Welcome

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to invite you to the 2019 meeting of the Israeli Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ISGCT 2019), set to take place in Tel Aviv University, on October 7th, 2019.

Gene and Cell therapy are finally taking center stage in global health. No longer a futuristic dream of the hopeful few but rather a true revolutionary reality, with several drugs already on the market and hundreds of advanced clinical trials. We can proudly reflect on the important role of Israeli researchers in the rising of the field, with seminal contributions to stem cell research, T cell engineering, genome editing, liver gene therapy and so much more.

Remaining challenges are nevertheless formidable. How can we improve delivery and prolong the effect? How can we increase therapeutic potency while providing safety? How can we devise new remedies for the yet incurable devastating human ailments, and do so in a scalable and affordable manner?

Meeting these challenges will require the innovation and dedication of individual researchers, but it will also depend on nourishing strong scientific communities. The Israeli Society of Gene and Cell therapy has thus set as its goals to support the sharing of data and ideas, promote collaborations, address common challenges and advance clinical translation.

I’d like to take this opportunity to warmly thank Professor Eithan Galun, the outgoing president, for his many years of inspiring leadership and personal mentoring. Eithan’s shoes are very hard to fill, but with his ongoing support, I trust that the society will continue to grow and flourish.

In the upcoming 2019 ISGCT meeting, we our privileged to host Professor Luigi Naldini, Director of the San-Raffaele institute, a pioneer and a leader of gene and cell therapy. We are also most excited by the impressive list of speakers from the Israeli academia, clinic and industry, destined to make this event a great kick-off for our rejuvenating society. Please do join us at the 2019 ISGCT meeting,

See you in Tel Aviv! 

Adi Barzel, PhD, Tel Aviv University,
President of Israeli Society of Gene and Cell Therapy

Organizing Committee

   
          Adi Barzel         Dinorah Friedmann-Morvinski

Keep Me Updated

* Required

Keynote Speaker

  • Prof. Luigi Naldini
    San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (TIGET)
    Italy

    Prof. Luigi Naldini

Prof. Luigi Naldini

DirectorSan Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (TIGET)Italy

Bio:

Luigi Naldini received his M.D. from the University of Turin, Italy and his Ph.D. from the University of Rome. In the mid 90’s he moved to the Salk Institute in San Diego, USA, to carry out his research work in the laboratories of Inder Verma and Didier Trono, where they pioneered the development of lentiviral gene transfer vectors from HIV. He then spent 2 years in the biotechnology industry in San Francisco, before moving back to academia in Turin. Since 2008 he has been the Director of the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy of Milan (SR-Tiget) and Professor at the “Vita Salute” San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy.

Luigi Naldini was elected as a member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). He has been President of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) and was appointed as an expert on the Human Gene Editing Study of the US National Academies of Sciences and of Medicine. He was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) in 2014 and from the ESGCT in 2015, the Jimenez Diaz Prize in 2016, and the Beutler Prize from the American Society of Hematology in 2017.

Title:

Abstract:

INVITED SPEAKERS

  • Dr. Adi Barzel
    Tel-Aviv University
    Israel

    Dr. Adi Barzel
  • Prof. Eithan Galun
    The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
    Israel

    Prof. Eithan Galun
  • Prof. Dror Harats
    Sheba Medical Center
    Israel

    Prof. Dror Harats
  • Dr. Ayal Hendel
    Bar-Ilan University
    Israel

    Dr. Ayal Hendel
  • Dr. Asael Herman
    Emendo
    Israel

    Dr. Asael Herman
  • Dr. Elad Jacoby
    Sheba Medical Center
    Israel

    Dr. Elad Jacoby
  • Prof. Carmit Levy
    Tel Aviv University
    Israel

    Prof. Carmit Levy
  • Dr. Vered Padler-Karavani
    Tel Aviv University
    Israel

    Dr. Vered Padler-Karavani
  • Prof. Dan Peer
    Tel Aviv University
    Israel

    Prof. Dan Peer
  • Prof. Angel Porgador
    Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    Israel

    Prof. Angel Porgador
  • Prof. Yoram Reiter
    Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
    Israel

    Prof. Yoram Reiter

Dr. Adi Barzel

President of the Israeli Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ISGCT)
ICLE Conference Chair
Senior lecturer at Tel-Aviv University
Israel

Bio:

Adi Barzel, PhD is the president elect of the Israeli society for Gene and Cell Therapy. Dr. Barzel is a senior lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at Tel Aviv University. He is also co-founder and acting CSO of LogicBio Therapeutics Inc, a Gene Therapy company developing life-long cures for serious early-onset rare diseases. In Tel Aviv University, the Barzel lab is developing novel methods to engineer lymphocytes for immunotherapy.

