Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 8th Annual

Antibodies Against Membrane Protein Targets

Part 1

September 16-17, 2020

Part 2

September 17-18, 2020


As the pharmaceutical and biotech industries increasingly shift attention to biologics, much more attention is being paid to the prospect of developing membrane-bound targets for biotherapeutics. 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 biologic drugs for these target families to advance into the clinic and beyond.


Coverage will include, but is not limited to:

Tools and Workflows

  • Early screening of biology; tools for improving screening efficiency and success rates
  • Evaluating format options (Fabs, mAbs, VHH, scFv) for targeting membrane proteins
  • Lessons learned in membrane protein R&D over time; what is working and not working?
  • Computational design of transmembrane proteins
  • Developing or accessing reagents representative of specific targets

Antibody Discovery

  • Discovery of novel targets
  • Strategies for discovery of functional antibodies
  • Improving the scale and throughput of discovery platforms
  • Fine tuning receptor signaling
  • Novel immunization strategies (peptides, viruses, mutant receptors, soluble receptors)

Antigen Design and Engineering

  • Emerging technologies for antigen preparation and stability
  • Overcoming expression challenges for membrane proteins (construct design, host selection, scale-up)
  • Alternative approaches for mimicking the lipid bilayer
  • Incorporating membrane into the lipid bilayer – interesting but hard
  • Miniaturization of cell-free expression methods
  • Selective stabilization of rare conformations


  • Progress and status of development and clinical stage GPCR programs; newly validated GPCR targets
  • Potential for agonistic antibodies against GPCRs
  • Crossing the BBB; trafficking in the brain
  • Antibodies against GPCR targets in cancer; targeting the tumor microenvironment
  • Deorphanizing GPCRs using peptides

Ion Channels and Transporters

  • Progress and status of development-stage ion channel antibody and peptide programs
  • New ion channel structures as potential roadmaps for therapeutic development
  • Transporter targets
  • Overcoming expression challenges for ion channels
  • Progress in mainstream ion channel target families: P2X, Nav, KD


  • Access and trafficking in the brain
  • Agonistic antibodies
  • Ligand-based signaling
  • Mitigation of immunogenic consequences
  • Unique binding challenges


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 26, 2020.


All proposals are subject to review by session chairpersons 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