Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 4th Annual

Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy

Realizing the Exciting Potential of Oncolytic Virotherapy

August 6-7, 2019

Oncolytic virotherapy (OV) represents an exciting new area of cancer treatment by exploiting a virus’s ability to selectively replicate and kill tumor tissue while stimulating a patient-specific immune response against cancer. Interest in the field is at an all-time high following significant scientific breakthroughs in mechanisms of action, efficacy, combination therapies, delivery, and investment from big pharma players such as Pfizer, Amgen, Merck, Johnson and Johnson.

CHI’s Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy conference brings together leading industry and academic leaders to discuss the critical steps needed to accelerate oncolytic virus immunotherapy, from delivery to combination therapy strategies; virus engineering to manufacturing and commercialization.

Final Agenda


12:00 pm Registration

Marina I

1:25 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Paola Grandi, PhD, CSO, Cold Genesys

1:30 KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Treatment of Glioma Using Tumor-Targeted Oncolytic HSV Armed with Immunomodulatory Genes

Joseph C. Glorioso, PhD, Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a deadly form of brain cancer that is resistant to the standard of care. A robust, tumor targeted oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) will be described that has been armed with immunomodulatory genes that partially overcome the MDSC-enriched immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and promote the development of anti-tumor immunity.

2:00 NEW Speaker: KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Directed Evolution & Rational Design Approaches to the Design & Engineering of Optimized Oncolytic Virus Therapeutics for IV Delivery (IGV-101)

Maruri_Avidal_LilianaLiliana Maruri Avidal PhD., Senior Director, Research and Development, IGNITE Immunotherapy

Hurdles to efficacy and safety of oncolytic viruses include IV delivery, anti-viral immunity, transgene carrying capacity, intratumoral spread and tumor resistance mechanisms. Opportunities include direct oncolytic activity plus induction of anti-cancer immunity. We will present data on the directed evolution and rational design platform approaches that IGNITE Immunotherapy has applied in the design and engineering of next-generation oncolytic viruses. Data from a lead IND candidate will be presented.

2:30 NEW Speaker: Creating an Immunotherapeutic Battleship to Overcome Tumor Heterogeneity

Singaravelu_RagunathRagunath Singaravelu, PhD., Post-Doctoral Fellow, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Using functional genomics and bio-selection strategies, we generated a novel VACV backbone (SKV) as our OV platform for combination immunotherapy. SKV exhibits improved oncolytic activity and tumor-selectivity - enabling delivery of immune-modulators that are safest/most effective when expressed within the tumor. Expression of payloads increased survival and tumor control in mouse models. SKV robustly stimulates systemic anti-tumor immunity and has an improved pre-clinical safety profile compared to other VACV clinical candidates.

3:00 NEW: Epitope Identification and Clinical Immune Monitoring in Gene Therapy and Immune Oncology Programs

Knowlton_EmileeEmilee Knowlton, PhD, Immunology Sales Specialist, Sales, ProImmune, Inc.

Epitope discovery is a crucial element in the development of vaccine candidates and drug therapeutics. In the Immune-oncology space, identifying neoepitopes and tumor-associated antigens provide new targets for cancer diagnostics and enable the tracking of patient responses to treatment. ProImmune provides industry-leading tools for antigen characterization, epitope mapping and immune monitoring. In this presentation, case studies will be shared that detail how ProImmune’s integrated platform has identified novel epitopes in the immune-oncology field.

3:30 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

Harbor II & III


PANEL DISCUSSION: Next-Generation Immunotherapies

CHI’s Immuno-Oncology Summit brings you the latest advances in immunotherapy every year. This panel of industry thought leaders will discuss the technology advances and implementation strategies for next-generation immunotherapies, including emerging immunotherapy combinations, bispecific antibodies, oncolytic virotherapy, adoptive cell therapy, personalized vaccines and neoantigen targeted therapies, small molecules and ADCs, cytokines, and innate immunity targeted therapies.


Pamela Carroll, PhD

Senior Vice President, Immuno-Oncology, Genocea Biosciences






Rakesh Dixit

PhD, DABT, President & CEO, Bionavigen





Tara Arvedson, PhD

Director, Oncology Research, Amgen





Michael A. Curran, PhD

Associate Professor, MD Anderson Cancer Center; President, Immunogenesis, Inc.





