7:30 am Coffee & Registration

8:25 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Todd Fehniger Associate Professor, Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis

Clinical Trial Case Study

8:30 am Pre-Emptive Natural Killer Donor Lymphocyte Infusion After PostTransplant Cyclophosphamide GVHD Prophylaxis Without Use of Mycophenolate: Clinical Trial Update

  • Noah Merin Professor, Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre


  • Immunology of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation – Focus on Natural Killer
    Immune Reconstitution
  • Covering HLA and KIR Typing, T Cell Reconstitution, NK Reconstitution, Graftversus-host and Graft-versus-malignancy
  • Updated Clinical Trial Testing Augmentation of NK Recovery

Exploring Allogeneic NK Cell Therapies

9:00 am Incorporating Novel Tools to Enhance NK Cell Manufacturing


  • Outlining current manufacturing challenges for scaling up NK cell manufacturing
  • Converting to a feeder-free expansion platform using Cloudz NK Expansion Kit
    and ExCellerate NK Cell Expansion Media
  • Streamlining cytokine supplementation into closed system manufacturing using
    GMP ProDots Proteins

9:10 am Optimizing NK Cell Therapy: Endogenous Stimulation, Single Donor Infusions & Off-the-Shelf Products


  • Understanding the biology and activity of IL-15 therapy
  • Furthering the understanding of the fundamental biology of immune engagement
    of endogenous NK cells
  • Covering the history of single related donor products
  • Deliberating the future of off-the-shelf gene edited iPSC derived NK cells in the
    clinic and in development

9:40 am Prospects for Multi-targeting Off-the-Shelf CAR-NK Cells


  • Describing renewable engineered master cell lines for off-the-shelf adoptive NK
    cell therapy
  • Discussing a unique approach to utilize both chimeric antigen receptor and
    CD16 Fc receptor to create a multi-antigen targeting approach in cancer
  • Outlining techniques to enhance persistence and expansion capabilities of NK

10:10 am Single-cell Functional Proteomics Reveals the Underlying Mechanism of NK Cells in Disease Progression and Immunotherapy Development


• NK cells as innate immune cells are best known for their cytolytic activities in many diseases, including cancers. However, due to the resolution of current technologies, the in-depth proteomic analyses of cellular mechanisms are still lacking

• Overcoming the limitations of traditional methods with IsoPlexis Single Cell Functional Proteomics, with the multiplexed detection of 32 immune functional proteins secreted from single cells

• Summarizing several recent studies that demonstrate the power of Single Cell Functional Phenotyping in deciphering the functional mechanism of NK cells in next generation immunotherapies and distinct diseases

10:40 am Speed Networking


This session is the ideal opportunity to get face-to-face time with many of the brightest minds working to advance cell therapies. Benchmark against the industry leaders and establish meaningful business relationships to pursue for the rest of the conference and beyond.

11:10 am Morning Refreshments

Research & Development

Manufacturing & Commercialization

Discussing NK Cell Memory

Manufacturing Considerations for Allogeneic NK Cell Therapies

11.40 Memory-like NK Cell Translation as Cancer Immunotherapy

• How IL-12/15/18 activated NK cells differentiate into memory like NK cells
• Outlining enhanced preclinical anti-tumor properties of memory-like NK cells
• Examination of the first-in-human studies that have demonstrated safety and preliminary activity of memorylike NK cells for patients with relapsed/refractory AML
• Immune-compatible use of memory-like NK cell therapy in clinical trials results in prolonged persistence following a single treatment
• How are memory-like NK cells a platform for ongoing innovation as cancer therapy, including targeting with monoclonal antibodies and engineering with CAR

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

11.40 Validation & Implementation of a Universal Donor Algorithm for Generating an Off-the-Shelf NK Cell Therapeutic

• Describing genetic variability of human NK cells and their impact on function
• Understanding the rationale for a Universal Donor algorithm
• Interpreting the preclinical data supporting a Universal Donor algorithm
• Describing the logistics in place for donor selection and manufacturing of a Universal Donor off-the-shelf NK cell therapeutic

Dean Lee, Director, Cellular Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

12.10 HLA-E and NK Cell Education as Major Determinants of Anti-Tumor Function

• Genetic variation in HLA class I and KIR genes defining the phenotypes and functions of NK cells found in the circulation and tissues
• HLA-E as a strongly inhibitory receptor that signals through NKG2A-expressing NK cells and CD8 T cells
• HLA-E expression is highly variable and correlates with prognosis across numerous cancers as well as predicts tumor response to multiple immunotherapies
• Highlight of ex vivo profiling data of the tumor microenvironment in patients with bladder, kidney and prostate cancer using Olink proteomics, CyTOF, and imaging mass cytometry
• Examination of in vitro mechanistic studies using antibodies targeting NKG2A and KIR as well as oncolytic viruses that suppress HLA-C and HLA-E as strategies for harnessing ‘educated’ NK cells in cancer immunotherapies

Amir Horowitz, Assistant Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

12.10 Strategies to Improve NK Cell-Mediated Therapies

• Discussing the use of human pluripotent stem cells to produce standardize NK cells
• Highlighting strategies to engineer iPSC-derived NK cells to improve anti-tumor activity
• Examining screening strategies to identify novel NK cell targets

Dan Kaufman, Professor, UCSD

12:40 pm Lunch & Networking

Assessing Checkpoint Activation & NK Cell Education

Strategies & Mechanisms to Enhance the Efficacy of NK Cell Therapies

1.40 Targeting NK Cells at Different Stages of the Cancer Immunity Cycle: Checkpoints & Next Generation NK Cell Therapies