Title:

Abstract:

Prof. Eithan Galun

Professor of Gene & Cell TherapyThe Hebrew University of JerusalemIsrael

Bio:

Eithan Galun is a full professor of Gene & Cell Therapy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Over the last 21 years, I have directed the Gene and Cell Therapy Institute at the Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital that I have established. Today, we are 10 research groups, with 80 investigators. In addition to the research groups, I have established a GMP level production facility with four clean rooms engaged in the production of biological materials administered to humans in phase I-III studies. 

Title:

The Hormonal Properties of MicroRNAs: The Basis for Gene Therapy From Within

Abstract:

In recent years, we have investigated the systemic effects of microRNA-122 (miR-122) produced in hepatocytes acting on remote tissues. We showed that miR-122 produced in the liver regulates erythropoietin production in the kidney. MiR-122 regulates directly triglyceride biosynthesis in the liver, as well as in adipose, muscle and heart muscle tissues. This causes the increase in blood free fatty acids which then through RORa increases miR-122 production. This is a positive “hormonal” feed-back loop. Based on these findings we are currently developing endogenous miR based “gene therapies” for cancer. 

Prof. Dror Harats

VP for R&D and the Chairman of the IRB CommitteeSheba Medical CenterIsrael

Bio:

Prof. Harats founded VBL Therapeutics (NASDQ:VBLT) in 2000 based on more than 20 years of both research in the field of medicine and biotechnology as well as a strong background in management of early to mid stage biotechnology companies.   Prof Harats is also a professional and experienced consultant specializing in Biotechnology / Pharmaceutical healthcare companies. Prof. Harats, a professor of medicine in internal medicine at the department of human molecular genetics and biochemistry at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, the VP for R&D and the chairman of the IRB committee of the Sheba Medical Center.

Prof. Harats received his M.D. from the Hadassah Medical School, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. Following an Internship at Sheba Medical Center and a resdency in Medicine at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, he conducted a fellowship in pulmonary medicine and research in Molecular Genetics at The University of California in San Francisco (UCSF). He was then a Visiting Scientist at Syntex Discovery for three years.

For the past 25 years Prof. Harats has been involved in "cutting edge" Research in Lipid Metabolism, Atherosclerosis and Vascular Biology. He was one of the pioneers who studied the role of the immune/inflammatory system in atherosclerosis and invented a new genetic tool for the treatment of angiogenesis, a process that plays a major role in cancer and cardiovascular disorders.

Prof. Harats is a KOL in the field of dyslipidemia and atherosclerosis both in Israel and abroad. He is involved in numerous clinical research trials of lipid-lowering agents. Professor Harats chaired the committee of the Israeli guidelines for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. He is a member of the Israel Medical Association, Israel Heart Society, American Heart Association and American Society of Gene-Therapy.

Professor Harats published more than 185 peer-reviewed research papers and chapters in books, his publications rewarded him with numerous prizes and grants.

Title:

Turning 'Cold' Tumors 'Hot': Lessons from VB-111, an Immuno-Oncology Gene Therapy Agent

Abstract:

The tumor micro-environment plays a key role in cancer biology. In particular, the crosstalk between tumor cells, immune cells, surrounding vasculature and stroma, have a critical effect on the ability of tumors to grow and metastasize.

Immune checkpoint-inhibitors have changed the treatment landscape of certain tumors. However, response rate remains low in most cases. It is increasingly clear that the effectiveness of cancer therapies depends on the presence of a baseline immune response, highlighting the need to transform `cold` tumors into `hot` tumors.

Viral immuno-oncology is an emerging and promising field. Specialized in delivering DNA into cells, viruses can serve as a delivery tool for cancer-related gene-therapy through targeting of tumor cells, disruption of tumor vasculature or recruitment of the immune system. Moreover, viruses serve as adjuvants in the milieu, promoting recruitment and activation of the immune system. Once recruited, immune cells can recognize tumor neoantigens and attach the tumor.

