Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Inaugural

Antibody Discovery Forum

Part 1: Discovery Technologies and Methods

September 26-27, 2018

Part 2: Discovery of Novel Cancer Immunotherapies

September 27-28, 2018

Discovery on Target’s new Antibody Discovery Forum offers research scientists working at the R&D stage the opportunity to participate in a novel meeting format that will encourage discussion and the exchange of information on the application of new science and technology for the discovery of new biotherapeutics. The meeting will feature short presentations, panel discussions and an “in the round” audience format that allows a sharing of ideas and experiences.


Who should attend: Industry discovery stage scientists and academic researchers working to discover new targets and novel biotherapeutics for cancer and other indications.


Part 1:


Part 1, Discovery Technologies and Methods, will focus on the discovery workflow, and explore best practices for identifying and using new and legacy technologies to discover novel and functional drug candidates in an environment where speed and efficiency is now a mandate. The meeting will consider new approaches to the essential steps in the discovery process and how to make these more efficient by selectively and intelligently integrating the many new tools now available on the market. A key focus of the agenda will be a discussion of methods used to discover well-performing candidates and leads as early as possible – and to accomplish this goal at the lowest possible cost needed to achieve a high-quality outcome. 


Coverage will include, but is not limited to:


The Discovery Workflow

  • Pressures for a faster workflow – how to move faster and maintain quality?
  • Different approaches to workflow steps from candidate discovery to lead selection
  • Automation solutions
  • Developing and evolving robust discovery platforms


Screening and Selection

  • Best practices for evolving in house screening libraries and discovery platforms
  • Integrating discovery with function
  • Improving screening efficiency
  • Applications of display libraries for engineering and epitope mapping


Microfluidic, Single Cell Screening and NGS Platforms

  • Microfluidic technology platforms for single cell screening
  • B cell sorting and cloning platforms for antibody discovery
  • Analysis and data management issues in repertoire sequencing
  • Achieving efficiencies in triaging the outputs of NGS campaigns


Antibody Generation and Discovery for Challenging Targets

  • Ab discovery for small molecules, sugars and other unconventional antigens
  • Alternative scaffold and antibody formats
  • Targets with agonist properties
  • Transmembrane proteins and intracellular targets


Discovery Stage Characterization and Predictive Assays

  • Developability and immunogenicity assays
  • Epitope mapping
  • Functional assays
  • Integration of functional assays and library screening


Emerging Discovery Technologies

  • Applications of CRISPR-Cas9 in antibody discovery
  • cryoEM and advanced structural analysis
  • Evaluation and implementing new technology platforms
  • Transgenic discovery platforms


Part 2:

Part 2, Discovery of Novel Cancer Immunotherapies, will address the challenging circumstance of identifying novel approaches that can be used to enter the thriving immune-oncology space. The meeting will begin with a broad look at current understandings of the biology of immune-oncology and what has been learned from the many recent clinical studies in the space – and then explore specific opportunities related to new and underexplored targets, improvements in target selectivity and unmet medical needs. Special consideration will also be given to the translation of academic and clinical stage findings into commercial development programs. A discussion format will offer those in attendance a novel opportunity to explore strategies in this space with colleagues.


Coverage will include, but is not limited to:


The Big Picture

  • The biology of immuno-oncology; what are we trying to do?
  • How will existing agents and combinations meet this need?
  • Do we need new targets?
  • Unmet medical need with the potential to be served by IO


Opportunities in New Target Discovery

  • What makes a good IO target?  How do we validate new IO targets? How do we resolve undruggable targets?
  • Application of new discovery technologies in identifying new IO targets, NGS, single cell cloning, phenotype screening, DNA barcoding
  • Potential target space: “dark matter” of the cancer genome; new cell surface targets, intracellular targets, targets with agonist properties
  • Generating and sourcing reagents for research on novel IO targets


Opportunities in Improved Targeting and Specificity

  • Conditional activation
  • Imaging tools for studying biotherapeutic distribution in the body
  • New approaches to improving the specificity of tumor and tissue targeting
  • Strategies for priming the tumor microenvironment


Opportunities in Unmet Medical Needs

  • Leukemias
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Primary brain tumors
  • Targeting immune escape


Translational Research Issues

  • Biomarker discovery and companion diagnostics
  • Bridging the “valley of death”: bringing academic IO research advances to patients
  • Extending IO studies to other immunological indications (and vice versa)
  • What are we learning from clinical studies of immunotherapy combinations?


If you would like to submit a proposal to give a presentation at this meeting, please click here.


The deadline for priority consideration is March 21, 2018.


All proposals are subject to review by session chairmen and/or the Scientific Advisory Committee to ensure the overall quality of the conference program. Additionally, as per Cambridge Healthtech Institute policy, a select number of vendors and consultants who provide products and services will be offered opportunities for podium presentation slots based on a variety of Corporate Sponsorships.


For more details on the conference, please contact:
Kent Simmons

Senior Conference Director

Cambridge Healthtech Institute

Phone: (+1) 207-869-9199


For partnering and sponsorship information, please contact:
Rod Eymael

Manager, Business Development

Cambridge Healthtech Institute

Phone: (+1) 781-247-6286