• Discussing NK cells’ control of metastasis
• Highlighting NK cells driving tumor inflammation
• NK cells potentiating immune checkpoint blockade response
• Emerging activation checkpoint in NK cells
• Strategies to target tumor resident NK cells Nick Huntington, CSO, oNKo-Innate Pty Ltd

Nick Huntington, CSO, oNKo-Innate Pty Ltd

1.40 Mechanisms Governing the Selection & Expansion
of CD8+ T Cells by Super-Charged NK Cells from Human Donors & Humanized Mice

• Covering differential roles of Dendritic cells and Osteoclasts in expansion of T cells and NK cells respectively
• Outlining mechanisms governing decreased expansion of super-charged NK cells from cancer patients
• Discussing mechanisms underlying the inability of patients’ NK cells to be super-charged, forming the basis for the selection of allogeneic vs. autologous NK cells for cancer immunotherapy
• Understanding mechanisms underlying CD8+ T cell expansion by super-charged NK cells and their functional activation
• Analyzing studies of NK cells from cancer patients and tumor bearing hu-BLT mice

Anahid Jewett, Professor, UCLA

2.10 Advancing Kiadis NK Cell Therapeutics: the K-NK Platform

• mbIL21 platform for production and delivery of clinical NK cell therapeutic

• Clinical advancement with the mbIL21 stimulated NK cells

• Exploring the Kiadis vision for immunotherapy

Robert Igarashi, VP, Discovery & Pre-Clinical Development, Kiadis Pharma


Beckman Coulter

2.40 Human IL-15 Transgenic NSG (NSG-Tg(Hu-IL15)) Mice, Enhance Differentiation of Functional Human Natural Killer Cells

• Hemizygous NSG-Tg(Hu-IL15) mice express a physiological level of human IL15 (7.1 +/- 0.3 pg/ml)

• NSG mice irradiated and injected with CD34+ human stems cells (HSC) develop significantly higher levels of functional human CD56+ NK cells in peripheral blood, spleen and bone marrow than NSG controls

• HSC humanized NSG-Tg(Hu-IL15) mice exhibit physiological levels of human NK cells in peripheral blood with corresponding phenotypic markers

• Human NK cells in HSC humanized NSG-Tg(Hu-IL15) exert in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity

Basille Siewe, Director of Business Development, The Jackson Laboratory

2.10 Development of γδ T Cell Therapies: Lessons Learned from Early NK Cell Trials

• Variability of the final product due to variability of the primary material
• Quality of the final product dependence on the quality of the primary material
• Vein-to-vein time constrains and potential disease progression
• Outlining challenges of allogeneic CAR T-cell therapy
• Recognition of host tissues as foreign and development of GvHD
• Limited persistence due to HvG-mediated rejection of CAR T-cells

Lawrence Lamb, CSO, Incysus

3:10 pm Afternoon Refreshments & Poster Session


Share your work with the pioneers of innate therapeutic development! Bring a poster and gain feedback on your latest research with this world-leading community

Focussing on CAR-NKs

Manufacturing Techniques & Guidance

4.10 NK Cell Transduction & CAR-NK Cells

• Highlighting how baboon envelope pseudotyped lentiviral vectors (BaEV-LVs) outperform other viral vectors for NK-cell transduction, both for freshly isolated and amplified NKcells, regardless of expansion method
• Outlining that BaEV-LV-based transduction allows for a stable and efficient CAR expression by NK cells
• Examining how CAR-NK cells keep their natural cytotoxic function while being more efficient at antigen-bearing killing tumor cells
• Covering how NK cells can be transduced to express two CARs at their surface
• Revealing that modification of CAR-tail has an effect on the efficacy of CAR-NK cells killing capacity

Elie Haddad, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Montreal

4.40 Development & Manufacture of Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Engineered Allogeneic γδ T Cell Therapies

• Hearing rationale and preclinical evidence for CAR γδ T cell therapies in solid tumors and hematologic malignancies
• Clinical-scale, cGMP-compliant manufacturing considerations of γδ T therapies
• Discussing off-the-shelf cell banks and clinical application

Stewart Abbot, CSO, Adicet Bio

4.40 Development of Allogeneic NK Cell Therapeutics Using T Cell-based Feeder System

• Outlining an engineered T cell as a new feeder system for NK cell activation and expansion
• Discussing characteristics of NK cell expansion profile using e-Feeder system
• Covering clinical trials of expanded, activated allogeneic NK cells by large-scale production
• Development of gene-modified NK cell
• Discussing technical issues for CAR-NKs

Yu-Kyeong Hwang, Head of R&D, SVP, Green Cross LabCell

4.40 An Off-the-Shelf, GMP Compliant, Fully Closed & Semi-Automated Large-Scale Production System for Allogeneic NK Cells

  • With the highly unmet need to treat large cohort of patients and with multiple doses, a true off the shelf approach is the only way
  • Glycostem began to envision this, by setting up a world’s first completely closed manufacturing platform for allogeneic NK cells (oNKord®) from fresh umbilical cord blood stem cells
  • Optimised freezing and thawing conditions, which result in high recovery and product functionality, enabled cell banking of multiple infusion doses produced from one manufacturing batch
  • Setting up of a completely closed system faces many challenges, and during this journey over the last two years, Glycostem has successfully resolved several bottlenecks and worked closely with the regulatory authorities in achieving an “universal off the shelf” NK cell therapy product

John Veluchamy, Senior Scientist, Glycostem

4:40 pm End of Conference Day One