NK humanized mice models using an anti-CD20 Ab

9:10 am Challenges & Solutions For In Vivo Modelling the Immunological Activity of Bi- And Multi- Specific Therapeutics


  • Methods for addressing lack of mouse cross-reactivity
  • Biomarker endpoints from mouse studies
  • Clinical decision making aided by in vivo pharmacology data

9:40 am Validation of a Clinically Relevant Humanised Mouse Model for the Safety Assessment of Immunotherapy

  • Li-Chin Yao In Vivo Principal Scientist, Product Development , The Jackson Laboratory


  • Donor variability in CD19XCD3 bispecific antibody efficacy and cytokine release
  • Evaluation of safety assessment of 4-1BB agonists

10:10 am

Speed Networking & Morning Refreshments

10:40 am To Immunocompromise or Not to Immunocompromise: The Effect of the Immune System in Humanised Mice Models


  • Species cross-reactivity: Is this enough to recapitulate the human immune system?
  • Assessing the significance of loss of cross-reactivity
  • Overviewing the implications of no adaptive and innate immune system on tumour modelling capability?
  • How does this help us improve our translatability into clinic?

11:10 am Humanised Patient-Derived Model Systems for Immuno-Oncology Drug Development


  • Patient-derived model systems and their applications in IO drug development
  • Benefits of using humanized PDX models and their applications in IO drug
  • Investigating Immune-related adverse events (irAE) in humanised mice

Deep Dive into Next Generation IO Tumor Models: Advanatges & Limitations

11:40 am Panel Discussion: Outsourcing: Minefield of Alternate Models – When, What, How & Where?


Preclinical and translational scientists in IO are facing a new wave of emerging, advanced models and the million £ question of what model do you need, when do you need it are not easy to answer, with many variables
to consider.

This panel will discuss:

  • Discussion of the alternate key models: their benefits and shortfalls
  • Customised vs off the shelf models?
  • Understanding what industry is looking for and how industry can provide for those needs effectively
  • Sharing examples of effective and less effective collaboration to streamline future efforts balancing between cost, speed to clinic vs industry’s gold standard when choosing your model

12:25 pm Capturing Cancers Adaptive Resistance Profiles Via the ResCu System

12:35 pm

Networking Lunch

1:25 pm Humanized PD-1 knock-in mice as a model system for combination therapies with human specific PD-1 therapeutics


  • SubQperior implantation for reduced ulceration rate and homogeneous tumor growth
  • Humanized mouse model to evaluate human therapeutics in a syngeneic model
  • Immunomonitoring by multiparametric flow cytometry to evaluate immune response

1:40 pm Immunologically Cold & Treatment-Resistant Tumours In ImmunoCompetent Animals: Basis For Treatment and Modelling

  • Marta Barisa Senior Fellow, Great Orman Street Institutue of Child Health (GOSH) UCL


  • Investigating human oncogene-driven cancer as a basis for murine tumour modelling
  • Developing chemotherapy-refractory tumour models
  • Modelling relapse in animals
  • Assessing sensitizing ‘cold’ tumours to immunotherapy using chemo and radiotherapy
  • Exploring combination therapy modelling

2:10 pm Patient-Derived Cell (PDC) Models as a Tool to Assess Cancer Therapeutic Efficacy Across the Drug Development Life Cycle


  • PDC model development and characterization
  • Clinical response predictivity
  • HTS/HCI applications to assess cancer therapeutic efficacy, mechanism of action and
    patient stratification
  • Overview and characterization of clinically relevant EGFR mutant, EGFRi resistant NSCLC

2:40 pm Tumour Organoid Screens for Biomarker Discovery

  • Julia Jabs Senior Scientist, Merck Healthcare KGaA


  • Quality control for robust & reliable screens
  • Screen readouts & response parameters
  • Biomarker discovery approaches

Improving Your Biophysiological Understanding by Dissecting Tumour Microenvironment (TME)

3:10 pm The Ying & Yang Of The Tumour & The TME: Biological Perspective

  • Anita Seshire Head of Laboratory in Exploratory Cancer Research , Merck Healthcare


  • Gaining insight into the cross-talk between different cells in the TME and the tumour to gain an understanding of tumour pathophysiology
  • Verifying to what extend do those interation have on tumour progression and pathophysiology
  • Exploring the variation of cell subtypes in the TME and how that impacts modelling success
  • Addressing the key challenges facing TME modelling and benchmarking the extent to which a better understanding of the TME could improve clinical success/translatability

3:40 pm Why Implantation Site Matters When Evaluating Immune Response

  • Monika Buczek PhD, Director of Business Development, Certis Oncology Solutions


  • Dive into how tumour implantation site impacts immune response in mouse
    models and effects the reproducibility and robustness of your IO data
  • Compare gene expression results from subcutaneously implanted versus
    orthotopically implanted tumours in immunocompromised mice
  • Observe t-cell infiltration and activation differences between subcutaneously
    implanted and orthotopically implanted tumours in PBMC humanised mice
  • Review the results of a case study with orthotopically implanted tumours

3:55 pm

Afternoon Refreshments & Networking

4:30 pm Case Study: QPCTL is a Small Molecule Drug Target Modulating the Innate Immune Response


  • Introduction into the Cell-Seq platform to identify novel drug target
  • Identification of QPCTL as a new target that impacts CD47 and several chemokine
  • Preclinical evaluation of QPCTL inhibition

5:00 pm Oncolytic Viruses which Target The TME and Induce Adaptive Immunity

  • Pierre Cordelier Pierre Cordelier Deputy Director & Team Leader ImPACT Therapeutic Innovation In Pancreatic Cancer, INSERM


  • Developing oncolytic virus to target and kill cancer cells following a precision medicine strategy
  • Modulation of the TME with oncolytic virus: inducing increase infiltration of immune cells resulting in an anti-tumour environment
  • Assessing a new opening for defeating resistance to immune checkpoint blockers

5:30 pm Fireside Chat: Cutting Cancer Off At The Knees: Analysing the Preclinical Potential of Reprogramming/Repolarising Pro-Tumour Immune Cells

  • Anita Seshire Head of Laboratory in Exploratory Cancer Research , Merck Healthcare
  • Fernando Estrada Lecturer in Innate Immunology, University of Surrey


The aggression of tumours is hugely linked with tumour survival mechanisms resulting in high-grade tumours. Assessing the implication of suppressor cells on the progression of tumours. Tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) make up around 50% of the solid mass in a variety of human solid cancers (e.g., lung, breast and pancreatic) which are polarised into the M2 phenotype and support immune suppression, tumour growth, angiogenesis, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are activated under pathological conditions and can induce further immunosuppressive cells and inhibit the antitumoral immune response, therefore posing a great immunotherapy target however, this panel is going to discuss the potential of repolarising these cells to aid in the antitumoral immune response thereby improving preclinical and translational success.

This panel will discuss:

  •  The immune suppressive phenotype: insight into whether it’s fixed or flexible?
  • Can the suppressive phenotype be reverted e.g. for example macrophage reprogramming from M2 to M1?
  • Discussion around both immunosuppressive tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs)
  • The efficacy of targeting folate-targeted Toll-like receptor 7 agonist (FA-TLR7-1A) for reverting the inflammatory phenotype. Off target effects/Systemic activation concerns?
  •  How does this help us improve our translatability into clinic?
  • Implications of blocking tumour-derived granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) on TAMs, resulting in anti-tumour T-cell immunity leading to tumour regression

6:00 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks & End of Day One

6:05 pm Poster Session