Conference Day Two

Thursday 11th May 2023

8:30 am
Registration & Welcome Coffee

8:55 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

Addressing STING & TLR Toxicity: Combination Studies & Biomarkers

9:00 am Quantifying Antibody Binding & Internalization Into Effector Cells & Target Cells in a Co-Culture System Using a Fluorescent Biosensor Method


  • Analyzing the ability of a fluorescent biosensor in quantitively assessing the number of antibodies that bind to a cell
  • Understanding the use of quantitative spectral flow cytometry to look at the frequency of internalized antibodies per cell in tumor and immune cells in co-cultures
  • Evaluating the importance of the number of antibodies and the percentage of internalized antibodies per cell as parameters for modelling delivery of ADC innate immune agonists

9:30 am Engineering Therapeutic Immunity to Brain Tumors Using Biomaterials for the Effective Delivery of STING Agonist Chemoimmunotherapy

  • Michelle Dion PhD Candidate, Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology


  • Designing local biomaterial-based strategies to overcome delivery barriers to STING agonist chemoimmunotherapy for the effective treatment of brain tumors
  • Evaluating the therapeutic responses (survival, tumor growth, immune memory formation) to STING agonist chemoimmunotherapy in orthotopic, syngeneic brain cancer mouse models
  • Characterizing the molecular and cellular mediators of chemoimmunotherapy efficacy in brain tumors using immunophenotyping

10:00 am
Networking Break


This is your opportunity to network and forge new contacts with fellow peers in the room to make new and lasting connections

10:30 am Crystallography-Guided Generation of Human TREX1 Inhibitors to Selectively Activate STING in the TME of Metastatic Disease


  • Learn the rationale for targeting TREX1, a cytosolic dsDNA exonuclease that is a negative regulator of the cGAS/STING pathway, with an orally available small molecule inhibitor
  • Using a structure-based drug design strategy to generate potent small-molecule inhibitors of human TREX1, with drug-like physicochemical properties that we profile in biochemical and cell-based assays, X-ray crystallography studies, thermal shift, and biochemical assays to determine the mechanism of action
  • Review anti-tumor activity of selected potential first-in-class TREX1 inhibitors with nanomolar potency against human and mouse TREX1 that specifically and locally engage the STING pathway in the tumor microenvironment, enhance tumor-specific immunity, and provide therapeutic benefit

11:00 am Natural Selection of Common Human STING Variants: The Possible Cause(s) & Potential Impact

  • Lei Jin Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Florida


  • Uncover the functions of STING that were naturally selected during the out-of-Africa human migration
  • Assess the impact of common human STING variants on CDN and non-CDN STING agonists
  • Explore the role of common human STING variants in modulating immune tolerance

11:30 am
Lunch Break


Take this chance to meet the expert speakers, connect with your peers and explore our exhibition booths

12:30 pm Conjugated STING-Agonist Nanoparticles for the Intravenous Delivery of Effective Innate Adjuvant Immunotherapy to Solid Tumors


  • Design and assessment of conjugated nanoparticles for the intravenous delivery of STING agonist therapy to solid tumors in mice
  • Characterize the impact that different cells and organs (particularly the spleen) have on systemic nanoparticle STING agonist therapy efficacy and safety
  • Discuss nanoparticle-mediated transfer of STING agonist therapy from cancer cells to immune cells

Using Innate Immune Therapies to Deliver on the Promise of Cancer Vaccines

1:00 pm Levelling Up Cancer Vaccines With TLR Agonist Adjuvants

  • Peter DeMuth Chief Scientific Officer, Elicio Therapeutics


  • Highlighting the potential of TLR agonists in enhancing the efficacy of a range of vaccines
  • Taking away valuable insights from the COVID-19 vaccines and adapting this to enhance cancer vaccines
  • Improving the immunogenicity of an encoded transgene in the vaccine

1:30 pm STINGing Myeloid Cells for T-Cell Vaccines & Immunotherapy

  • Jinming Gao Elaine Dewey Sammons Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, UT Southwestern Medical Center


  • Learn about a nanovaccine platform that allows cytosolic delivery of tumor antigens and STING activation for T-cell priming
  • Review novel nanoparticle STING agonist with burst and sustained STING activation
  • Explore cell tropism toward myeloid cells in the tumor microenvironment
  • Identify how Type 1 dendritic cells drive antitumor immunity

2:00 pm
Afternoon Break


Grab a coffee and explore our exhibition booths, networking and more!

Innate Immune Therapies – A Plethora of Potential: Applications Beyond Oncology

2:30 pm Innate Immune Activation & Infectious Diseases: Preparing for the Next Pandemic


  • Understanding how 2020 saw the fastest drug development timeline in history and how this was contingent on the existing mRNA vaccine research at the time
  • Exploring how the current understanding of innate immune activation can help us prepare for the next global pandemic
  • Evaluating what this means in terms of accelerated clinical trial lengths

3:30 pm Panel Discussion: Weighing Up Innate Immune Activation vs Suppression & What We Can Take Away From Understanding Antagonists

  • Peter DeMuth Chief Scientific Officer, Elicio Therapeutics


Facilitating a discussion between agonist and antagonist drug developers is key to gaining a better insight into the

overall functioning of STING and TLR pathways. This panel discussion will span across both sides of this reflecting on:

  • The perspective of antagonist developers on what drives autoimmune overactivation and exploring if this can be replicated selectively in cancer cells
  • Where does the threshold for overstimulation lie?
  • Using knowledge of innate immune suppression to help address toxicity challenges in agonists

4:00 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks & End of Day Two