OCT 08, 2020 3:00 PM PDT

Reducing biological variance in tumor-antigen expression to standardize potency testing for immunotherapies

Sponsored by: MilliporeSigma
C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE
Speaker
  • Head of Portfolio Management and Product Development, Genome Engineering & Modulation
    Biography

      Ben currently leads a team of forward-thinking product and service managers within MilliporeSigma's Genome Engineering and Modulation franchise. His first exposure to CRISPR-based genome editing was as a graduate student where he attempted to engineer novel protein variants. This work inspired a passion for CRISPR technology which he has brought with him to his current role within a company that is laser-focused on developing and utilizing revolutionary genome editing technologies. Prior to joining Merck KGaA, he has worked in various commercial and technical roles at Berkeley Light Inc., Agilent Technologies, Nanopore Diagnostics, and several small start-up companies focused on software applications. Ben has a PhD in computational biology from Washington University in St. Louis.


    Abstract

    The continued rapid expansion of immunotherapies, including both in vivo and ex vivo therapeutics, has driven the development and adoption of novel tools to study, asses and understand these therapies. Not least among these new tools are cell lines that can be engineered to more faithfully represent the biological state of cells, both healthy and diseased, that these immunotherapies will come into contact with. Tumor associated antigens provide a substantial and specific set of targets for immunotherapies. However, extracting these cells from patient samples provides a sample which has a huge number of variables, making it difficult to determine when and why a specific immunotherapy might fail. Alternatively, immortalized cell lines overexpressing such antigens can provide an unrealistic assessment of therapeutic efficacy. Our team utilized it's advanced cell engineering workflow to generate cell lines which express controlled levels of tumor-associated antigens and introduced these expression systems into biologically-relevant cells. These modified cell lines can be used as controls in validated assays or for the development of new potency assays for testing candidate immunotherapies, and provide established levels of antigen expression that can help provide deeper insight into the function and performance of novel therapeutics.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand how engineered, biologically relevant cell lines are useful to faithfully represent the state of cells immunotherapies will come into contact with

    2. Understanding how controlled levels of antigen presenting panels can assess and advance Immunotherapies


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