Two International Conferences “Biomarkers- From Research to Commercialization” and “Antibody Drug Conjugates” were organized on May 24- 25, 2018 in Hotel Le Meridian Bangalore, Bengaluru in which about 75 Scientists from India and abroad participated. These two day events witnessed above 30 enlightening invited talks, 7 oral presentations, 4 company presentations and an exhibition featuring technology giants like Agilent, Sartorius, GeNext Genomics and Krishgen Biosystems.
During his welcome address, Dr Sanjay Bajaj, Managing Director, Select Biosciences India Pvt. Ltd. greeted
all the speakers, delegates and exhibitors and introduced the organization and its activities to the audience.
This was followed by speaker introduction session in which each of the speakers introduced themselves to theaudience and shared their research interests. This brief introduction helped the audience to instantly connect and initiate networking with the speakers. In this session, mementos were also presented to the speakers and exhibitors. This was followed by business networking session during which participants exchanged cards with experts and other delegates. A group photograph was also organized as a part of the meeting.
Biomarkers- From Research to Commercialization
In “Biomarkers-From Research to Commercialization” conference, many renowned speakers discussed about topics such as Biomarkers for Diagnostics, Cancer Biomarkers, Extracellular Biomarkers, Biomarkers for Clinical Applications, Biosensors, Biodetection, Probes and Imaging Techniques. Many young researchers and faculties also presented their research work in the form of Oral and Poster Presentations which was appreciated by all. In the first scientific session entitled “Biomarkers for Diagnosis” Dr Utpal Tatu, Professor, IISc, Bangalore, delivered Keynote Address in which he discussed how novel prognostic and predictive biomarkers are discovered from biological fluids using analytical techniques such as Mass Spectrometry. Next talk was delivered by, Dr Harshini Mukundan, Principal Investigator, Los Alamos National Laboratory, USA who deliberated on development of universal diagnostics for bacterial infections by employing engineering solutions and ultra-sensitive sensors, comprehensing host-pathogen biology, designing tailored assay formats and extensive clinical validation.
The session entitled “Cancer Biomarkers” focused on discovery and development of novel biomarkers in metastatic uveal melanoma tumors and breast cancer. Dr Yogeshwer Shukla from CSIR-IITR, contemplated on role of proteomics for breast cancer classification by careful identification of protein signature in blood plasma and tissue samples. Amongst other talks, Dr Aditi Bhattacharya delivered a talk which focused on diseases of intellectual disability and autism, Fragile X Syndrome. She presented the data derived from proteomic analysis of intact brain tissue and identified proteins derived from blood which act as molecular barcodes for Fragile X Syndrome.
On Day 2, Dr Youhe Gao from Beijing Normal University, China addressed the audience on how early stage identification of biomarkers from Urine source aids in treatment of various diseases including lung fibrosis, liver fibrosis, diabetes, chornic pancreatitis, chronic obstractive pulmonary disease, bacterial meningitis and many more, in the session entitled “Biomarkers for Diseases and Clinical Applications”. Dr Michael Lutz, CEO, LifeCodexx, Germany presented data on a newly developed NIPT assay based on quantitative real-time PCR i.e. qNIPT technology for the determination of fetal trisomy.
Antibody Drug Conjugates
The “Antibody Drug Conjugates” Conference was initiated with scientific sessions on Antibody Engineering followed by topics namely ADC Development, ADC Analysis, Clinical Applications of ADC. The Key Speakers in this meeting were Dr Amy Han, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals; Dr Dimiter Dimitrov, University of Pittsburgh; Dr Jagdish Nigade, Roche; Dr Rajan Dighe, Indian Institute of Science; Dr Nitin Damle, SPARC; Dr Satish Singh, Lonza; Dr Ashvini Kumar Dubey, Zumutor Biologics and Dr Priyaranjan Pattanaik, Syngene. An interactive session was also held on second day of the meeting in which the attendees put up questions to the experts. This Session was highly appreciated by all the participants because many of their queries were answered and therefore everyone enjoyed it.
The First Scientific session on “Antibody Engineering” witnessed 5 exciting talks from organizations namely Mazumdar Shaw Center for Translational Research (MSCTR), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Zumutor Biologics, AbGenics LifeSciences and IPCA Laboratories. Dr Rajan Dighe, Professor, IISc, Bengaluru delivered Keynote Presentation in which he highlighted on cancer immunotherapy against Notch family of receptors. He discussed how his group generated, characterized and evaluated the effect of humanized monocloncal antibodies (MAbs) and Single Chain fragment variables (ScFvs) in the inhibition of ovarian cancer cells and how the research work has been translated to development of novel tools and strategies.
In the session on “ADC Development”, Dr Amy Han, Director, Chemistry, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, USA highlighted conjugation of Glucocorticoid steroids (GC steroids) with antibody using site directed conjugation and novel linker chemistries. This was done to enable specific delivery of steroids to diseased tissue cells of interest. Dr Han presented her data on how their lead steroid-ADCs demonstrated favorable pharmacokinetics with limited targeted mediated clearance in humanized mice. She informed that the treatment of the mice with these, prevented TNFα release from peritoneal macrophages that were challenged with LPS ex vivo. Another interesting talk was delivered by Dr Dimiter Stanchev Dimitrov, Professor, University of Pittsburgh, USA on promising anti-cancer therapy which targeted the tumor vasculature with ADCs. Dr Dimiter demonstrated an ADCMMAE targeting CD276 destroyed CD276-positive cancer cells, but was ineffective against tumor vasculature. In contrast he mentioned that pyrrolobenzodiazepine- conjugated CD276-ADC killed both cancer cells and tumor vasculature, eradicating large established tumors and metastases, and improving long-term overall survival. Thus, he stressed that CD276 targeted dual-compartment ablation could aid in development of highly selective broad-acting anti-cancer therapies.
The second day of “Antibody Drug Conjugates” meeting included a combination of scientific and technical sessions. In one of an exhilarating session on “Overcoming Challenges in Development of Successful ADCs” which involved 3 thrilling presentations. The first Keynote Presentation by Dr Nitin Damle, Senior Vice President and Head, Discovery Biology/CSO, Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company Limited, India was on translation of pre-clinical data into clinical success in cancer therapy and immunotherapy. He highlighted various challenges faced by researchers and deliberated on possible solutions for clinical success. Another Talk in this session delivered by Dr Jagdish Nigade, Group Medical Manager, Roche, India focused on various aspects related to clinical studies of Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) for HER2 Positive Breast Cancer. The last but not the least talk by Dr Satish Singh, Lonza, Switzerland provided an overview of design aspects of ADCs and the resultant impact on CMC development. The design of ADC has a significant impact on PK/PD, toxicity, physico-chemical properties and manufacturing of ADCs involves facilities with the capability to handle high potency materials.
Based upon the feedback received from the participants, it was concluded that overall the conference was very good in terms of scientific contents, quality of talks and networking opportunity. The event concluded with the closing remarks and vote of thanks by Dr Sanjay Bajaj.