Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment: Improving Immunotherapy Outcomes through Deeper Understanding of the TME. December 6-7, 2017. San Diego, CA. Concurrent with the increasing importance of immunotherapies in cancer, the importance of the tumor microenvironment (TME) in creating, tailoring, and monitoring these therapies has become clear. Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Inaugural Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment conference addresses three critical components of the role of the tumor microenvironment in immunotherapy: the biology and composition of the TME relevant to the function and presence of various immune cells; the role of the TME in therapy prediction and monitoring, with specific focus on immunoscoring; and strategies for targeting cellular and molecular components of the TME. Progenra’s Head of Drug Discovery Dr. Suresh Kumar will speak in the Target Validation and Prioritization section of this meeting on the topic “Modulating the Tumor Microenvironment with USP7 Inhibitors for Cancer Immunotherapy.”
Small Molecules for Cancer Immunotherapy: Discovery and Development of Immune-Modulatory Small Molecules. April 4-5, 2018. San Diego, CA. First-generation cancer immunotherapy agents have been primarily biologicals -- monoclonal antibodies that block protein-protein interactions between T cell checkpoint receptors and their ligands. Recently, discovery efforts have focused on the development of immune-modulatory small molecules addressing a wide array of new immune-modulatory targets that can be used in combination with the biologicals. The Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 2nd Annual Small Molecules for Cancer Immunotherapy conference brings together developers and discovery scientists to share new targets, novel immune-modulatory inhibitors, and preclinical and clinical studies in combination with checkpoint antibodies. Dr. Suresh Kumar, Senior Director and Head of Discovery at Progenra, will speak at this conference on “Targeting the Tumor Microenvironment with Deubiquitinase Inhibitors for Cancer Immunotherapy” in the Kinase and Ubiquitin Immunomodulators section of the meeting.
Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 15th Annual Discovery on Target: Cancer Immunotherapy. September 25-28, 2017. San Diego, CA. This meeting focused on various aspects of the immunotherapy of cancer, with a two-day session devoted to the ubiquitin pathway in cancer immunotherapy. The ubiquitin proteasome system is an essential and highly regulated mechanism controlling cellular protein degradation and turnover. Advances in the understanding of this pathway have made it one of the most exciting arenas for discovering novel medicines. Modulators of DUBs and E3 Ligases as well as latter generation proteasome inhibitors are poised to enter clinical development for treatment of cancer. Progenra President Dr. Tauseef Butt was invited to speak in a session entitled “Targeting The Ubiquitin Proteasome System” as part of the 15th Annual Discovery on Target Event. His talk was entitled “Small Molecule Ubiquitin Protease (USP7) Inhibitors with Immune Cell Based Anti-tumor Activity Superior to that of Biologicals.”
Bio International Convention 2017 June 18-22, 2017. San Diego, CA. Progenra hosted an Immune Oncology Session at the Bio International Convention, San Diego June 18-22, 2017. Progenra President, Dr. Tauseef Butt, organized and was a participant of a panel discussion entitled “Immune Oncology Drugs: Ready for First Line Therapy?” This panel, which was comprised of leaders of immune oncology from the pharmaceutical industry and academic medicine, addressed whether the new immune oncology drugs will, as currently predicted in many quarters of both the scientific/medical and investment communities, supplant tumoricidal drugs and radiation as first line therapies in many cancers. Other topics considered were: the affordability of immune oncology treatments; the existence and utility of biomarkers to identify treatable patients and monitor therapy; the utility of combination protocols involving other immune oncology drugs or traditional anticancer drugs to achieve maximum efficacy; and ways to manage immune side effects resulting from immune therapy of cancer.
