7:30 am Morning Check-in & Light Breakfast

8:15 am Chair’s Opening Remarks: Considerations on What Helps to Keep Biotech Companies Moving Forwards in Spite of Difficult Times

Addressing Failures Across Cytokine Based Drug Development to Examine the Evolving Industry & Highlight Exciting Novel Directions for the Field

8:30 am Exploring the Cytokine Therapeutics Landscape: Where Are We Now?


  • Overview of the oncology and non-oncology cytokine-based drug development landscape, both preclinical and clinical
  • Analyzing and evaluating companies exiting the field or dropping cytokine pipelines
  • Outlining novel cytokine engineering strategies

9:00 am Engineered PD1-IL15 Improves Intratumoral CD8+ T cell Function and Antitumor Immunity


  • Designing PD1-IL15 to deliver stimulation to PD1+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) while minimally affecting circulating peripheral natural killer (NK) cells and T cells
  • The PD1-IL15 mouse surrogate promotes CD8 T cell-dependent anti-tumor Immunity
  • Enhancing efficacy compared to the combination of aPD1 with an IL-15 Superagonist

9:30 am A Brief History of the Cytokine Field: New Frontiers for Cytokine Based Drug Development


  • Delving into previous experiences from cytokine therapeutic development across the years
  • Identifying early approaches that had limited success
  • Evaluating novel innovations driving more sophisticated cytokine development

10:00 am Speed Networking & Morning Break

Uncover Positive Clinical Updates & Hear Key Translational Learnings from the Journey to the Clinic

11:00 am Updating the Clinical Progress of DK210 (EGFR), Fusing IL-10 With wtIL-2 to Prevent Toxicity & Enhance Potency

  • Deb Kientop Vice President, Clinical Operations, DEKA Biosciences


  • Treating patients with cold tumors has already elicited potent peripheral immune activation leading to confirmed stable disease of stage 4 PDAC, and unconfirmed stable disease of patients with stage 4 CRC
  • Indicating DK210 (EGFR) has successfully blunted IL-2 inflammatory toxicity while retaining potent immunological activation and dramatically improved its therapeutic index
  • Outlining how responses stimulated in a predictive in vitro assay correlate with patient anti-tumor responses on therapy, suggesting the capacity to select patients that are most likely to respond

11:30 am Pioneering Cytokines & Growth Factors: Transforming Research & Healthcare


  • Outlining cytokine quality (purity, bioactivity, batch-to-batch consistency)
  • Producing GMP-grade cytokines (regulatory documents and guidelines, products, applications)
  • Exploring applications of our cytokines (cell culture, organoid culture diagnostic biomarkers, cytokine receptors as biomarkers)

11:40 am XTX501, a Tumor-Activated PD1/IL2 Bispecific Molecule, Designed to Stimulate & Expand Antigen-Experienced T cells in the Tumor Microenvironment


  • Design of XTX501 and key components
  • Rationale for targeting IL-2 to PD1-positive T cells and importance of masking
  • Overview of preclinical data including PK and tolerability in non-human primates

12:10 pm Exploring how BPT567 (PD1-IL18) Induces Potent Anti-tumor Immune Responses

  • Bertolt Kreft Chief Scientific Officer, Bright Peak Therapeutics


  • Revealing BPT567 as an immunoconjugate (IC) consisting of an IL-18 binding protein-resistant IL-18 payload that is chemically conjugated to a PD-1-blocking antibody
  • Triggering a profound expansion of intratumoral PD1+ CD8+ T effector memory cells accompanied by a high local induction of IFNg release within the tumor microenvironment. 
  • Outlining BPT567 exhibiting a strong anti-tumor efficacy at remarkably low doses of the IL-18 payload, which can be attributed to its ability to potently induce cis-signaling in PD-1+ T cells.

12:40 pm Lunch Break & Networking

Interrogating Our Understanding of Cytokine Mechanisms to Develop Targeted Cytokine-Based Therapeutics

1:40 pm Revealing Cytomask®: Cis-Demasking Cytokine Technology for Targeted Delivery


  • Outlining masking cytokine technology, allowing activity on-demand at the Right Site but suffers from enzyme selectivity
  • Cis-delivery cytokine technology allows redirection of activity on the right cells but requires potent cytokine attenuation and non-optimal cell selectivity
  • Cytomask® is a novel Cis-Demasking cytokine technology avoiding cytokine attenuation and lack of selectivity of cleavable linkers to unmask cytokine specifically on immune cells expressing the appropriate target

2:10 pm Precision Engineering of Cytokine Therapeutics by Measuring Protein Interactions at Scale With AlphaSeq


  • Utilizing AlphaSeq, a tool for massive PPI data generation, IFNA2 and IL-21 cytokine variants are engineered with varied affinities for human and mouse receptors, guiding precision development of cancer therapeutics with reduced systemic toxicity
  • Exploring protein affinities and signaling potencies were orthogonally measured using biolayer interferometry and human PBMC phosflow assays, leading to the fusion of promising cytokines with anti-CD8 antibodies, significantly enhancing signaling potency in targeted cells
  • Enabling the creation of a therapeutic matrix of cytokines and antibodies, enhancing specificity and efficacy in targeted cancer treatments in immuno-oncology

2:40 pm Blockade of Common Gamma Chain Cytokine Signaling With REGN7257, an Interleukin 2 Receptor Gamma (IL2RG) Monoclonal Antibody


  • Blockade of cytokine signalling protected mice against immune cell-mediated pathology in multiple disease models
  • Providing evidence of γc cytokines as key drivers of pathogenic immune cell responses
  • Offering a potentially novel strategy for the management of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as GVHD, immune aplastic anemia and MS

3:10 pm Afternoon Break & Networking

Engineering Your Molecule for Enhanced Specificity, Reduced Toxicity & a Widened Therapeutic Index

3:40 pm New Cytokine Targeting Strategies Enabled by Multivalent Cis-Targeted Complexes


  • Introducing how tetravalent, cis-targeting cytokine-Fc fusions have unique selectivity advantages
  • Outlining a computational model to coordinately engineer targeting alongside signal quality and potency
  • Demonstrating that selectively delivering various cytokines enables optimization for specific immune functionalities

4:10 pm Harnessing mRNA-encoded Cytokines as Immune Therapeutics for a Focused Immune Response

  • Kate Jeffrey Vice President - Immune Therapeutics Discovery, Moderna


  • Engineered cytokines encoded by nucleoside modified mRNA and delivered in LNPs enables tailored and focused immune therapeutics
  • Multiplexing a myriad of cytokines by the mRNA/LNP platform allows next-generation broad immunomodulation for clinical benefit
  • Providing examples of harnessing mRNA technology for manipulating the immune response via cytokines for autoimmune and inflammatory disease

4:40 pm Design of Cytokine/antibody Fusion Proteins to Develop Novel Immunotherapeutics


  • Linking interleukin-2 (IL-2) to an anti-IL-2 antibody modulates cytokine behavior for selective and effective disease targeting
  • Cytokine pleiotropy allows for development of interventions against cancer, infection, and autoimmune diseases
  • Structural insights guide engineering of cytokine/antibody fusion proteins to optimize assembly, stability, and therapeutic activity

5:10 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks

5:20 pm End of Conference Day One

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