Protein & Antibody Engineering

As China rises to join the ranks of the global biopharmaceutical powerhouses, the true test lies not only in their regulatory guidance and pathways, but also in their successful discovery and development of novel biotherapeutics. From display libraries to novel antibody generation and engineering of challenging targets, companies need to develop cutting-edge science and creative approaches to beat the competition and be first-to-market.

The Protein & Antibody Engineering track at PEGS China invites academic researchers and industry practitioners to share their passion in the design, discovery and engineering of protein and antibody molecules, and discuss the innovative strategies used to overcome the challenges along the way.

Final Agenda


7:30 am Registration and Morning Coffee


8:50 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Zhenping Zhu, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Global Biologics R&D, Kadmon Corp, LLC

9:00 Engineering Single-Domain Antibodies for Cancer Therapy

Mitchell HoMitchell Ho, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

Antibodies have a major role in cancer treatment. For increased efficacy, antibodies can be designed to inhibit signaling pathways responsible for cancer development. By decreasing antibody size, cryptic or buried functional regions in receptors can be targeted. There is also a need to identify new therapeutic targets in cancer.

9:30 Antibody Drug Developments: Biosimilar vs Innovation – Finding a Way to Meet the Needs in China

Xiangyang ZhuXiangyang Zhu, Ph.D., CEO, Huabo Biopharma (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

A landscape for antibody development in China will be discussed, especially on the pros and cons between biosimilar and innovative drugs. This presentation will also explore strategies to meet China’s medical needs; and discus how companies can generate profits given the competitive drug development landscape.

10:00 Coffee Break

10:35 Chairperson’s Remarks

Zhenping Zhu, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Global Biologics R&D, Kadmon Corp, LLC


10:40 Recombinant Antibody Display Libraries – Design, Construction and Selection

Eunice_ZhouYu Zhou, Ph.D., Associate Adjunct Professor, Anesthesia, UC San Francisco

An efficient approach to generate monoclonal antibodies is the recombinant antibody display library coupled with various selections. In this study, we will discuss the specifications of different recombinant Ab display libraries including naïve, synthetic, and nature-inspired libraries with regard to the Ab diversity and stability, as well as the factors that impact on the performance of different Ab display libraries. We will also describe a number of selection strategies to difficult targets, such as membrane proteins.

11:10 Generation of Humanized Antibody Transgenic Animal (CAMouse) for Producing Human Antibody

Liangpeng Ge, Ph.D., Director, Institute of Bingengineering, Chongqing Academy of Animal Sciences

Humanized antibody transgenic animals (CAMouse) are cultivated by Chongqing Academy of Animal Sciences, which is characterized by different temporal and spatial human/mouse immunoglobulin gene expression patterns during development, with normally developing B-cell, high antibody expressing level and abundant rearrangement diversity, it can be used to directly produce human immunoglobulin (Ig G) for clinic.

11:40 A Novel Platform for Human Antibody Discovery Using Yeast Display Antibody Library

Aichi Zhao, Ph.D., President, R&D, OriMabs, Ltd.

Yeast display is an attractive strategy for antibody discovery attributed to its eukaryotic system and the capability of FACS utilization for efficient high-affinity antibody sorting. However, the low transformation efficiency of yeast greatly impedes the wide use of yeast display in antibody discovery. We have made breakthrough progress by improving the yeast transformation efficiency 1000 times higher than traditional method, which enable us to construct very large library efficiently. Using the optimized protocols, we have constructed a large antibody library containing 110 billion repertoires and isolated around 100 novel antibodies for many tumor markers.

Bio-Rad12:10 Recombinant Antibodies Binding to Therapeutic Antibody Drugs – New Tools for PK and ADA Assay Development

Michael_SchwenkertMichael Schwenkert, Ph.D., Technical Sales Manager, Custom Antibodies, Sales, AbD Serotec, a Bio-Rad Company

The development of therapeutic antibodies and biosimilars requires specialized antibodies for assays to monitor levels of these drugs and anti-drug antibodies in patients. We present the use of the HuCAL® technology for fast generation of human recombinant antibodies for sensitive bioanalytical assays. HuCAL is a registered trademark of MorphoSys AG.

AbCellera12:25 Accessing Natural Diversity for the Discovery of Antibodies against Membrane Proteins

Veronique_LecaultVeronique Lecault, Ph.D., Co-Founder, AbCellera

AbCellera has developed a rapid, high-throughput platform to analyze millions of single B cells from natural immune repertoires and identify antibodies with defined properties. This presentation will highlight recent examples in which AbCellera's platform has been applied to discover rare antibodies against membrane proteins, including GPCRs.

