Pre-Conference Focus Day
Tuesday October 10, 2023

Novel Approaches for Neoantigen Discovery & Identification: Optimizing Personalized Cancer Vaccines


This Focus Day unites the personalized neoantigen community to discuss and share their current progress and understanding of personalized neoantigen cancer vaccines. We will be delving into the high importance of target validation and identification of neoantigens, particularly for the development of successful mRNA vaccines. Through fully understanding neoantigens optimal categorization, immunogenicity and future landscape, we can truly maximise personalized neoantigen vaccines for the treatment of cancer. Take part in this deep-dive focus day and hear from the leading minds as they take us through valuable clinical data, for you to take back to your team.

8:30 am
Registration Opens & Morning Welcome Coffee

9:25 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

Optimizing Antigen Selection & Computational Methods to Ensure High Clinical Activity & Quality Immune Responses

9:30 am Assessing Immunogenicity & Clinical Activity of Neoantigen Vaccine to Design Successful Vaccines


  • How to predict immunogenicity of antigens by reviewing factors such as the antigen’s chemical properties, its ability to bind to MHC molecules, and its presentation to T cells
  • Reviewing the available clinical or pre-clinical data to show the advances in neoantigen vaccines vs traditional vaccine and mRNA vaccines
  • Highlighting that the neoantigen vaccine personalized approach has shown great potential in eliciting strong and specific immune responses against cancer cells

10:00 am Highlighting the Advancements in Computational Methods for Algorithm Testing of Neoantigens

  • Andrew Craig Senior Vice President - Bioinformatics & Data Science, Achilles Therapeutics.


  • Revealing the various computational methods developed for algorithms of neoantigens which play an important role in the field of immunotherapy
  • Discussing the development of machine learning algorithms, which enable faster and more accurate analysis of larger datasets
  • Reviewing the latest updates in the use of deep learning techniques, which allow for more sophisticated pattern recognition
  • Exploring the potential of combining different computational methods to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of neoantigen prediction

10:30 am Neoantigen-Targeted Vaccines & Combinations for Pancreatic Cancer

  • Neeha Zaidi Assistant Professor of Oncology, John Hopkins


  • Potential of combining neoantigen vaccines with checkpoint inhibitors and other immunotherapies
  • Targeting shared neoantigens such as mutated KRAS

11:00 am
Morning Break & Networking

Investigating What Is Beyond Neoantigens & the Benefits of Using Lipopolyplex Formulated mRNA Cancer Vaccines

12:00 pm Beyond Neoantigens: Alternative Sources of Antigens for Personalized Cancer Immunotherapy

  • Thomas Trolle Director, Bioinformatics & AI/ML, Evaxion Biotech


  • Neoantigen vaccines are primarily being tested in patients with high mutational burden cancers such as melanoma and NSCLC
  • Patients with lower mutational burden cancers are less likely to have good, targetable neoantigens
  • Looking beyond neoantigens has the potential to make personalized cancer vaccines relevant for more patients

12:30 pm Lipopolyplex Formulated mRNA Cancer Vaccines Encoding Neoantigens for Clinical Cancer Treatment

  • Congcong Xu Associate Director, Stemirna Therapeutics


  • The lipopolyplex formulated mRNA cancer vaccines play an important role in cancer treatment due to their ability to target neoantigens
  • Understanding the advantages, mechanism of action, and efficacy of lipopolyplex formulated mRNA cancer vaccines
  • Discuss the preclinical studies and clinical trials conducted on these vaccines, and their comparison with traditional cancer treatments

1:00 pm
Lunch & Networking

Exploring the Latest Advances Within the Development of Personalized Neoantigen-Based Cancer Vaccines to Reveal How to Streamline Your Vaccine Through to Commercialization

2:00 pm Beyond Neoantigens: Optimizing Antigen Cassette Design for Enhanced Vaccine Efficacy

  • Guilhem Richard Chief Scientific Officer & Chief Technology Officer, EpiVax, Inc


  • The Ancer® neoantigen discovery platform identifies high-quality effector neoantigens, filters out inhibitory sequences, and generates string-of-beads designs for oligonucleotide-based cancer vaccines
  • Neoantigen cassette design is a non-trivial exercise, with parameters such as number of neoantigens, ordering, and inclusion of trafficking signals having a significant impact on mRNA vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy

3:00 pm Improved Feasibility & Efficacy of Synthetic DNA for Personalized Cancer Vaccines


  • Reviewing key features that make neoantigen anti-cancer vaccines attractive such as their ability to stimulate an immune response that targets the patient’s specific tumor
  • Why personalized neoantigen vaccines have the potential to be more targeted and less toxic compared to traditional cancer treatments, which can often have harmful side effects and are not always effective
  • Evaluating the optimal dose and schedule to ensure that the vaccine is effective without causing unnecessary harm to the patient

3:30 pm Fireside Chat: The Future Treatment Landscape for Neoantigen Vaccines
Moderators: Kevin Sun, Guido Leoni


  • Focusing on how neoantigen vaccines offer a promising solution for personalized and effective therapies
  • Highlighting some of the latest research findings in this field, which have shown that neoantigen vaccines can induce potent and durable immune responses against cancer cells
  • Evaluating how neoantigen vaccines have the potential to improve the outcome and quality of life for cancer patients
  • How can we align mRNA vaccine learnings with neoantigen vaccines?
  • Discussing what is next for neoantigen vaccines in terms of combining them with other technology

4:30 pm End of the Pre-Conference Focus Day