July 25-27 2017

San Diego, CA


Day One
Wednesday July 26th, 2017

Day Two
Thursday July 27th, 2017

Coffee & Registration

Chairman’s Opening Remarks

Utilizing CAR Technologies for Enhanced Tumor Targeting

Increasing the Efficacy of NK Cells Through the Use of CAR Technologies

  • Mike Caligiuri Director & CEO , Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center & Ohio State’s Hospital


  • Utilize CAR mechanisms for better tumor targeting
  • Identify potent, enrichable NK cells populations for CAR engineering
  • Tackle the unmet medical need with CAR-NK cells that have enhanced safety profiles
  • Learn non viral genetic engineering approaches

CAR-Engineered Cord Blood NK Cells as a Source Of Off-The-Shelf Cellular Therapy


  • Learn to redirect NK cell specificity and enhance their in vivo persistence, see how we have successfully transduced expanded CB NK cells with a retroviral vector incorporating genes for CAR-CD19, IL-15 and inducible caspase-9-based suicide gene (iC9)
  • Discover a novel approach to immunotherapy using engineered CB-derived NK cells which are easy to produce, exhibit striking efficacy and incorporate safety measures to limit toxicity
  • Based on these promising preclinical data, learn how we have planned a Phase I/II clinical study to test the safety and efficacy of escalating doses of off-the-shelf iC9/CAR.19/IL-15 CB-NK cells in patients with relapsed or refractory B-lymphoid malignancies

Novel CARs, Novel NK Sources for Novel NK Products

  • Rohit Duggal Senior Director, Cellular Therapy, TNK Sorrento Therapeutics


Full information for this session is not available at this time, please check back for further updates.

Engineering Human Pluripotent Stem Cells to Produce NK Cells with Improved Targeted Anti-Cancer Activity

  • Dan Kaufman Professor, Director of Cell Therapy Program, University California San Diego


  • NK cells can be routinely produced from human pluripotent stem cells- both human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)
  • hESC/iPSCs-derived NK cells have phenotype and function similar to peripheral blood NK cells
  • hESC/iPSCs-derived NK cells can be expanded into clinical-scale doses
  • hESC/iPSC-derived NK cells can be engineered to express chimeric antigen-receptors (CARs) and stabilized CD16 to improve killing of solid tumors
  • hESC/iPSC-derived NK cells serve as a platform to test novel NK cell-specific CARs with improved anti-tumor activity

Morning Refreshments & Networking

Novel Way to Activate Adaptive NK Cells and Make them Antigen Specific


In this presentation you will learn:

  • CMV induced adaptive NK cell biology
  • Clinical use of adaptive NK cells: our first in human trial with Fate should have someone treated by then
  • Clinical experience with NK cells and IL-15 including discussion of an NK cell CRS-like syndrome
  • Making NK cells antigen specific with TriKE: our first in human trial will start by then if we get FDA approval

Modulation of Innate Cell Activity for Greater Cytotoxicity

Cytokine Medicines at the Intersection of Innate and Adaptive Immunity


  • Discover how multiple cytokines have the effect of simultaneously stimulating innate and adaptive immune cells
  • Discuss how IL-2 and IL-15 have powerful and differentiable effects on different subpopulations of both NK cells and T-cells essential for tumor surveillance and eradication
  • Examine the engineering of these cytokines is essential to make their signaling pathways medically accessible
  • Review NKTR-255 is a polymer conjugated IL-15-based biologic with unique activity in stimulating NK cell proliferation and function, with additional beneficial effects on CD8+ T-cell subpopulations
  • Learn how polymer conjugation allows NKTR-255 to enable sustained, controlled
    activation of the IL-15 receptor pathway while retaining IL-15Ra dependence, critical for
    IL-15’s unique biological signature
    • Assess how NKTR-255 is a promising addition to Nektar’s immunoncology pipeline that
    includes NKTR-214, a CD122 biased agonist, and NKTR-262, a TLR agonist, among other

