Conference Day Two - Thursday | October 3, 2024

8:00 am Check-In & Coffee

8:50 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

Discussing the Current Investment & Partnership Landscape to Equip Drug Developers with Insights to Secure Funding

9:00 am Examining the Investor Perspective to Secure Partnerships & Advance Therapeutic Potential


  • Unveiling the criteria investors seek in small biotechs working on macrophages to set actionable goals
  • Driving collaboration opportunities by learning what large pharmaceutical companies desire in partnerships
  • Understanding the scope for investment and partnerships in this space to strategically plan your next steps

Unveiling the Potential of Macrophages-Directed Therapies in Therapeutic Areas Beyond Oncology

9:30 am Supercharging the Therapeutics Potential of Macrophages in Inflammatory Diseases to Spotlight Positive Progression


  • Showcasing the use of macrophage-directed therapies in inflammatory organ disease to bring a focus to this therapeutic area
  • Comparing macrophage-directed therapies to other forms of treatment for inflammatory organ diseases to underscore the therapeutic advantages of harnessing macrophages
  • Sharing clinical data to highlight progression in addressing this disease indication

10:00 am Navigating the Potential of Macrophage-Directed Therapeutics in Pulmonary Sarcoidosis


  • Sharing a novel target for treating inflammatory lung disease
  • Understanding how macrophages can interact with neuropilin-2 (NRP2) to reduce inflammation
  • Harnessing the therapeutic potential of macrophages to prevent the progression of pulmonary sarcoidosis

10:30 am Morning Break & Networking

11:30 am Driving the Potential of Macrophage-Directed Therapies in Treating Central Nervous System (CNS) Diseases


  • Outlining how macrophage/microglia-directed therapies may be an effective approach to treating diseases affecting the CNS
  • Considering CNS-specific challenges and how this may impact the therapeutic potential of macrophage and microglia-directed therapies

12:00 pm Roundtable Discussion: Exploring the Use of Macrophage-Therapies to Treat Autoimmune Diseases & How Plasticity & Reprogramming Could Be Advantageous in this Indication

  • David Rodgers Senior Director, Macrophage Cell Therapy, Shoreline Biosciences


  • Describing how the plasticity of macrophages in an anti-inflammatory phenotype could have therapeutic potential in autoimmune diseases
  • Comparing macrophage-directed therapies with alternative cell therapies for autoimmune diseases
  • Exploring the unique challenges in developing macrophage-directed therapies for autoimmune disease to break down barriers in this therapeutic area

Exploring Novel Approaches that Promise to Pioneer the Next Generation of CAR-M Therapies

12:30 pm Engineering Myeloid Cells for Cancer – Ex Vivo & In Vivo Approaches

  • Bindu Varghese Senior Director, In Vivo CAR-M Therapies Lead, Carisma Therapeutics


  • Exploring CAR-M for solid tumor immunotherapy
  • Reviewing the clinical program overview of Anti-HER2 CAR-M ex vivo cell therapy
  • Utilizing direct in vivo CAR reprogramming using mRNA

1:00 pm Lunch Break & Networking

2:00 pm Next-Generation Engineering for Enhanced Myeloid Cell Therapies


  • Enhancing function in monocytes and macrophages with novel CAR architectures
  • Utilizing HSCs as a cell source for ex vivo monocyte cell therapies

Advancing Biomarker Development to Aid Patient Selection & Enhance Translatability

2:30 pm Identifying the Most Useful Biomarkers for Enhanced Patient Selection & Translatability

  • Clayton Yates Professor, Pathology, Oncology, & Urology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine


  • Building an effective biomarker pipeline
  • Considering the significance of diversity in biomarker selection
  • Outlining the effective communication of using biomarkers in patient selection to regulatory bodies

3:00 pm Fireside Chat: Exploring the Advantages & Rationale of Biomarker-Driven Patient Targeting to Improve Clinical Outcomes


  • Discussing the benefits of selecting patients using biomarkers to ensure accurate therapy alignment
  • Assessing the range of biomarkers and their different uses in distinguishing suitable patients

3:30 pm Afternoon Break & Networking

Evaluating & Selecting the Most Effect Modes of Delivery & Administration for Your Pipeline to Ensure Targeted Treatment

4:00 pm Unveiling the Potential of Intertumoral Administration and Comparing its Advantages with Other Techniques


  • Describing how intertumoral administration of macrophage-directed therapies works
  • Outlining the advantages of intertumoral administration to underscore its potential
  • Comparing intertumoral administration with intravenous administration

4:30 pm Assessing Different Delivery Methods to Choose the Most Appropriate for Your Macrophage-Directed Therapies

  • Mike Thomas Associate Director - Immune Modulation, Vesigen Therapeutics


  • Understanding how the delivery needs for macrophages may differ from other cell types
  • Comparing various modes of viral and non-viral delivery to evaluate their respective benefits and drawbacks
  • Investigating the impact of electroporation-induced stress on macrophages

5:00 pm Immune Stimulatory Macrophage-Directed Nanoparticles for Cancer Immunotherapy


  • Using key macrophage phenotype features to polarize them using small molecule drug combinations
  • Exploring a range of immuno-stimulatory nanoparticles with an affinity for macrophages

5:30 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks

5:40 pm End of Conference Day Two