Raymond Tesi, MD

CEO/CMO, INmune Bio





Matthew Mulvey

CEO, BeneVir Biopharm, Inc.





5:30 Welcome Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing


7:30 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee

Marina I

8:25 Chairperson’s Remarks

Samuel D. Rabkin, PhD, Professor, Neurosurgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

8:30 Advances in Oncolytic Virus Development

Kaufman_Howard_LHoward Kaufman, PhD, CMO, Replimune

Replimune has developed an oncolytic immunotherapy platform augmenting the oncolytic capability of HSV-1 and enhancing anti-tumor immunity. Replimune’s viruses are armed with multiple therapeutic genes, including a fusogenic glycoprotein and GM-CSF (RP1), currently in Phase 1/2 trials alone and in combination with nivolumab. Viruses expressing anti-CTLA-4 (RP2) and co-stimulatory ligands (RP3) have been tested in preclinical models and are expected to enter clinical development in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

9:00 Next Generation OV and New Combinational Approaches for Treatment of Solid Tumors

paola-grandiPaola Grandi, PhD, CSO, Cold Genesys

In the last few years, oncolytic vectors have become one of the most promising immuno-therapy agents for the treatment of cancer. Leaders from academia and industry have made advances in vector engineering, explored advantages and limitations of preclinical models, discussed updates from combination trials, as well as shared challenges and potential strategies of systemic delivery. In this talk, I will present an overview of the Phase II clinical trial with CG0070 for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive bladder cancer.

9:30 Combinatorial Treatment with Oncolytic Adenoimmunotherapy and CAR T-Cell Therapy for Solid Tumor Treatment

Suzuki_MasatakaMasataka Suzuki, PhD, Assistant Professor, Center for Cell & Gene Therapy, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine

In solid tumors, CAR T-cells must overcome the challenges of the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. We hypothesized that pre-treating tumors with our binary oncolytic adenovirus (CAd) that produces local oncolysis and expresses immunostimulatory molecules would enhance the antitumor activity of HER2-specific CAR T-cells, which alone are insufficient to cure solid tumors. Our results suggest that local treatment of our “all-in-one” vector can systemically enhance adoptive T cell responses to cancer cells.

10:00 Exploring Virotherapy/Immunotherapy Combinations for the Treatment of Glioblastoma

Lawler_SeanSean Lawler, PhD, Assistant Professor, Managing Director, Harvey Cushing Neurooncology Laboratories, Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

We have been investigating a gene therapy agent based on a non-replicating adenoviral vector to deliver the Herpes virus Thymidine kinase gene to glioblastoma by intratumoral injection. Our studies have shown that this results in high local IFNg levels, and upregulation of PD-L1 on tumor cells, microglia, and macrophages in the tumor microenvironment. Combination of immune checkpoint blockade with an anti-PD1 antibody overcomes this potential resistance mechanism and leads to a high cure rate in experimental murine glioblastoma models. This combination is now being advanced towards Phase I clinical trials in primary glioblastoma.

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

11:30 MEK Inhibition Enhances Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy through Increased Tumor Cell Killing and T Cell Activation

Kaufman_Howard_LHoward Kaufman, PhD, CMO, Replimune

Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a herpes simplex type 1 oncolytic virus, and trametinib is a MEK inhibitor approved for treatment of melanoma. We observed that the combination of T-VEC and trametinib resulted in enhanced melanoma cell death in vitro. Further, combination treatment resulted in delayed tumor growth and improved survival in mouse models. Tumor regression was dependent on activated CD8+ T cells and Batf3+ dendritic cells. These data support clinical development of combination oncolytic viruses, MEK inhibitors, and checkpoint blockade in patients with melanoma.

12:00 pm T-SIGn Virus Approach to Cancer Gene Therapy – Driving the Tumor Cells to Express Combinations of Biological Therapeutics within the Tumor Microenvironment

Champion_BrianBrian Champion, PhD, CSO, Psioxus Therapeutics

Enadenotucirev is an Ad11p/Ad3 chimeric adenovirus with potent and selective anti-tumor activity, with a blood stability profile that enables systemic dosing. It has been administered intravenously to over 100 cancer patients. Tumor-Specific Immuno-Gene Therapy (T-SIGn) gene therapy vectors are modified viruses that retain all the functional properties of enadenotucirev, while also mediating the expression of therapeutic transgenes. Each T-SIGn virus is designed to target a different immunological phenotype of tumor.