Novel approaches offer systemic use of anti-cancer gene therapy, with potential to treat primary lesions and metastases. VB-111, a drug candidate currently studied in Phase 3, is positioned to treat a wide range of solid tumors. The mechanism of VB-111 combines blockade of tumor vasculature with an anti-tumor immune response, turning 'cold' tumors 'hot'. Clinical findings have demonstrated that administration of VB-111 was associated with an infiltration of immune cells within the tumor, which was followed by tumor necrosis and sustained clinical response. Gene-based therapies are expected to play an important role in the developing field of cancer immunotherapy.

Dr. Ayal Hendel

The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences
Nanotechnology Institute
Bar-Ilan UniversityIsrael

Bio:

Dr. Ayal Hendel is a Principal investigator in the faculty of life sciences at Bar-Ilan University. Dr. Hendel’s research focuses on developing CRISPR genome editing as a curative therapy for childhood disorders.

Dr. Hendel received his BA with High Honors from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Biology and his MSc and PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Dr. Hendel carried out post-doctoral research at Stanford University School of Medicine where he was part of a team that achieved therapeutically relevant genome editing frequencies in human hematopoietic stem cells confirming the potential of this technological breakthrough.

Title:

Chemically Modified Guide RNAs Enhance CRISPR Genome Editing in Human Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells

Abstract:

Genome editing of human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells holds a great therapeutic potential. Our research focuses on developing novel genome editing strategies as curative therapy for gene therapy of hematopoietic genetic disorders such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). CRISPR genome editing requires delivery of both the Cas9 nuclease and the targeting guide RNA (gRNA). The gRNA component can be generated in multiple ways, each with advantages and disadvantages. The use of synthetic gRNA allows for the incorporation of chemical modifications for enhanced properties including improved stability. Here we present gene editing results using chemically modified synthetic single guide RNA (sgRNA) molecules and chemically modified crRNA:tracrRNA molecules (two separate strands to form a complete guide RNA) delivered as a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex. We show that chemical alterations to synthesized guide RNAs enhance genome editing efficiency in human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in a locus-specific manner. In addition, we describe an approach for unbiased identification of potential gene-specific off-target effects (OTEs) by GUIDE-seq, and their subsequent quantification by the rhAmpSeq technique (a multiplexed, PCR-based targeted enrichment approach). This approach is a simple and effective way to streamline the development of genome editing with the potential to accelerate a wide array of therapeutic applications for other primary hematopoietic cells.

Dr. Asael Herman

VP R&DEmendoIsrael

Bio:

Joined Emendo as Director of Protein Engineering and since April 2017 serve as Vice President of Research and Development. Prior to joining Emendo he led the R&D of Smartzyme Biopharma. He formerly was the VP of R&D at Biolojic Design, an antibodies engineering company. Prior to that he served as Head of Enzyme Engineering at Bio Architecture Lab, a start-up synthetic biology and biofuels firm. Dr. Herman holds a PhD in Bio chemistry and Molecular Biology from the Hebrew University and further trained in protein engineering with Prof. Dan Tawfik at the Weizmann Institute and Prof. Larry Loeb at the University of Washington.

Title:

Target Optimization of CRISPR Associated Nucleases Enables a General Therapeutic Approach via Allele-Specific Genome Editing

Abstract:

We present here a novel and general approach for allele-specific CRISPR gene editing, allowing targeting different mutated alleles of a disease-associated gene using a single CRISPR composition. This approach can be applied in cases of dominant negative diseases as well as compound heterozygous or haploinsufficiency. Engineered nucleases optimized for the precise editing using directed evolution enable the allele specific editing.

Dr. Elad Jacoby

Pediatric Hemato-OncologySheba Medical CenterIsrael

Bio:

Dr. Elad Jacoby is a board-certified pediatric hematologist and oncologist, trained at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and at the National Cancer Institute. He specializes in pediatric leukemia and in cellular therapy for pediatric malignancies.  He heads the pediatric cancer immunotherapy center at the Sheba Medical Center, and leads translational research in novel cellular therapies, CAR T-cells and leukemia biology of resistance. Dr. Jacoby is a member of American Society of Hematology, the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Resistant Disease Committee of the International-BFM study group in leukemia, and serves as the co-chair of the Israeli Study Group of Childhood Leukemia.

