8:00 am Morning Coffee

8:50 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

Cell Types vs. Model – How to Characterize & Select Your Model Strategy?

9:00 am Identification & Characterization of a Novel Human-Relevant Gene Associated with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus


  • Insight into the translational significance of loci specific genome targeting in
    systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Showcasing the potential for improving validation of in vivo autoimmune disease models

9:30 am B Cells in Autoimmune Diabetes: Good, Bad & In-Between


  • Showcasing the role of B cells in autoimmune diabetes
  • Sharing B cell-mediated immunotherapies for autoimmune diabetes
  • Insight on B cell therapy for autoimmune diseases

10:00 am Panel Discussion: What Is Open Targets Initiative?


  • The latest progress in applying bioinformatics and functional genomics to uncover the specific drivers of autoimmune disease
  • Discuss how the targeting memory CD4+ T cells improve our understanding in the development of accurate in vivo models?

10:30 am Morning Refreshments

11:00 am Successful Translation of a Tolerogenic Therapy for Celiac Disease Using Gliadin-Encapsulating PLG Nanoparticles

  • Stephen Miller Professor - Microbiology, Immunology & Dermatology, Cour Pharmaceutical Development Company


  • Tolerance induction using antigen-encapsulating PLG nanoparticles (Ag-PLG) recapitulates how self-tolerance is induced and maintained in the hematopoietic system
  • Evidence from phase 2 double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in celiac disease patients significantly reducing the gliadin-specific T cell response and preventing intestinal damage upon gluten challenge
  • Future disease indications under clinical development include multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optica (NMO), and peanut allergy

11:30 am Modeling Antigen-specific Immune Tolerance Therapies


  • Insight into utilising tolerogenic ImmTOR nanoparticles to address a key challenge in gene therapy, which is vector re-dosing limitations due to adaptive immune responses against the AAV capsid
  • The next steps in advancing clinical drug development from preclinical studies

12:00 pm The Effective Role of Targeting IL-22


  • UTTR1147A is a recombinant fusion protein that links the human cytokine IL-22
    with IgG4 Fc for extended half-life.
  • Insight into preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrating pharmacological
    activity and support potential regenerative and protective mechanisms in
    epithelial tissues.

12:30 pm Networking Lunch

Improving Therapeutic Potential & Pipeline Progression through Autoimmune Models

1:30 pm Towards Selective Immunomodulation of Microglia: Are Fc Receptors (FcRs) for Immunoglobulins Attractive Candidate Targets


  • Effectively and selectively blocking microglia pathogenic contributions in disease state is a very attractive therapeutic opportunity for neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases
  • Outlining the role of Fc-receptors (FcRs) in the CNS and microglia in developing neurological disease pathology
  • Utilizing a novel preclinical model, to support the first evidence for FcR-dependent functions in microglia and how autoantibodies and FcR-signaling modulate microglia physiology in the CNS

2:00 pm The Benefits of Nanoformulation-based Therapies to promote antigenspecific immune tolerance


  • Utilizing the aryl hydrocarbon receptor as a novel target to induce FoxP3+ and IL10+ regulatory T cells
  • Selectively targeting pathogenic T cells through the delivery of both a self-antigen
    and an endogenous tolerogenic molecule to induce an anti-inflammatory phenotype
  •  Therapeutic benefits towards improving translational outcomes in rheumatoid
    arthritis and multiple sclerosis

2:30 pm Leveraging Molecular Imaging to Understand New Targets for the Treatment of TH17-Mediated Autoimmune Responses


  •  RORgt-regulated Th17 function updates
  • How will understanding RORgt-regulated Th17 benefit the development of RORgt-based therapy for Th17-mediated autoimmunity?

3:00 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks & End of Conference