10th Annual Meeting -- Cancer Molecular Therapeutics Research Association (CMTRA) July 16-20, 2017. Burlington, VT. Progenra President, Dr. Tauseef Butt, was an invited speaker at this year’s CMTRA Conference (Tenth Meeting) in Burlington, Vermont. The purpose of CMTRA is to provide a highly interactive forum for the presentation and discussion of novel drugs, drug targets and the preclinical and clinical development of novel cancer therapeutics. Its goal is to provide annual meetings with scientific presentations at the cutting edge of translational science complemented by extensive discussion. The meetings foster full and unhampered discussion of new scientific concepts and data under a policy that prohibits publication of the proceedings, photography or tape recordings of the sessions. The title of Dr. Butt’s talk was “Small Molecules as Frontline Therapy for Immune Oncology: Experience from Ubiquitin Pathway Targets.”
18th Annual Drug Discovery Leaders’ Summit June 12-13, 2017. Berlin, Germany. Dr. Tauseef Butt, President and CEO of Progenra, delivered the Keynote Address at the 18th Annual Drug Discovery Leaders’ Summit in conjunction with the Discovery Chemistry and Drug Design Congress. The title of Dr. Butt’s address was “Small Molecule Immune Oncology Drugs from Ubiquitin Pathway Targets.” The success of biologic immune oncology agents is impressive, but it has been limited by the small percentage of patients typically responding within a given tumor type and, in some cases, by severe autoimmune side effects. Progenra is developing small molecules that are tunable for side-effects and exert both direct tumoricidal and immunostimulatory mechanisms of action; such molecules have the potential to replace costly biologicals. Dr. Butt will discuss mechanistic evidence that supports the targeting of ubiquitin pathway enzymes known to be: 1) critical to the ability of tumors to evade detection and killing by the patient’s immune system; and 2) essential for growth and survival of tumor cells. Dual targeting of cancer by a small molecule is a novel strategy that offers advantages of cost savings, delivery, and management of side effects in a patient population.
Second Annual Cancer Immunotherapy and Combinations meeting June 13-14, 2017. Boston, MA. This meeting, organized by the Cambridge Healthtech Institute, is part of the World Preclinical Congress and will convene immuno-oncology researchers, cancer immunotherapy developers, and technology providers to discuss next-generation approaches and combinations. The 16th annual World Preclinical Congress focuses on the latest trends and technologies impacting preclinical drug discovery and development and features interactions among chemists, biologists, pharmacologists and translational scientists in industry and academia. Included in the program are short courses, symposia, training seminars, and conferences. Dr. Suresh Kumar, Senior Director and head of drug discovery at Progenra, will present an invited lecture on “Covalent Irreversible USP7 Inhibitors for Cancer Immunotherapy.” Dr. Kumar will present an update on Progenra’s small molecule anticancer immune modulators that inhibit the cancer regulating ubiquitin pathway target USP7.
American Association of Immunologists (AAI). May 12 – 18, 2017, Washington, D.C. Dr. Christopher Riling, Assistant Director, represented Progenra at this national meeting, which is the largest annual gathering of immunologists worldwide, featuring talks from both global leaders and early-stage investigators in immunology; the meeting covers the full spectrum of topics in the field, and promises opportunities for exposure to cutting edge science, collegial discussions of research in all areas of immunology, and the latest immunology research tools. Dr. Riling participated in discussions of Progenra’s extensive presence in immune-based drug discovery with various colleagues in the field.
Small Molecules for Cancer Immunotherapy April 27, 2017. San Diego, CA. Progenra was invited to speak at Cambridge Healthtech Institute's Small Molecules for Cancer Immunotherapy symposium as part of the Twelfth Annual Drug Discovery Chemistry event. Recent data from biologicals suggest that immune checkpoint inhibitors (e.g., Keytruda, Opdivo and others) that block immune evasion by the tumor have had remarkable success in the clinic. A key question is whether the new IO drugs will, as predicted, supplant tumoricidal drugs and radiation as first line therapies for most cancers. Progenra believes that developing a small molecule that both unleashes anti-tumor immune responses and exerts direct tumorcidal effects is a novel, efficient and cost effective strategy. The company’s presentation will describe a de-ubiquitylase (USP7) and ubiquitin ligases that promote tumor evasion by producing tolerance in the host immune system. Small molecule inhibitors that target these enzymes will exert dual effects, both tumoricidal and immunostimulatory, as described above. We believe that small molecules with these dual properties can replace biologicals as frontline therapies for cancer.
