HBV Cure: Promises and challenges of immunotherapies

ICE-HBV Paris Symposium on HBV Cure: Promises and challenges of immunotherapies. 

The event is aimed at scientists, clinicians, pharmaceutical and diagnostic industry representatives.  The symposium, chaired by Mala Maini and Antonio Bertoletti, will debate challenges surrounding immunotherapies and discuss ways forward.

 

You can register here.

 

Background & Objectives:

Functional cure for chronic HBV infections, defined as stable post-therapy loss of HBV surface antigen, is the major goal of current HBV cure strategies using direct acting antivirals and/or anti-HBV immune-stimulating responses. It is essential to understand the immunological mechanisms behind the anticipated therapies in the pipeline to prepare for future clinical trials. This year’s ICE-HBV Cure symposium will address the following topics:

  • Lessons from cancer immunotherapy for HBV
  • Antibody therapy in HBV
  • Soluble TCR therapy in HBV
  • What parameters should guide the selection and timing of immunotherapies in HBV?

In this Symposium, a range of academic and industry experts will discuss the latest advances and identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of immunotherapies. They will discuss challenges that need to be overcome. Presentations will be complemented by in-depth discussion panels that will debate these challenges and propose a way forward.

Tentative Program

22 SEPTEMBER 2022

Symposium Co-Chairs: Mala Maini and Antonio Bertoletti

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Dr. Mala Maini is a Professor of Viral Immunology in the Division of Infection and Immunity at UCL, London, Department and also works as a Consultant Physician in the viral hepatitis clinic. Her lab is at the forefront internationally of research on Hepatitis B immunity and immunopathology, focusing on cellular interactions in the liver. Their goal is to dissect mechanisms informing the development of immunotherapy for hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma. 

Dr. Antonio Bertoletti,  is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at  Duke-NUS Medical School , Singapore . His laboratory is working on  immunopathogenesis of HBV infection with a focus on the development of new immunological based therapies (TCR-redirected T cells) for the treatment of HBV chronic infection and Hepatocellular carcinoma. In 2015 he founded Lion TCR Pte (http://liontcr.com), a biotech company developing immune-based treatments for virus-related cancers (HBV-HCC and EBV related malignancies) and chronic viral infections.

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  Topic Presenter
  Rationale for new approaches to therapeutic vaccination in HBV

Ulrike Protzer, TU Munich, Helmholtz Munich

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Dr. Ulrike Protzer is Director of the Institute of Virology at the Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Munich. She initiated and is coordinating TherVacB, an effort to develop a heterologous prime-boot therapeutic vaccine to cure HBV. She works on the virus-host-interaction of the hepatitis B virus. Her research is aimed at advancing our understanding of the molecular and immunological mechanisms of virus control. Together with her work group, she utilizes the knowledge gained to develop new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B and of secondary diseases resulting from the virus.

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  Antibody therapy in HBV

David Corti, Vir Biotechnology

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Dr. Davide Corti obtained his Ph.D. in Immunology at the University of Bern, followed by postdoctoral training in Antonio Lanzavecchia’s laboratory at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine. In 2009 he was the Chief Scientific Officer at Humabs, where he led a research group to isolate monoclonal antibodies against multiple infectious disease viral and bacterial agents. Starting from 2012 he collaborated with MedImmune on the isolation of human antibodies against multiple target pathogens like Rhinovirus, Influenza B, Klebsiella and Staphylococcus. Humabs was acquired by Vir Biotechnology in 2017 to become its subsidiary in Bellinzona, Switzerland. Dr. Davide Corti is now Senior Vice President, leading Antibody Research at Vir.

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  Soluble TCR therapy in HBV

Praveen Singh, Immunocore

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Dr. Praveen Singh began his journey as a Protein Expression Scientist at GlaxoSmithKline where he was awarded 6 GSK Impact Awards for outstanding contributions to drug discovery programmes and for supporting the company’s biological archiving system. He then obtained his Ph.D in Molecular Neuroscience from King’s College London, researching biochemical characterization of the Diacylglycerol Lipases (α/β). After, he worked in Arvind Remedies to formulate scientific and regulatory strategies for the development of poly-herbal formulations (potential drug products and dietary supplement). Currently, he works as a Senior Scientist for Immunocore, where he leverages his broad expertise in various aspects of drug discovery and development in industry and academic settings.

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  Coffee Break  
  Debate: What parameters should guide the selection and timing of immunotherapies in HBV?

Barbara Testoni, CRCL ISERM

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Dr. Barbara Testoni is a PI in the “Viral Hepatitis” team at CRCL – INSERM U1052 in Lyon. Her research interests mainly include the investigation of the epigenetic mechanisms at the basis of host and viral gene regulation during HBV infection, with particular focus on the transcriptional regulation of the HBV minichromosome. She is also involved in translational studies, to the aim of understanding the relationships between HBV persistence and intrahepatic innate immunity perturbations and to characterizing new serum biomarkers for intrahepatic cccDNA activity. According to Medifind, her top areas of expertise are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis, Liver Cancer, and Hepatitis C.

