Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 7th Annual

Antibodies Against Membrane Protein Targets – Part 1

September 17-18, 2019


As the pharmaceutical and biotech industries increasingly shift attention to biologics, much more attention is being paid to the prospect of membrane-bound proteins as drug targets for antibodies and other protein scaffolds. For the large GPCR and ion channel target classes, biologics offer improved selectivity, an alternative for targets with known function that have not been amenable to small molecule drugs and the potential for using antibodies for the targeted delivery of therapeutics. However, for the field to advance, fundamental challenges in optimizing antigen quality and presentation, discovery methodologies, protein engineering and target identification must be resolved. This two-part meeting provides a forum in which discovery biologists and protein engineers can come together to discuss next generation strategies and technologies that will allow antibody-based therapeutics directed against these target families to advance into the clinic and beyond.


Who should attend: Industry Discovery Stage Scientists and Academic Researchers working to discover and develop novel biotherapeutics for ion channel, GPCR and transporter targets.


Coverage will include, but is not limited to:


Best Practices and Workflows for Membrane Protein R&D

  • The pros and cons of immune vs. display libraries
  • Lessons learned in membrane protein R&D; what is working and not working?
  • Evaluating format options (fabs, mabs, scfv) for targeting membrane proteins
  • Early screening of biology; tools for improving success rates

Generation & Optimization of Membrane Protein Antigens

  • Emerging technologies for antigen preparation and stability
  • Overcoming production challenges for membrane proteins (construct design, host selection, scale-up)
  • Alternative approaches for mimicking the lipid bilayer
  • Miniaturization of cell free expression methods

Antibody Discovery Strategies

  • Emerging discovery platforms
  • Combination approaches; boosting DNA immunizations
  • Strategies for discovery of functional antibodies
  • New immunization strategies and technologies

Screening and Characterization

  • The relationship between avidity and affinity
  • Correlating antibody sequence and function
  • Biophysical methods for binding kinetics and epitope mapping
  • High throughput functional screening

Structural Analysis for Membrane Protein R&D

  • Introduction to the application of Cryo-EM in antibody R&D
  • Overcoming the challenges of binder fusions in structural analysis
  • Cryo-EM to study interactions of membrane proteins with antibodies
  • Computational modeling of crystal and Cryo-EM structures

Targeting Ion Channels with Antibodies

  • Progress and status of development and clinical stage ion channel programs
  • Newly validated ion channel targets
  • Quantification of voltage gating
  • Transporter targets

Targeting GPCRs with Antibodies

  • Progress and status of development and clinical stage GPCR programs; newly validated GPCR targets
  • Potential for agonistic antibodies against GPCRs
  • Can we make efficacious antibodies against centrally expressed GPCRs?


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


The deadline for priority consideration is February 27, 2019.


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

Premier Sponsors

Ablexis Alivamab_stacked



OmniAb Ligand_Pharmaceuticals