Title:

Locally Produced CAR T-cells for Hematologic Malignancies in Israel: The Sheba Medical Center Experience

Abstract:

Success of early clinical trials with genetically modified autologous CAR T-cells has seeded much hope in field of hematology and oncology. Since 2016, clinical-grade local production of CD19 CAR T-cells in ongoing at the Sheba Medical Center. In a phase Ib/II clinical trial targeting various hematologic malignancies, in both children and adults, we demonstrated high remission rates in previously relapsed and resistant patients in Israel, echoing worldwide clinical results. Here we will share results of clinical products, discuss the challenges and benefits of an institutional based program, and options for future development. 

Prof. Carmit Levy

Associate Professor, Department of Human Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityIsrael

Bio:

Title:

Abstract:

Dr. Vered Padler-Karavani

Laboratory of GlycoimmunologyTel Aviv UniversityIsrael

Bio:

Vered Padler-Karavani received her PhD in biochemistry from Tel Aviv University. She then did her postdoctoral training with Prof. Ajit Varki at The University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and subsequently established The Laboratory for Glycoimmunology at Tel Aviv University, Faculty of Life Sciences, Department of Cell Research and Immunology.  Her research combines glycobiology, immunology, bio-nanotechnology and cancer research, and involves cutting edge technologies within these disciplines. The research is currently focused on investigating how immune recognition of certain sugars contribute to cancer and heart diseases and in developing novel diagnostics and therapies for such diseases.

Title:

Cancer Immunotherapy with Anti-Carbohydrate Antibodies

Abstract:

All living cells are covered with a characteristic sugar-coat that is often altered in cancer. This results in cell surface presentation of unique tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens (TACA). Antibodies that bind these antigens can facilitate immune responses against cancer cells and could serve as ideal theranostic tools (therapeutic and/or diagnostics). However, anti-carbohydrate antibodies are typically of low affinity and low specificity limiting the potential of such antibodies in the clinic. We have established a new methodology and platform to obtain potent anti-carbohydrate antibodies targeting a diverse collection of TACAs with a therapeutic potential in a large collection of cancer types. Selected antibodies were validated for immunotherapy potential in vitro and in vivo in relevant mouse models.

Prof. Dan Peer

Director of the Laboratory of Precision NanoMedicineTel Aviv UniversityIsrael

Bio:

Dan Peer is a Professor and the Director of the Laboratory of Precision NanoMedicine at Tel Aviv University (TAU). He is the Vice Dean for Research at the George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences. From 2016, He is the Chair of Tel Aviv University Cancer Biology Research Center; the biggest Cancer Center in Israel that includes 17 affiliated hospitals and from 2017, the Founding and Managing Director of the SPARK program of Translational Medicine at TAU.

Prof. Peer’s work was among the first to demonstrate systemic delivery of RNA molecules using targeted nanocarriers to the immune system and he pioneered the use of RNA interference (RNAi) in immune cells. In addition, his lab was the first to show systemic, cell specific delivery of modified mRNA to cells to induce therapeutic gene expression of desired proteins within the immune system that has enormous implications in cancer and inflammation.

Prof. Peer has more than 100 pending and granted patents. Some of them have been licensed to several pharmaceutical companies and one is currently under registration (as a new drug in inflammatory bowel disease). In addition, based on his work, five spin-off companies were generated aiming to bring innovative personalized medicine into clinical practice. 

Prof. Peer received more than 30 awards and honors and he serves on the scientific advisory board of more than 10 companies, and on the editorial board of more than 15 journals. He is an associate Editor of the Journal of Controlled Release. Prof. Peer is a past President of the Israeli Chapter of the Controlled Release Society, and a Past Member of the Board of the Israel Young Academy of Science.

Title:

Manipulating Leukocytes Function with RNAs

Abstract:

Accumulating work points out relevant genes and signaling pathways hampered in human disorders as potential candidates for therapeutics. Developing nucleic acid-based tools to manipulate gene expression, such as siRNAs, mRNA and genome editing strategies, open up opportunities for personalized medicine. Yet, although major progress was achieved in developing RNA targeted delivery carriers, mainly by utilizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for targeting, their clinical translation has not occurred. In part because of massive development and production requirements and high batch-to-batch variability of current technologies, which relies on chemical conjugation. Here we present a self-assembled modular platform that enables to construct theoretically unlimited repertoire of RNA targeted carriers. The platform self-assembly is based on a membrane-anchored lipoprotein, incorporated into RNA-loaded lipid nanoparticles that interact with the antibody Fc domain. We show that a simple switch of 8 different mAbs, redirects specific uptake of siRNAs by diverse leukocyte subsets in vivo. The platform therapeutic potential is demonstrated in an inflammatory bowel disease model, by targeting colon macrophages to reduce inflammatory symptoms, and in Mantle Cell Lymphoma xenograft model, by targeting cancer cells to induce cell death and improve survival. In addition, I will discuss novel approach for delivering modified mRNA to specific cell types in vivo utilizing this platform. This modular delivery platform can serve as a milestone in turning precision medicine feasible.