12:40 Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

2:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Mitchell Ho, Ph.D., Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health


2:05 T-E Pharmaceuticals: A Modular Platform to Combine Targeting (T) and Effector (E) Functions with Precision

TseWen_ChangTse-wen Chang, Ph.D., President & CEO, Immunwork, Inc.

For improving efficacy and safety profiles of various biologics, Immunwork develops a T-E technology platform to generate novel therapeutic molecules (including ADCs, bispecific Abs, and other multi-functional biologics) containing both targeting and effector moieties. The moieties are prepared separately based on multi-arm linker units and joined by click chemistry. The modular design feature of T-E platform allows the development of versatile T-E drugs for potential applications in oncology and beyond.

2:35 Computationally-Driven Engineering of an Anti-Tumor Antibody

Chris_Bailey-KelloggChris Bailey-Kellogg, Ph.D., Professor, Computer Science, Dartmouth College

In order to enable development of CAR-T therapies targeting the tumor ligand B7H6, we implemented integrated computational-experimental methods to engineer a better humanized variant of a murine antibody, and to determine the epitope that it targets on the ligand. Our humanization method maintained near wild-type binding affinity, even though a traditional CDR grafted variant failed even to express. Our epitope mapping method optimized a small set of mutagenesis experiments that successfully revealed hotspot residues key to recognition. The success of our methods for these and other antibodies demonstrate the impact computational protein design can have throughout the pipeline of biotherapeutic discovery and engineering.

3:05 Structural Hot Spots for the Solubility of Globular Proteins

Joost_SchymkowitzJoost Schymkowitz, Ph.D., Professor and Principal Investigator, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, VIB Switch Lab/University of Leuven

We here show an anti-correlation between the number of aggregation prone regions (APRs) in a protein sequence and its solubility, suggesting that mutational suppression of APRs provides a simple strategy to increase protein solubility. We show that mutations at specific positions within a protein structure can act as APR suppressors without affecting protein stability. These hot spots for protein solubility are both structure and sequence dependent but can be computationally predicted. We demonstrate this by reducing the aggregation of human a-galactosidase and protective antigen of Bacillus anthracis through mutation. Our results indicate that many proteins possess hot spots allowing to adapt protein solubility independently of structure and function.

GenScript CRO Logo3:35 Facilitate Your Antibody Drug Discovery, from Lead Generation to Lead Optimization
Timothy_XiaTimothy Xia, Vice President, Protein Sciences, GenScript USA Inc 
In this talk, we will discuss cutting edge high throughput screening platforms to guide hybridoma clone selection and examine characterization technologies required for rational selection of lead therapeutic antibody drug candidates. We will also review current platforms for lead optimization, including humanization, developability assessment and antibody affinity maturation.  


IntelliCyt_Sartorius3:50 Better Molecules, Faster! - Application of High Throughput Flow Cytometry from Molecule Discovery to Early Cell Line Development

Ying Ying Chan, Ph.D., Sales Manager, APAC Division, IntelliCyt, a Sartorius Company

4:05 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

4:45 New Techniques for In Vitro Evolution and Selection of Enzymes

Manfred Konrad, Ph.D., Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Head, Enzyme Biochemistry Laboratory

In this talk, I will present our strategy for generating and identifying enzyme variants displaying improved catalytic activity. In particular, I would present FACS and microfluidic techniques we developed for this purpose. I would explain experimental challenges associated with screening of enzyme libraries as opposed to the screening of libraries of antibodies and related binding molecules for which various display strategies (e.g. E. coli, yeast, ribosome, etc.) exist and proved generally highly successful, which are, however, not suitable for monitoring catalytic phenomena.

5:15 Engineering G-Protein Coupled Receptors for High Production and Efficient Folding in Synthetic Environments

Frank Bernhard, Ph.D., Lab Manager, Biophysical Chemistry, Goethe University Frankfurt

Cell-free synthetic biology is an efficient tool for the fast generation of difficult protein targets such as G-protein coupled receptors or other important membrane proteins. We exemplify how to engineer membrane proteins for high cell-free expression and how to take advantage of the synthetic biology toolbox to modulate protein folding and stability. By comparing three different GPCR systems, common but also rather target-specific characteristics are identified.

5:45 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

6:45 Close of Day One


8:30 Registration and Morning Coffee

8:50 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Xiangyang Zhu, Ph.D., CEO, Huabo Biopharma (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.


9:00 Engineering Anti-VEGFR2 X Anti-PDGFR-Beta Bispecific Antibodies for the Treatment of Cancer and Ophthalmological Diseases

Zhenping_ZhuZhenping Zhu, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Global Biologics R&D, Kadmon Corp, LLC

9:30 Nexmab Antibody-Drug Conjugate for the Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

Sunbae Lee, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, R&D Center, Alteogen, Inc.