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Adam Gehring, Toronto Centre for Liver Disease

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Dr. Adam Gehring received his Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. His training included a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Institute of Hepatology at University College London and a position of Senior Research Fellow, and subsequently Assistant Principal Investigator, at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences. Dr. Gehring moved to Saint Louis University as an Assistant Professor in the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology department in March 2013 before joining the Toronto Center for Liver Disease as Biology Lead in February 2016. His research has always focused on the pathogenesis of human infection and the resulting immune response. His primary interest lies in defining the mechanisms driving liver inflammation during HBV-related flares using functional and transcriptomic approaches in liver biopsies.

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Upkar Gill, Queen Mary University London

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Dr. Upkar Gill is currently a Clinical Lecturer at the Queen Mary University of London and also holds the position of Honorary Consultant Hepatologist at QMUL & Barts Health (NHS Trust). His clinical training has been based in London (Barts Health, King’s College & Imperial NHS Trusts) and Leeds Teaching Hospitals. In academia he has worked at centers in London (QMUL, UCL) and also in Singapore (Duke-NUS) training in world class labs. He has received accolades such as the Sir Francis Avery Jones Research Medal and the Sheila Sherlock Award (BASL) for his research in Hepatitis B and liver immunology. According to Medifind, his top areas of expertise include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, and Liver Cancer.

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  Panel Discussion

Mala Maini, University College London

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Dr. Mala Maini is a Professor of Viral Immunology in the Division of Infection and Immunity at UCL, London, Department and also works as a Consultant Physician in the viral hepatitis clinic. Her lab is at the forefront internationally of research on Hepatitis B immunity and immunopathology, focusing on cellular interactions in the liver. Their goal is to dissect mechanisms informing the development of immunotherapy for hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Antonio Bertoletti, Duke-NUS

See Bio

Dr. Antonio Bertoletti is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at  Duke-NUS Medical School , Singapore . His laboratory is working on  immunopathogenesis of HBV infection with a focus on the development of new immunological based therapies (TCR-redirected T cells) for the treatment of HBV chronic infection and Hepatocellular carcinoma. In 2015 he founded Lion TCR Pte (http://liontcr.com), a biotech company developing immune-based treatments for virus-related cancers (HBV-HCC and EBV related malignancies) and chronic viral infections.

Hide Bio

Barbara Testoni, CRCL ISERM

See Bio

Dr. Barbara Testoni is a PI in the “Viral Hepatitis” team at CRCL – INSERM U1052 in Lyon. Her research interests mainly include the investigation of the epigenetic mechanisms at the basis of host and viral gene regulation during HBV infection, with particular focus on the transcriptional regulation of the HBV minichromosome. She is also involved in translational studies, to the aim of understanding the relationships between HBV persistence and intrahepatic innate immunity perturbations and to characterizing new serum biomarkers for intrahepatic cccDNA activity. According to Medifind, her top areas of expertise are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis, Liver Cancer, and Hepatitis C

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Adam Gehring, Toronto Centre for Liver Disease

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Dr. Adam Gehring received his Ph.D. at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  His training included a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Institute of Hepatology at University College London and a position of Senior Research Fellow, and subsequently Assistant Principal Investigator, at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences. Dr. Gehring moved to Saint Louis University as an Assistant Professor in the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology department in March 2013 before joining the Toronto Center for Liver Disease as Biology Lead in February 2016. His research has always focused on the pathogenesis of human infection and the resulting immune response. By understanding these aspects, he aims to develop novel therapies.

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Upkar Gill, Queen Mary University London

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Dr. Upkar Gill is currently a clinical lecturer at the Queen Mary University of London and also holds the position of Honorary Consultant Hepatologist at QMUL & Barts Health (NHS Trust). In the past, he has worked at Barts Health as a Clinical Research Fellow and also as a Senior House Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals (NHS Trust). He has received accolades such as the Sir Francis Avery Jones Research Medal and the Sheila Sherlock Award (BASL) for his research in Hepatitis B and liver immunology. According to Medifind, his top areas of expertise include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis, Cirrhosis, and Liver Cancer.

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Simon Fletcher, Gilead

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Simon Fletcher is an Executive Director at Gilead Sciences. He received his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Cambridge (UK) and performed post-doctoral studies at Roche. He then moved to Anadys Pharmaceuticals where he worked on developing immunomodulatory therapies to treat chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In 2009, he moved to Roche where he led drug discovery and translational research teams working towards the development of a functional cure for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Since 2012, he has worked at Gilead Sciences, where he leads a group focused on developing novel therapies for HBV and other chronic viral infections.

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This event is endorsed by the HBV International Meeting.