Prof. Angel Porgador

Professor and Deputy VP and Dean for R&D
Albert Katz Chair in Cell Differentiation and Malignant Diseases
The Shraga Segal Dept. of Microbiology, Immunology and Genetics
Faculty of Health Sciences
Ben-Gurion University of the NegevIsrael

Bio:

Prof. Angel Porgador is a full professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences (FOHS) in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He did his MSc and PhD at the Weizmann institute and then trained at Duke University Medical Centre, NC and at the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, MD, USA. Prof. Porgador served as the Deputy Dean for Research at the FOHS and is currently serving as Deputy Vice President and Dean for R&D. He also served as the president of the Israel Immunological Society and is currently serving as the president of the federation of Israeli societies for Experimental Biology (FISEB-ILANIT) and the president of the Israel Society for Cancer Research (ISCR). Prof. Porgador published 120 scientific publications with over 11000 citations and HI of 47 (google scholar). His research focuses on innate immunity, recombinant immune receptors, cancer immunome and cellular-based therapeutic approaches to diseases.

Title:

Synthetic Promoters Activated by Tumor Microenvironment to Avoid On-Target-Off-Tumor Toxicity in CAR Therapy

Abstract:

Harnessing the immune system to eradicate cancer is proving highly efficient in recent years. The ability of immune cells to identify and destruct cancerous cells within the body is suggesting superior potency; however, such great power also possesses a potential hazard. Specifically, the usage of engineered immune cells such as Chimeric-Antigen-Receptor T-cells (CAR-T), which are being approved by the FDA for various cancers rapidly, still face the danger of an overt immune response that risk patient’s life. I.e. the threat of on-target-off-tumor toxicity for CAR-treated solid cancers in which most currently studied CAR targets could have some expression by particular cells in normal tissues. Therefore, improved control of the expression of the engineered chimeric receptor is needed to reduce the risks of such life-threatening “side-effect”. We thus developed a novel platform for regulation of CAR gene expression under the control of synthetic promoters activated by signals that are prevalent in the tumor microenvironment. This platform can improve the various types of CAR-T cells, as well as other adoptive-transfer of engineered immune cells that will provide specific identification of their targets within the body.

Prof. Yoram Reiter

Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology and Cancer ImmunotherapyTechnion - Israel Institute of TechnologyIsrael

Bio:

