Day One- June 26 2019


9.00am       OPENING KEYNOTE: Assessing Current Trends and Ongoing Challenges within Cancer Therapy Development

o The direction of travel in cancer drug development

o What are the top-level changes, innovations or improvements that are pending?

o Perspectives on how models are changing and developing, and how they need to do so, to unlock new opportunities or overcome existing barriers.

o To be delivered by a leading authority in the field of oncology

9.30am       KEYNOTE: Reviewing Progress in Recreating an Accurate Representation of the Tumor Micro Environment (TME)

o An in-depth exploration of progress in recreating accurate representations of the tumor micro-environment

o Additional opportunities afforded by the use of ML/AI in modelling tumors.


10.00am     Speed Networking

This one-hour time slot will enable the delegation to greet each other in a series of brief exchanges during the set period. During the interaction, participants share their professional backgrounds, business goals and business cards to carry on further conversations over the two-days.



Each roundtable has a dedicated leader who has experience of the topic and is working under specific rules of engagement i.e. they are actively controlling the discussion towards optimal output. Findings are captured and will enter the post-meeting report, which is also shared with the wider translational oncology community to maximize benefit

11:00           Roundtable discussion topics:

Roundtable 1: Innovation in Model Development

Discussion A - Discussion and capture of emerging models and innovation: what do tomorrow’s tumor models look like?

Discussion B - Opportunities for genome editing approaches in model development: developing models that accurately reproduce patient genetic profiles.

Discussion C - Detailing strategies for overcoming barriers in the use of models.

Roundtable 2: Program Design

Discussion A - Challenging and reconfiguring existing approaches and attitudes towards translational program design in the context of models.

Discussion B - Developing translational expertise: Creating value and assets in smaller biotechs through innovation in program design.

Discussion C - Evaluating existing translational program design: A critique or an actual or theoretical program design

Roundtable 3: Data-driven translational approaches

Discussion A - What does the emerging role of AI/ML look like in the context of model development?

Discussion B - New opportunities being created via the generation, sharing and integration of data in pharma organizations.  

Discussion C - An assessment of available computational approaches in tumor modelling.  

12.15pm     Lunch and Networking


1.30pm       Pending Innovation in New Model Development

What are the new models that are not used yet? What’s on the horizon?

2.00pm       CASE STUDY Presentation(s) on the use of 3D Tumor Spheriod Models

The potential of a spheroid tumor model composed of cells in different proliferative and metabolic states for the development of new anticancer strategies has been amply demonstrated. However, there is little information on the problems of reproducibility of data originating from experiments using 3D models.

2.30pm       PANEL DISCUSSION: New and Interesting Technologies

o   Monitoring circulating free DNA for patient monitoring and screening models. Has someone used this in a model context?

o   Single cell transcriptomics and proteomics

o   Novel microfluidic platforms for tumor drug response analysis

o   ‘Cancer -on-chip’ models for testing.

o   Patient-biopsy derived unmodified tumor fragments

o   High-throughput microfluidic models

o  Stem cell-led approaches

 3.15pm       Networking Coffee break

 3.45pm       Innovations in Translational Program Design

o  Standard or non-standard approaches – ‘Here’s what I did’... e.g. I did not start with cell lines, I went straight to organoids. Why did we decide to go down this route?

o  Possibly have presentation from two companies developing similar drugs but taking opposing routes. What’s the outcome? Perhaps both got approved, but they did it differently. What’s their justification?

o  Creating value from new approaches and technologies

o  Drug repurposing/validation in multiple indications


4.45pm       Innovation Showcase

Snappy talks, 6 x 10 minutes each, with the opportunity to showcase innovative new developments in the model/translational space. Can be in any relevant sphere. Following the day’s end, each of the technologies will be available for demoing during the drinks reception

Topics could include:

o  VR for data visualization

o High multiplex imaging in the context of imaging

o  Microfluidics and the construction of synthetic circulatory systems (building organoids/vascularisation etc)

o 3D bioprinting

 5.30pm       PANEL DISCUSSION: The future of Model Development, Innovation and Planning Ahead for Changes

Focus on the future and need for innovation, planning for changes, identifying other factors that are important in transitioning from 3 to 10% etc. What are the pieces that all need to come together?