Controlling NK Cell Lytic Granule Positioning to Harness Cytotoxicity

  • Jordan Orange Professor, Pediatrics & Director Baylor College of Medicine & , Center for Human Immunobiology, Texas Children’s Hospital


  • Learn about the positioning of lytic granules within an NK cell is specifically related to their ability to destroy a targeted cell within a complex environment
  • Discover how NK cells converge their lytic granules to the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) rapidly after encountering a diseased cell which helps prevent their nondirectional release
  • Examine how lytic granules converge to the MTOC in therapeutic cytotoxic lymphocytes
  • Discuss the ability to control lytic granule positioning in NK cells after they encounter a susceptible target can facilitate the access to non-directional killing with impact upon bystandiing cells

Lunch & Networking

Understanding and Exploiting NKT cells in Health and Disease


  • NKT cells are Innate-like lymphocytes with unique functions and roles
  • NKT cells naturally contribute to resistance to infections and cancer
  • NKT cells can be identified and manipulated with lipid antigens or anti-NKT antibody
  • NKT cell-related immuno-therapies have shown promise in model and clinical cancers
  • We completed an NKT cell adoptive transfer clinical trial to be described
  • Potential novel approaches to NKT cell-based immuno-therapies will also be outlined

γδ T-cells: Ambiguous Role in Tumor Immunity

  • Dietrich Kabelitz Department of Immunology , University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein


  • γδ T-cells are potent killer cells and can kill a large variety of malignant cells (both leukemias/lymphomas and solid tumors)
  • In contrast to CD8+ TCRαβ CTL, γδ T-cells recognize tumor cells independently of HLA class I or class II restriction
  • γδ T-cells recognize pyrophosphate intermediates of the dysregulated mevalonate pathway in transformed cells; the production of such pyrophosphates can be manipulated pharmacologically
  • γδ T-cells can be expanded in vitro to large cell numbers for adoptive transfer
  • Strategies to increase the efficacy of γδ T-cells in tumor immunotherapy include the development of bispecific antibodies targeting the γδ T-cells to tumor antigens
  • γδ T-cells can also have pro-tumorigenic activities which might be related to (i) potent IL- 17 production (thereby enhancing myeloid-derived suppressor cells), (ii) regulatory activity of γδ T-cells (thereby suppressing αβ T-cell responses), or (iii) restraining αβ T-cell activation at the level of co-stimulation
  • Tumor cells themselves may also counterattack recognition by γδ T-cells by releasing suppressive factors (e.g., PGE2)
  • In view of the ambiguous role of potential strategies to optimize the anti-tumor activity of γδ T-cells will be discussed

Harnessing NK cells as Immunotherapy for Cancer


  • Discuss the endogenous ability of NK cells to target cancers
  • Examine how genetically modified NK cells engineered to target cancers
  • Review NK cells as autologous therapy
  • Explore NK cells as allogeneic, off-the-shelf therapy

Afternoon Refreshments & Networking

Memory of A Killer: Translating NK Cell Memory-Like Responses for Cancer Immunotherapy

  • Todd Fehniger Associate Professor, Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine


  • Human NK cells activated briefly via IL-12, IL-15, and IL-18 receptors differentiate into memory-like NK cells
  • Memory-like NK cells exhibit enhanced responses to leukemia targets in vitro and in vivo
  • Differentiation of memory-like NK cells rescues the anti-tumor responses of “unlicensed’ NK cells
  • Memory-like NK cells have reduced inhibition via KIR ligand interactions
  • A first in human memory-like NK cell adoptive immunotherapy trial established safety and induced remissions in poor-prognosis relapsed or refractory AML patients

Screening for Best Response for Adoptively Transferred NK Cells

  • Evren Alici Assistant Professor, Gene & Cell Therapy Group , Karolinska Institutet


  • This session primarily focus on preclinical and clinical surrogate markers for adoptive transfer of NK cells with and without gene modification
  • Discuss strategies to overcome tumor micro-environment through gene modification
  • Examine clinically applicable strategies for increasing NK cell dose and gene modification
  • Explore genetically modified NK cells as a tool for prediction of response to therapy

Chairman’s Closing Remarks and Close of Day 1