Yoram Reiter is a Professor of Immunology and heads the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology at the Faculty of Biology. He has >20 years of experience in molecular immunology in the fields of cancer immunotherapy, antibody engineering, T cell biology, autoimmunity. He did his undergraduate studies at the Tel Aviv University and his master’s and PhD degrees are from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Immunology. He was a post doctoral fellow (1992-1997) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Laboratory of Molecular Biology at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, where he developed new approaches in antibody engineering and cancer targeted therapy with Dr. Ira Pastan. During his post doctoral work he developed a novel strategy to stabilize recombinant antibody fragments  which is currently being used in the application of recombinnat antibodies and T cell receptors in the clinic. From 1997-8 he was a senior scientist at Peptor Ltd. establishing research in drug discovery. In 1998, Prof. Reiter was recruited to the Technion department of Biology as a Faculty member where he established the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy leading a research program at the cutting edge of molecular immunology, antibody engineering, cancer research and immunotherapy. He develops new approaches for cancer immunotherapy and his lab is considered as the leading laboratory in the world working on recombinant antibodies mimicking the specificity of immune killer cells. Reiter’s team also developed a novel T cell engagement strtagey that recruits viral-specific immunity to destroy tumor cells. Reiter’s works spans T cell biology, recombinnat antibodies and their fusions related to oncology, infectious diseases and autoimmunity. Reiter work include also interdisciplinary collaborations in the field of systems biology and immunology as well as nanoscience bridging molecular biology and Nano electronics. Reiter’s leadership in the field of TCR-like antibodies was acknoledged by numerous research grants including a National Institutes of Health RO1 research grant as foreign investigator, DIP the Israeli-Greman coorporation program, EU FP6 Collaboration grant and many others. Over the years Reiter’s research group and graduates consisted of > 60 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Some of his graduates have now senior positions in academia and industry in Israel and the US (5 of his gradiates are now professors in universities in Israel and abroad). Reiter published >100 research papers and reviews in the professional scientific literature and is frequently invited to scientific meetings. Reiter’s work yielded >30 patents and his lab raised >$10million in research grants from government (Israeli and USA), private funds, as well as industry. He won prizes from the Technion, Israel Academy of Sciences, Industry and others. His laboratory collaborates with many leading groups in the US and Europe and his lab had multiple collaborations with biopharama in translational c ollaborations of his scientific work including with Teva, Pfizer and Applied Immune Technologies (AIT). Reiter is founder of Applied Immune Technologies (AIT) Ltd. which develops novel antibody-based immunotherapy approaches for cancer and autoimmunity, AIT raised in series A and B investment rounds $22million. In December 2015 AIT was aquired and merged by Adicet Bio Inc. a California based biopharma focused on the development of next-generation cell immunotherapies. The merged company raised $51million in series A round from Orbimed and Novartis venture funds and in August 2016 entered into a collaboration agreement with Regenron Pharmeceticals to develop next-generation engineered immune-cell therapeutics receiving $25 million upfront payment as well as research funding over a course of five-year research term. Prof. Reiter is a member of various scientific committees in Israel and abroad. Reiter was the dean of the Faculty of Biology at the Technion (2006-2008), a member of the managing committee of the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute at the Technion (2005-2009), and the director of the Lorry Lokey Interdisciplinary center for Life Sciences and Engineering (2013-2016), a wide Technion center that fosters infrastructure and research at the cutting edge interfaces of life sciences, medicine, nanotechnology, and engineering. Reiter holds the Sam Sebba Academic Chair in Sciences of the Technion. As of January 2019 Reiter was elected again to serve as the dean of the Faculty of Biology at the Technion.

Title:

Engineering Immune Effector Molecules and Cells for Novel Immunotherapy of Cancer and Autoimmunity

Abstract:

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are potent cancer therapeutic agents, but exclusively recognize cell-surface targets whereas most cancer-associated proteins are found intracellularly. Hence, potential cancer therapy targets such as overexpressed self-proteins, activated oncogenes, mutated tumor suppressors, and translocated gene products are not accessible to traditional mAb therapy. An emerging approach to target these epitopes is the use of TCR-like antibodies (TCRL) that recognize epitopes similar to those of T cell receptors (TCR). TCR-like antibodies are identical to traditional antibodies, however, while traditional antibodies recognize conformational epitopes, TCRLs recognize a complex antigen comprised of a variable linear peptide sequence, typically 9–10 amino acids in length, buried within an MHC molecule that is largely invariant. The structure of this target has important consequences for antibody design, epitope restrictions, and possible cross-reactivities. Once a TCRL Ab of appropriate specificity and affinity is developed, its therapeutic potential and features to be used for the genetic engineering of T cells for various indication are huge. The presentation will cover the features and generation of TCRL abs as well as their utilization to generate CAR-T approaches that target intracellular proteins, offering potent format for cell therapy.

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  • When

    Monday, 7 October 2019
    09:00-17:00
  • Where

    The Porter School of Environmental Studies building is located on George Wise Street, across from campus Gate 14 (outside the campus).
  • Public Transport

    • Buses

      The campus is served by numerous bus routes:
      Egged routes: 572, 575, 222 ,271, 270, 274
      Dan routes:  7,  25, 45, 289
      Kavim routes: 94, 95, 137, 454, 464, 474, 500
      Metropolin routes: 604
      (Bus schedules and routes are subject to change. Please check with the bus companies for the latest information.)
    • Israel Railway

      The university railway station is within walking distance from campus, or you can catch Dan bus routes 7, 45 or 289 to and from the station, or walk up the "Science Promenade" that leads to the building.
    • Parking

      Please note that visitors cannot access the campus with private cars.
      The closest parking lot – Engineering/ Social Work parking lot on George Wise Street).

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