8:15 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Anahid Jewett Professor & Director of Tumor Immunology Laboratory, UCLA School of Dentistry and Medicine

Identifying the Value of NK Cells

8:30 am The Innate Killing Ability of Natural Killer Cells


  • Emphasizing the need for combinational approaches to combat multiple tumor types
  • Addressing the importance of using multiple modes of killing and training to induce an immunogenic response

9:00 am Engineering Models for Potency and Persistence

  • James Trager Senior Vice President of Research and Development , Nkarta Therapeutics


  • Scalable expansion and transduction of NK cells from a variety of sources to allow maximum flexibility in development of either allogeneic or autologous NK cell products
  • Enhancing targeting of NKG2D ligands through the use of conventional chimeras and novel cell engineering approaches
  • Maximizing NK potency through combination therapy

9:30 am The Clinical Significance of NK Cell Dysfunction and the Use of Non- Genetically Modified Expanded Autologous Natural Killer Cells with Enhanced Cytotoxicity in the Treatment of Human Disease


  • Defining the significant role that Natural Killer Cell dysfunction has in overall
    human health
  • Describing an innovative NK cell expansion and activation process which results in
    an exponential increase in CD56+ cells and their cytotoxicity
  • Exploring the potential uses of these Super NK cells in the treatment of several
    diseases with an emphasis on preclinical data, ongoing, and proposed clinical

10:00 am The Functional Capacity of immune Cells as Measured by Single Cell Proteomics Predicts Clinical Outcome Across IO Therapies


Using single cell proteomics to measure the functional capacity or ‘fitness’ of immune cells has correlated with and been predictive of clinical outcome in CAR-T, TIL, Cancer Vaccine and Checkpoint Inhibitor therapy. This talk will review several of these data sets and discuss applications of IsoPlexis’ single cell technology.

10:30 am
Morning Refreshments & Speed Networking

11:30 am NK Cell Memory to Target Advanced Malignancies

  • Rizwan Romee Director of Haploidentical Donor Transplant Program , Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


  • Update current knowledge about NK cell memory
  • Key features o f the cytokine induced NK cell memory
  • Pre-clinical and early clinical experience with using memory-like NK cells
  • Efforts to use memory-like NK cells in combination with novel agents

12:00 pm Therapeutic Strategies Based on Innate Immunity and Affimed’s ROCK® platform


  • Outlining Affimed’s versatile modular antibody platform, ROCK® (Redirected Optimized Cell Killing), which enables development of high affinity engagers of innate immune effector cells (NK cells and macrophages), targeting specific receptors on cancer cell
  • Effector cell engagement using ROCK®-based bispecific antibodies has shown promising clinical efficacy and safety, both as single agents and in combination with the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab
  • ROCK® antibodies with other (immuno-oncology) agents have shown encouraging preclinical results in additional rational combinations with cytokines (IL-2 and IL-15) or with adoptive NK cell transfer

12:30 pm NK Cell Homeostasis and Plasticity Studied at the Single Cell Level


  • The basic principle behind the functional regulation of NK cells
  • Phenotypic and functional diversity within the NK cell repertoire
  • Impact of NK cell education and repertoire diversification on rational NK cell trial

1:00 pm High-Throughput Visualization of Cell-Mediated Cytolysis: the Target-Cell Visualization Assay (TVA) for Assessment of NK Activity


• The Target cell Visualization Assay quantifies functional NK cell activity in a fast, high-throughput, simple assay using image cytometry to visualize target cells, and automatically generates output of killing efficiency data
• TVA assays can be performed with a fraction of the cells needed for flow cytometry, is far quicker than traditional assays, and can be used to measure killing of primary cell targets
• The TVA assay has been validated for use in clinical labs, does not require radioactivity, and retains the sensitivity and reproducibility of Chromium release assays, making it ideal for use in screening large batches or numbers of NK cell samples

1:10 pm
Lunch & Networking

NK Cell Therapeutic Strategies

2:10 pm Using PM21-NK cells as an Anti-Cancer Therapeutic

  • Alicja Copik Research Assistant Professor, Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences


  • Use of NK cells for induction of PD-L1 and priming for PD-L1 checkpoint blockade
  • Effect of NK cells response on tumor microenvironment
  • Use of PM-21-NK cells/anti-PD-L1 checkpoint combinations to improve NK cell function and overall efficacy

2:40 pm Translation of Pluripotent Cell-Derived Engineered NK Cells as a Cornerstone Approach for Off-The-Shelf Cancer Immunotherapy

  • Ryan Bjordahl Associate Director of Cancer Immunotherapy, Fate Therapeutics


  • Natural killer (NK) cells represent a lineage of immune cells capable of direct cytotoxicity against tumor cells and are a critical source of key inflammatory cytokines
  • Pluripotent stem cell technology represents a unique and powerful approach to make cell-based immunotherapies available to a wide range of patients through the generation of a consistent and renewable “off-the-shelf” source of therapeutic cells
  • Analogous to biopharmaceutical drug product development, the derived master pluripotent cell line is banked, characterized and repeatedly applied to our stage-specific directed differentiation process to reproducibly and reliably generate NK cells
  • Will highlight the therapeutic value of pluripotent-derived NK cells including augmented anti-tumor capacity, manufacturing reliability and product safety

3:10 pm Engineered Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Natural Killer Cells with Improved Anti-Tumor Activity

  • Dan Kaufman Professor of Medicine, University of California - San Diego


  • Demonstrating that natural killer (NK) cells can be efficiently derived from both
    human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs)
  • These hESC/iPSC-derived NK cells have similar characteristics and function as NK
    cells isolated from peripheral blood or cord blood
  • hESC/iPSC-derived NK cells can be engineered to better target refractory
    malignancies. We have used iPSCs as a platform to express chimeric antigen
    receptors (CARs), including novel NK cell-specific CARs
  • Improving NK cell function through addition of autonomous cytokine receptors,
    stabilized expression of CD16, and internal gene edits to improve anti-tumor
    activity. Translation into clinical trials to treat patients with a standardized, “offthe-
    shelf” targeted cellular immunotherapy against refractory malignancies

3:40 pm Selection Prep, Culture, Harvest and Wash with LOVO and GRex

  • Alaina Schlinker Senior Manager, Cell Therapy Application Support, Fresenius Kabi

3:50 pm
Afternoon Refreshments & Poster Session

4:20 pm Utilizing Ex Vivo Expanded Natural Killer Cells for Both Allogeneic and Autologous Uses

  • Evren Alici Assistant Professor of Hematology , Karolinska Institutet


  • Strategies to combine adoptive NK cell therapies with monoclonal antibody therapies
  • Examining bottlenecks and strategies to overcome them in NK cell based immunotherapy clinical trials

4:50 pm Panel Discussion: The Future Potential of NK Cells in Combination Therapies


  • Identify the optimal sequence of treatment for successful combination therapy and detail their development in animal studies
  • Explore the use of targeted antibodies and cytokines to work alongside NK cells to improve their role in persistence and anti-tumor effects
  • Understand the cross-talk between NK cells and T cells, analyzing how an inflammatory microenvironment can stimulate the rest of adaptive immunity to work in combination to increase efficacy
  • Understand ways to exploit the full potential of an immunotherapeutic approach, defining a rational combination approach to maximize efficacies

5:50 pm
Chair’s Closing Remarks

  • Anahid Jewett Professor & Director of Tumor Immunology Laboratory, UCLA School of Dentistry and Medicine

6:00 pm
End of Day One