8:00 am Registration & Morning Refreshments

8:45 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

Advancing Preclinical Autoimmune Models

9:00 am New Targets for the Treatment of Autoimmunity – CD6 & CD13

  • David Fox Professor of Rheumatology and Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan


  • Ligands of CD6 include both CD166 (ALCAM) and CD318
  • Interruption of the interaction between CD6 and CD318 prevents or reverses
    autoimmune diseases driven by Th1 and/or Th17 cells
  • Soluble CD13, shed from the surface of activated fibroblasts, is a powerful
    chemotactic, angiogenic and inflammation-inducing molecule, that acts through
    a GPCR
  • Inhibitors of CD13 or its receptor have potent anti-inflammatory effects

9:30 am Mapping the Molecular Profile IMU-935 for the Treatment of Autoimmune Diseases


  • Identification of the unique molecular profile of the RORgT inverse agonist IMU-935
  • Choosing the right animal models to demonstrate RORgt impact on disease outcome

10:00 am Speed Networking


Your chance to continue the focused discussion with each individual expert as we
break out into small interactive groups.

11:15 am Latest Progress Applying Combination Therapeutics Targeting RA & IBD


  • Key preclinical considerations to develop combination therapy in autoimmune diseases
  • Case studies of RA and IBD: MMP9 antagonist and JAK inhibitor

11:45 am Preclinical Modeling of BTK inhibitors for Autoimmune Diseases


  • Comparison of impact of genetic BTK deficiency versus pharmacological inhibition
  • Measuring target occupancy
  • Efficacy data in preclinical models for SLE, RA and MS
  • Key takeaways for translation into the clinic

12:15 pm Networking Lunch

Validating Biological Pathways through Novel Models Marije Koenders

1:15 pm Effector vs. Regulatory T Cell Disbalance During Chronic Inflammation

  • Marije Koenders Assistant Professor, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS)


  • Targeting the IL-17/Th17 pathway is challenging due to Th17 plasticity, CD4+ T cell
    polyfunctionality and cytokine synergy
  • The microbiome is an important driver of Th17-dependence
  • Innovative translational models to study human synovial pathology are the future

1:45 pm Targeted Approach to Treating Multiple Sclerosis Using Microbiology & Immunology


  • Challenges in understanding the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis
  • Current treatment methodologies target symptoms or suppress the entire immune system
  • Applying microbiology to devise a targeted approach to eliminating autoimmune cells
  • Preliminary studies indicate it is specific with a few interesting twists

2:15 pm Panel Discussion: Targeting the Innate Immune System


  • Understanding the interplay between how macrophages and monocytes drive pathogenic disease progression
  • Outlining the relevant strategies of disease treatment across RA, SLE, MS and T1D
  • The need to elucidate a more detailed and comprehensive mechanism of macrophage/monocyte regulation in
    autoimmune diseases
  • How can variables, e.g. sex, age, genetics and environmental factors, be modeled to drive more effective
    therapeutics in specific to the heterogenous population?

3:00 pm Moderator Feedback

3:15 pm A Novel Biologics Platform for Antigen-Specific Immunotherapy

  • Anish Suri Chief Scientific Officer, Cue Biopharma


• Insight behind how the ImmunoSTAT platform incorporates pHLA and relevant immune-modulatory signals to directly engage T cells in a patient’s body
• Incorporating different HLA alleles, T cell epitopes and secondary signals, which allows for targeting different diseases and patient subsets
• Case study evidence to support selective and specific biological effects on antigen-specific T cells

3:45 pm Afternoon Networking Break & Poster Session

4:15 pm Investigating the Potential of aE Integrin in IBD


  • The benefits of a novel photoconvertible model to study lymphocyte trafficking in vivo
  • The potential implications of aE biology in human IBD

4:45 pm Roundtable Discussion


Bioinformatics, Metabolomics & Applying New Platforms
• Discuss the future of novel precision therapeutics and companion diagnostics for autoimmune disease patients.
• What are the latest advancing techniques to help uncover a deeper understanding of mechanistic drivers of autoimmune disease?

Autoantibodies as a Biomarker for Early Disease Prognosis
• What techniques are available to explore the underlying mechanisms that drive specific symptoms of disease development?
• Discussing how this can improve our understanding of tolerance induction and disease pathogenesis

Leveraging Population Studies of Rare Genetic Diseases
• What have we gained from the studying well-defined genetic changes in rare disease?
• What advantage can academics and industry gain from a deeper understanding of functional genomics?
• How do clinical patient samples help understand the key gateways in the inflammatory pathway?

Microbiome – Insight Behind the Pathology
• Discussing how intestinal flora influences the outcomes in systemic lupus
• How do gut commensal and periodontal disease help our understanding of the pathology of RA?
• How can this evidence be incorporated into drug development to improve the translational value of in vivo models?

5:30 pm Moderator Feedback

5:45 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks & Poster Session