Characterization of Biotherapeutics



As new product formats progress through development and into the regulatory process, the role of analytical characterization is taking on new meaning. Very new modalities present challenges to both analytical scientists and regulatory agencies alike, and this steep learning curve requires a near-constant cycle of adaptation and innovation. The agencies are requiring sponsors to provide ever more complex data across a wide range of analytical methods, and instrumentation suppliers are striving to support this new era with unique product features, software and feature combinations. The PEGS “Characterization of Biotherapeutics” conference explores the progression of analytical development for an exciting range of emerging modalities and offer a case study forum for those working in the field to share ideas, experiences and solutions that support the preclinical and clinical development of new biotherapeutics.

Final Agenda


Recommended Short Course(s)*

SC2: Translational Biotherapeutic Development Strategies Part 1: Discovery, Molecular Assessment and Early Stage Development

Juan Carlos Almagro, PhD, Founder and Director, GlobalBio, Inc.

Zhiqiang An, PhD, Professor, Chemistry; Director, Texas Therapeutics Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Gadi Bornstein, PhD, Senior Director, Biologics Discovery, TESARO, Inc.

SC7: Translational Biotherapeutic Development Strategies Part 2: Analytical and Clinical Considerations

Zhiqiang An, PhD, Professor, Chemistry; Director, Texas Therapeutics Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Scott L. Klakamp, PhD, Senior Director & Head, Biophysics, Biologics Development Sciences, Janssen BioTherapeutics

Liming Liu, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism (PPDM), Merck Research Laboratories

An Song, PhD, Senior Vice President, Development Sciences, Immune-Onc Therapeutics, Inc.


*Separate registration required.


7:00 am Registration and Morning Coffee


8:30 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Hardeep S. Samra, PhD, Senior Director, Head, Regulatory Operations, Orphan Drug Unit, IQVIA

8:40 Exosome Characterization: Challenges and Advances

Houde_DamianDamian Houde, PhD, Associate Director, Process Analytics, Codiak BioSciences

Exosomes are heterogeneous populations of nano-sized cell-derived vesicles that are released into the extracellular space where they perform critical roles in intercellular communication. As natural nanocarriers, they offer advantages for the establishment of next-generation nanomedicine. However, given their inherent heterogeneity, exosomes are often difficult to characterize. Here, we will present challenges and strategies for the characterization of exosome therapeutics to support the development of robust process development and manufacturing platforms.

9:10 Characterization of Novel and Complex Antibody Formats

Haberger_MarkusMarkus Haberger, PhD, Senior Scientist, Roche, Germany

The number of novel biotherapeutic antibody-based formats in drug development is continuously increasing. Characterization of these formats is challenging. Since established physiochemical and mass spectrometric methods show limited capabilities for characterization of product related impurities, new analytical strategies have to be developed. Here, we present a native MS based analytical approach which successfully assisted in the elucidation of size and charge variants of complex antibody formats such as bispecific antibodies or antibody fusion proteins.

9:40 Expanding Role of Mass Spectrometry in Development of Biotherapeutics

Nanavati_DhavalDhaval Nanavati, PhD, Senior Scientist, AbbVie

The versatility of mass spectrometer has made it the prevailing analytical platform for understanding the distribution, target interaction, off target interaction of biotherapeutics. The role of mass spectrometry in dissecting post translational modified variants of a putative target is also critical in identification of unique targets and development of novel bio therapeutics. In this work, we show specific examples of enhanced foot print of mass spectrometry in early stages of development of biotherapeutics.

10:10 Networking Coffee Break


10:50 The Regulatory Path for Breakthrough Designations and Orphan Drugs

Samra_HardeepHardeep S. Samra, PhD, Senior Director, Head, Regulatory Operations, Orphan Drug Unit, IQVIA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers several special designations to aid in progression of a drug’s approval. The orphan drug designation specifically targets products that treats a rare disease or condition affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans, while the breakthrough therapy designation applies to a drug that is aimed at treating a serious or life-threatening disease or that may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies.

11:20 CMC Analytical Strategies Designed for Regulatory Dialog Intended for Early Phase IND Filings

Sharma_VaneetVaneet K. Sharma, PhD, Manager, Analytical Development, Vaccine Development & Manufacturing, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)

This presentation will outline phase appropriate CMC analytical strategies intended for successful regulatory submissions, especially for exploratory and phase 1 programs. A case study will be presented to demonstrate the application of the regulatory accepted phase appropriate analytical characterization to support HIV vaccine development.

11:50 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Planning the Extent and Timing of Analytical Studies: What is the Risk to Benefit Impact in Relation to Drug Development Stage?

Nemeth_JenniferJennifer F. Nemeth, PhD, SCPM, Director, Biophysics, Structural Characterization, Biologics Discovery Sciences, Janssen Research & Development

New biologic drug development is costly, and where money is spent impacts a company’s pipeline. Upfront spend can allow for quicker Go/NoGo decisions or while limited development allows for a faster path to PoC. This talk will focus on the benefits/risks of applying analytical assays before vs after New Molecular Entity Declaration, and which assay were found to be the most impactful for selection to justify the spend and time.