NexMab is a site-specific antibody-drug conjugate technology for the treatment of ovarian cancer. In vitro, in vivo efficacy and plasma stability of our NexMab ADC will be presented. Strategy for the treatment of ovarian cancer and the current state of the ADC development for ovarian cancer will also be presented.

10:00 Advancing Bispecific Antibodies with Immune T Cells for Improved Treatment Efficacy

Jim_QiuJianPing Qiu, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, YZY Biotherapeutics


10:30 Coffee Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


11:10 Poster Spotlight

Poster I: Monoclonal Antibodies Targeting Intrinsically Disordered Peptide Segment

Carmay Lim, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Fellow/Professor, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica

IgE mediates hypersensitivity reactions responsible for most allergic diseases, which affect 20-40% of the population in developed countries. A 52-residue domain of membrane-bound IgE (mIgE) called CεmX is currently a target for developing therapeutic antibodies, but its structure is unknown. Here we show that two antibodies with therapeutic potential in IgE-mediated allergic diseases, which can cause cytolytic effects on mIgE-expressing B lymphocytes and down-regulate IgE production, target different conformations of an intrinsically disordered region (IDR) in the extracellular CεmX domain. This work provides an important example of antibodies targeting an extracellular IDR of a receptor on the surface of intended target cells as well as fundamental structural characteristics unique to human mIgE. It would stimulate further studies to investigate whether other monoclonal antibodies targeting intrinsically disordered peptide segments or vaccine-like products targeting IDRs of a membrane protein can be developed.

Poster II: An Integrated Approach for the Discovery of Functional Anti-Human ICAM-1 Antibodies

Wei Zhang, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor, Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical studies (SIAIS), ShanghaiTech University

In the present study, by autocrine screening, we discovered a series of anti-human ICAM-1 antibody which can prevent rhinovirus induced cytopathic effect with varying efficacy. The most potent selected antibody was further optimized by yeast surface display to an efficacy equal to that of 14C11, an anti-human ICAM-1 antibody evaluated in several preclinical models. Moreover, in vitro ICAM-1/LFA-1 interactions that accounts for leukocyte activation and transmigration was not interrupted, implying the safety of this antibody on prevention of rhinovirus infections. By such a combined approach of in vitro display technologies and autocrine-based screening, antibodies with therapeutic interests can be discovered more efficiently.


11:40 Roundtable Discussion Session

Join your peers and exchange ideas and experiences in a lively and interactive discussion.

Topic: Differentiation of Antibody-Based Therapeutics

Moderator; Xueming Qian, Ph.D., Chairman & CEO, MabSpace Biosciences (Suzhou) Co., Ltd.


Topic: Enzyme Therapeutics: Challenges for Monitoring, Improving and Preserving Catalytic Activities

Moderator: Manfred Konrad, Ph.D., Head, Enzyme Biochemistry Laboratory, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

Biochemical assays and parameters essential for comparison of catalytic activities of enzymes from different sources

Critical quality attributes for the intactness of recombinantly produced enzymes as compared to the ones from natural sources

Should we put efforts into in vitro-evolution of catalytically poor enzymes of human origin, rather than developing strategies for mitigating immunogenicity of catalytically efficient microbial enzymes?

Tools of material science and nanotechnology for improving activity and stability of  therapeutically established protein drugs


Topic: Novel Biologics for Cancer Immunotherapies - Design and Development Strategies

Moderator: Jinming Gu, Ph.D., Executive Director, Biologics Discovery, Shanghai Hengrui Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

 -What are the best bispecific platforms on the market?

-What target pairs shall we choose for cancer immunotherapies?

-Can ADC be applied for cancer immunotherapies?

-What else shall we consider, e.g. PK, ADCC, Glycosylation?


Topic: Strategies and Challenges of Analytical Control Strategy Life Cycle Management

Moderator: Sherry Guo, Ph.D., Head, Global MMTech Analytical Chemistry and Life Cycle Management, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group  


Topic: Antibody Display Libraries - Design, Construction, and Selection Strategies

Moderator: Yu Zhou, Ph.D., , Associate Adjunct Professor, Anesthesia, UC San Francisco

Comparison of single chain Fv and Fab as the antibody form for surface display

Display systems: phage, bacteria, yeast, mammalian, the pro and cons.

Antibody V gene repertoires: naïve, immunized, disease survivor, synthetic

Antigen choices: peptide, protein domains, full-length protein, protein complex, cell surface protein, nanodiscs, etc. 


12:40 Networking Lunch in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

2:00 Close of Protein & Antibody Engineering

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Celebrating 25 Years

Track 1

Protein & Antibody Engineering

Track 2

Protein Aggregation & Stability

Track 3


Track 4

Analytical Characterization of Biotherapeutics