12:30 Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

Marina I

1:55 Chairperson’s Remarks

Matthew Mulvey, PhD, CEO, BeneVir Biopharm, Inc.

2:00 Enhancing Oncolytic HSV Therapy

Kaur_BalveenBalveen Kaur, PhD, Professor, Vice-Chair Research, John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Endowed Chair, Smith Department of Neurosurgery, University of Texas

Here we will report the ability of a PTENɑ expressing oncolytic herpesvirus, to eradicate cancer and its ability to abrogate PD-L1 expression in infected tumor cells, thus priming an adaptive immune response and overcoming tumor immune escape. A single dose of HSV-P10 resulted in long term survivors that rejected subsequent tumor challenge. Our findings implicate HSV-P10 as an oncolytic and immune stimulating therapeutic for anticancer therapy.

2:30 Novel Micro-RNA Attenuated Oncolytic HSV Virus with Combinatorial Immune Payloads for the Treatment of Metastatic Cancer

Queva_ChristopheChristophe Queva, PhD, CSO, Oncorus

Oncorus is developing the next generation HSV-based oncolytic virus with enhanced potency for tumor cell killing and recruitment of the immune system. Our innovative miR-attenuation strategy enables robust viral replication in tumor cells, while preventing replication in healthy tissue. Oncorus’ oHSV are armed with multiple immunomodulatory payloads to synergistically increase recruitment and effector function of immune cells, thus harnessing the full potential of OVs to evoke an abscopal immune response.

3:00 Systemic OV Therapy Using Voyager-V1

Russell_Stephen_JStephen J. Russell, MD, PhD, CEO, Vyriad, Inc.

Voyager-V1 is an oncolytic rhabdovirus designed for systemic cancer therapy and engineered to target immunosuppressive tumors where it mediates inflammatory tumor cell killing. Proinflammatory and anticancer activities of a single intravenous infusion of Voyager-V1 have already been confirmed in ongoing phase 1 clinical trials. Also, noninvasive tracking of the infection in patients treated with virus alone, or with virus-drug combination therapies, is being used to guide its further clinical development.

3:30 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

4:10 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Fares Nigim, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School


4:15 NEW Speaker: Retroviral Replicating Vectors for Conditionally Oncolytic Immunotherapy: Clinical Update and Translational Pipeline

Harry Gruber, President, Science and Innovation, Tocagen 

4:45 PeptiCRAd - A Novel Personalized Oncolytic Vaccine Platform

Pesonen_SariSari Pesonen, PhD, Vice President, Scientific and Clinical Development, Valo Therapeutics

PeptiCRAd™ is a patented oncolytic vaccine platform combining strong immune adjuvant (live oncolytic virus) and tumor epitopes to enable a robust anti-tumor immune response against tumor antigens. Technology allows rapid adaptation to changing tumor epitopes and multiple tumor targets without the need to manipulate the viral backbone. Induction of tumor-specific CD8+ T-cell response linked to tumor growth control was demonstrated in humanized mouse models. Phase1 trial is planned for Q4/2019.

5:15 Oncolytic Adenoviruses Expressing Hyaluronidase: Evidence of Clinical Activity in Different Tumor Indications

Bazan-Peregrino_MiriamMiriam Bazan-Peregrino, DPhil (Oxon), R&D Manager, VCN Biosciences SL

VCN Biosciences has developed different oncolytic adenoviruses expressing hyaluronidase: VCN-01 is a first-in-class virus clinically tested in different clinical trials in pancreatic cancer, retinoblastoma and head & neck adenocarcinoma. To date it has demonstrated a good safety profile and its ability to modify tumor matrix favoring therapeutics accessibility and immune infiltration. VCN-11 is a next generation hyaluronidase–expressing adenovirus able to evade anti-adenovirus neutralizing antibodies showing promising preclinical data.

5:45 pm Close of Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy

5:45 Dinner Short Course Registration

6:30 Dinner Short Course: Development of Bioassays for Checkpoint Immunotherapy and Other Immuno-Oncology Leads*

*Separate registration required.

Preliminary Agenda

Conference Programs