12:20 pm ProteinMentor Developability Assessment: Case Studies for Therapeutic Proteins

Belinda Pastrana, PhD, CEO, Protein Dynamic Solutions

Two case studies will be presented on developability analysis of therapeutic proteins. An array-based biophysical platform was used for deamination assessment, stability and higher order structure determination. Drug substance and drug products were evaluated and the data generated can be used for computational modeling for logic-driven protein design.

12:35 Cryo-EM Unveils Antibody-Mediated Neutralization Mechanism of Enteroviruses

Xiaodong Yan, PhD, Executive Director, Biortus Biosciences Co., Ltd.

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) becomes a very powerful tool for epitope-mapping. We hereby present near-atomic cryo-EM structures of three Enteroviruses (CVA6, CVA10 and D-68) and their immune complexes. The ensemble of structures reveals molecular mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization and will facilitate the development of effective vaccines and therapeutics against Enterovirus infections.

12:50 Luncheon Presentation I to be Announced

GeneData 1:20 Luncheon Presentation II to be Announced

1:50 Session Break

2:20 Problem-Solving Breakout Discussions - Click here for details

3:20 Networking Refreshment Break


4:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Rakesh Dixit, PhD, DABT, Vice President, R&D, Global Head, Biologics Safety Assessment, Translational Sciences, MedImmune


4:10 Vision for How Immunotherapy Will Shape Future of Cancer Care

Leena Gandhi, MD, PhD, Vice President, Immuno-Oncology Medical Development, Lilly Oncology

Immunotherapy is considered by many as a pillar of cancer care today, but in many ways we have only scratched the surface. Our knowledge and understanding of the complexities of immunotherapy and its mechanisms continue to evolve. The future of cancer care will be defined by our ability to systematically identify and implement opportunities for combination therapy to improve and standardize patient response.


4:55 The Lassa Virus Glycoprotein: Stopping a Moving Target

keynote-headshot-hastie-400x400Kathryn Hastie, PhD, Staff Scientist, Immunology and Microbiology, The Scripps Research Institute

Lassa virus causes ~5000 deaths from viral hemorrhagic fever every year in West Africa. The trimeric surface glycoprotein, termed GPC, is critical for infection, is the target for neutralizing antibodies, and a major component of vaccines. Structural analysis of Lassa GPC bound to antibodies from human survivors reveals a major Achilles heel for the virus and provides the needed template for development of immunotherapeutics and improved vaccines.

5:40 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

7:15 End of Day


8:00 am Registration and Morning Coffee


8:25 Chairperson’s Remarks

Qin Zou, PhD, Group Leader, Analytical Research and Development, Pfizer Inc.

8:30 Regulatory Expectations for Gene Therapy CMC Information

Joubert_MichelleMichelle Joubert, Scientist, Analytical Development, Sanofi

An increasing number of gene therapy products are entering clinical development, and several approvals are anticipated in the near future. As a consequence of this intense activity, regulatory guidance has evolved to become more specific for these advanced therapies. This was highlighted by the recent publication by the FDA of several draft guidance documents for cell and gene therapies. We will discuss current thinking for gene therapy CMC packages and expectations for an IND filing. We will also share experiences and feedback we have encountered.

9:00 Application of Analytical Ultracentrifugation: from Protein Therapeutics to Gene Therapy

Zou_QinQin Zou, PhD, Group Leader, Analytical Research and Development, Pfizer Inc.

This presentation will intend to provide an overview on using analytical ultracentrifugation in biotherapeutic development. Specific case studies will be provided to highlight these applications to various modalities. A stage-tailored strategy in using the technology during drug development is discussed.

9:30 Leveraging High-Dimensional ‘-omics’ Technologies for Comprehensive Profiling of CAR T Cells to Resolve Drug Product Complexity

Alonzo_EricEric S. Alonzo, PhD, Scientist, Process and Analytical Development, bluebird bio

Clinical-grade CAR T cell drug products contain a heterogenous mixture of phenotypically and functionally distinct cells. Such heterogeneity necessitates innovative and comprehensive strategies to characterize CAR T cell therapy investigational drug products. A case study will be presented to demonstrate how high dimensional ‘-omics’ is used in CAR T manufacturing and beyond to resolve drug product complexity and identify potentially key clinical correlates.

10:00 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

10:50 Challenges in the Characterization of CAR-Ts: Leveraging Mass Spectrometry During CAR-T Process Development

Prentice_KenKen Prentice, Senior Scientist, Biochemistry, Juno Therapeutics

Chimeric antigen receptor t cells (CAR T) have garnered significant attention with the recent FDA approvals of the first oncology-based immunotherapies. While mass spectrometry has found applications in this class of therapies, most publications have focused on target discovery-based topics. This talk will focus on mass spectrometry as a powerful analytical tool for product structural elucidation and process development support in CAR T cell products.

