Pre-Conference Workshop Day


9:00 Investigating the Use of T Cells Engineered to Secrete T Cell Engagers

  • Robert McGray Assistant Professor - Oncology & Immunotherapy, Roswell Park


While adoptive T cell transfer has been evaluated in ovarian cancer, durable effects are rare. Importantly, host T cells infiltrate tumors, and adoptive T-cell transfer (ACT) approaches that leverage endogenous tumor-infiltrating T cells for antitumor immunity could effectively magnify therapeutic responses. This novel approach provides a novel delivery method to improve patient adherence and quality of life during treatment

  • Generating T cells that secrete a folate receptor alpha (FRα)directed bispecific T-cell engager (FR-B T cells), a tumor antigen commonly overexpressed in OC and other tumor types.
  • Different cytokine stimulation of T cells (interleukin (IL)-2+IL-7 vs IL-2+IL-15) during FR-B T cell production and the resulting impact on therapeutic outcome following ACT was also assessed.
  • Engager-secreting T cells can effectively leverage endogenous immunity and may have distinct mechanistic advantages for enhancing therapeutic responses rates. 

12:00 pm Lunch



1.00 Expanding Beyond Bispecific & T Cells to Address Tumor Heterogeneity

  • Martin Felices Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Minnesota


Currently the only approved cell engagers are designed exclusively for T cells. Natural killer (NK) cells are being leveraged in the clinic due to their safety profile and their ability to mediate tumor killing without prior priming. However, lack of antigen-specific targeting, decreased numbers, and suppressive signals derived from the tumor microenvironment (TME) can impact NK cell efficacy.

  • Bypass these issue, we designed novel tri-specific killer engager (TriKE®) molecule that consists of three parts: an arm that engages with CD16, a potent activating receptor on NK cells, an arm that binds to tumor antigens express (CD33, B7H3, CD19, PSMA, TEM8, etc), and an interleukin (IL)-15 moiety that is essential for NK cell survival, proliferation, priming and motility.
  • Using this platform, we have been able to target a variety of hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. This workshop will focus on these molecules and NK cell engagers and discuss their features and advantages. 


1.00 Back-Tracking Breakthroughs for BITEs & Cell Engagers to Gain Reverse Translation Insights


Post-approval studies offer a real-world lens on the long-term safety, efficacy, and practical applications of cell engager drugs, providing crucial insights into diverse patient populations and clinical scenarios. By incorporating back translation strategies developers can transform insights into actionable lessons to overcome limited animal models to mimic systemic immune response in patients and improve safety profiles.

  • Discuss perspectives from clinical development leaders and oncologists treating a range patient populations day to day
  • Explore evidence of disease progression and potential immune escape or resistance mechanisms. Do some patients respond better to cell engager therapies?
  • Uncover the long-term effects and explore future avenues for combination therapies