 6.15pm       Drinks Reception and Hands-On Innovation Demos

Innovations are explored and demonstrated over drinks in a fluid networking session. People who are more interested in exploring can talk to providers. Others can network with each other.

 7pm             Close and Evening Dinner (separate sign up)

Day Two- June 27 2019


9.00am KEYNOTE: FDA View on What Preclinically-Derived Evidence or Data is Best Needed to Set-up Efficient Clinical Trial Design

FDA (guidance and experience of a regulator) talk around the set up of efficient clinical trial strategies and the recent guidance on this topic


9.30am       What Innovation in Tumor Model Development is set to Impact IO During Clinical Success?

I-O and I-O/combination therapies

o   How to develop comprehensive translational programs for IO therapies.

o   How should preclinical models be better used to guide IO drug development (top-level perspective)

o   What are the range of (and best) models available to reconstitute functional human immune systems for IO drug predictive testing? Relative advantages and disadvantages.

o   Novel methods and innovation for recapitulating the dynamics of the immune micro-environment

10.00am     How can Gene Therapy Approaches Inform Wider Development? Lessons learned

With effective and long-lasting treatments now being reported from gene therapy trials at an increasing pace, design of gene therapy vectors and their clinical development are advancing rapidly. This talk will look at some of the results and lessons learned from recent successes

10.30am     Morning Networking Break


11.00am    How is data driving the choice of models, the sequence of models, and actual model development to optimize predictive success?

11.30am    Machine learning to integrate different studies and optimize program design

o   Bypassing issues relating to data availability and quality.

o   Can you use the wetlab to enhance ML?

12.00pm    Use of AI or other in silico approaches to achieve re-purposing

o   Intersection of In silico with CRO’s

12.30pm     Lunch and Networking


1.30pm       Using patient material to explore mechanisms of action and predict efficacy of prospect compounds that depend upon patient profile

2.00pm      Use of avatars and other innovative models to predict individual patient response

2.30pm       Genome editing to reproduce patient profiles

3.00pm       Networking Coffee break

3.30pm       PANEL DISCUSSION: Addressing the Realities of Personalized Approaches to Predictive Modelling in the Clinical Environment – Opportunities, Barriers, etc.

4pm             Close of Conference



This workshop should include an introduction to different tumor model platforms, an overview of their advantages, disadvantages, variables and how to select the right platform or sequence of platforms for a development program. Different platform categories will be discussed, including trans-well based models, spheroids, hybrid models, tumor-microvessel models and others.


Small biotechs are like engine rooms that churn out goodies to license/sell to big pharma. So, if you’re a small company, operating with this in mind, and with £xM to spend, what’s the best use of money to maximize the value? Most big pharma’s perspectives on this are outdated. They think about what models can they use that will satisfy their review committee, who are in senior positions, out of date with their advice/thoughts. But if you’re a small biotech, the question is ‘what can I spend my money on that will make buyers more interested’? Selection of technology, modes and model selection to maximize value. This workshop will (1) help smaller biotechs who are seeking to optimize spending to increase the number of tradable assets within their pipeline and business, and (2) will help larger pharma understand how to optimize spend within their own organizations, and challenge out-of-date thinking.


There are AI companies who will generate hypotheses about, for example, repurposing. But there are also CRO companies (e.g. Oncodesign) who have packages that will validate your AI-driven hypotheses in the wet lab. Then the data is fed back into the AI again. This is the intersection of AI and CRO’s. How can you use the wet lab to enhance machine learning? This is a big question. The AI is not validated. This workshop will bring together AI and CRO companies to present. AI companies will help CRO’s understand how they arrived at their conclusions. The CROs can present on what it would take to get something approved.