11:20 Challenges Associated with Manufacturing and Release of Autologous Cell Therapy Products

Sra_KuldipKuldip Sra, PhD, Director, QC, Kite Pharma, Inc.

Kite Pharma’s Yescarta, an autologous cell therapy product to treat B cell malignancies was approved in the USA in 2017 and in the EU in September 2018. Since cell therapy products manufacturing takes 6-7 days and to deliver the final product to sick patient within 2-3 wks of leukophoresis, rapid and robust analytical methods must be adapted to release final products in less than one week.

11:50 Lentiviral Vector Engineering and Characterization of Vector Potency for Cell Therapy

Robert_Marc-AndreMarc-André Robert, PhD, Scientist, Technology Development, BioMarin Pharmaceuticals

Lentiviral vectors (LV) are currently investigated for cell therapy because they can integrate into the cell genome and provide sustainable gene expression. Thus, they can be used to replace a defective gene by providing a functional version of it. The model presented here is hematopoietic stem cells used to treat blood disorders. The presentation will focus on improving and characterizing the potency of LV, a critical quality attribute of LV.

12:20 pm Luncheon Presentation I to be Announced

12:50 Luncheon Presentation II to be Announced

Shion_HenryHenry Shion, Principal Scientist, Waters Corporation

1:20 Ice Cream Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


2:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Zhimei Du, PhD, Director, Bioprocess, Merck & Company, Inc.

2:05 Domain Characterization of Protein Therapeutics In Vivo by Multiplexed NanoLC-HRMS Approaches

Fan_JessyJessy Fan, PhD, Scientist, Amgen

Next generation protein therapeutics are designed to enable enhanced pharmacology, greater selectivity, and altered drug disposition for an overall improved therapeutic profile. Engineering efforts entail addition of nonconventional domains that require robust characterization of molecular instabilities. Online multiplexed Peptide Immuno-affinity Enrichment (PIE) LC-MS workflow enables simultaneous assessment of molecular integrities through detection of individual domains of the therapeutic proteins. Case studies presented herein demonstrate different properties of therapeutic proteins in vivo.

2:35 The Roadmap of Bispecific Recombinant Protein Drug Development

Du_ZhimeiZhimei Du, PhD, Director, Bioprocess, Merck & Company, Inc.

Bispecific recombinant proteins are emerging fields in biological drug development. These new modalities have significantly expanded the functions of conventional mAbs as biotherapeutics. There are many protein scaffolds in bispecifics field. Besides targeting two antigens simultaneously, different molecule designs have very different features and challenges in bioactivity, pharmacokinetics, and manufacturability. We will discuss challenge details and solutions in various CMC development areas that directly impact product yield and product qualities.

3:05 A Platform Approach to Manage Developability and Manufacturability Risks of Biologics Molecules

Smith_ChristopherChristopher Smith, PhD, Head of Biologics, Genedata

We present a workflow system that enables systematic developability and manufacturability assessments, using both in silico and high throughput analytical confirmatory methods, over the entire biologics R&D process from initial discovery all the way to final candidate selection. We show use cases for mAbs and other complex multi/bispecific formats and discuss building predictive developability models utilizing this system. We also present the underlying molecule and task management needed for analytical organizations to accomplish this.

3:35 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


4:25 Characterization of Antibody Drug Conjugates

Zhou_LisaLiqiang (Lisa) Zhou, Senior Scientist, Protein Analytics, AbbVie

Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are becoming an increasingly important class of biotherapeutics. Different levels of heterogeneity contributed by mAbs and the conjugated drugs lead to complexity in ADC characterization. In-depth understanding of the physicochemical properties of ADCs is essential to drug development and process control. A wide variety of analytical methods have been used in the characterization of an interchain cysteine-conjugated ADC, with particular focus on the charge variants and size variants.

4:55 Impurity characterization, Control Strategy and Specification Justification in Small Molecules (Payload and Linker)

Zhou_JaneJane Zhao, PhD, Principal Scientist, Immunogen

DM4 and Sulfo-SPDB are payload and linker in the ADC manufacturing process of mirvetuximab soravtansine drug substance. Impurities in these two small molecule intermediates are well characterized and specified with acceptance criteria that are based on manufacturing capability, downstream clearance and clinical exposure. Impurity fate mapping and trending in each step of the synthetic route and during process development and PAR studies enable better control of impurities and hence improve product quality.

5:25 End of Characterization of Biotherapeutics

5:30 Registration for Dinner Short Courses

SC9: Introduction to Biophysical Analysis for Biotherapeutics: Development Applications

Christine P. Chan, PhD, Principal Scientist, Global Manufacturing Science & Technology, Sanofi


*Separate registration required.

* 活動內容有可能不事先告知作更動及調整。

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