American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition April 2-6, 2017. San Francisco, CA. Dr. Jian Wu, Associate Director at Progenra, presented a talk entitled "Targeting ubiquitin pathway enzymes for cancer immunotherapy" at medicinal chemistry section. The ACS National Meeting brings together more than 10,000 professionals to present and discuss recent publications as well as technological advancements. The spring conference will highlight Advanced Materials, Technologies, Systems and Processes.
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). April 1 – 5, 2017, Washington, D.C. Drs. Tauseef Butt (President), Suresh Kumar (Senior Director), and Jack Wang (Assistant Director) represented Progenra’s Oncology franchise at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the AACR, the largest cancer research organization in the world, with international participation. Dr. Kumar presented a poster entitled “USP7 inhibitors impair Foxp3+ T-regulatory cell function and promote anti-tumor immunity against solid tumors,” and Dr. Wang presented a poster entitled “Characterization of selective covalent inhibitors of USP7.” Both of these presentations provided an update of Progenra’s development of inhibitors of the oncogenic deubiquitylating enzyme USP7 as novel experimental therapeutics that can eradicate cancers by employing both direct tumoricidal and immunostimulatory mechanisms.
BIO CEO Conference Feb 12-14, 2017, New York. Progenra shared its new class of drug targeting USP7 at BIO CEO Conference, held in New York. The meeting provided information about the small molecule therapy that competes with biologicals such as IO drugs from Merck (Ketruda) and BMS (Opdivo). Progenra believes that the future oncology portfolio will definitely include small molecules that have the ability to suppress tumors as well as unleash anti-tumor immune responses.
Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS). Feb 4 – 8, 2017, Washington, D.C. SLAS 2017 is the annual International Conference and Exhibition from SLAS. This annual meeting featured educational presentations on high throughput screening, robotics, and assay development, as well as access to innovative technologies. Progenra was represented at the meeting by screening scientist Ivan Sokirniy, who presented a poster entitled “Discovery and development of inhibitors targeting protein-protein interactions in the ubiquitin signaling system.”
GTCBio ImmunoTX Summit February 6-7, 2017. San Diego, CA. Dr. Suresh Kumar, Senior Director and Head of Drug Discovery, spoke on Progenra's small molecule immunotherapy program targeting USP7 at GTCBio's ImmunoTX Summit. The Summit invited scientists from both industry and academia to discuss novel findings in three general topic areas: Cytokines & Inflammation, Immunotherapeutics & Immunomonitoring, and Immunogenicity & Immunotoxicity.
JP Morgan Healthcare Conference January 9-13, 2017, San Francisco, CA. Dr. Tauseef Butt, President of Progenra Inc., attended the 2017 JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this January. Dr. Butt presented to various investors and potential partners the company’s therapeutic portfolio focusing on novel small molecules from the ubiquitin proteasome pathway that have activity in immune-oncology and other cancer models, as well as the company’s programs in inflammation and neurodegenerative disease. This conference is the industry’s oldest and largest gathering of healthcare and biotech companies and investors, attracting approximately one thousand small and large biotech and pharma companies.
American Society for Cell Biology 2016 December 3-7, 2016 San Francisco, CA This conference brought together innovators in the field of Cell Biology to discuss the latest technologies, and, for the first time, featured a full-day symposium on “Cell Biology of Cancer”. Dr. Jack Wang, Senior Biologist at Progenra, participated in the Cell Death and Genome Instability Minisymposium, presenting on the topic of “Covalent irreversible inhibitors of USP7 as small molecule cancer immunotherapy agents.”
CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR Intl Cancer Immunotherapy. September 25-28, 2016 New York, NY. With the heightened interest in cancer immunotherapy and the proliferation of scientific meetings in the field, the Cancer Research Institute (CRI), the Association for Cancer lmmunotherapy (CIMT), the European Academy of Tumor Immunology (EATI), and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) sponsored this Second International Cancer lmmunotherapy Conference. The program focused on "Translating Science into Survival," and featured talks from more than 60 leaders in the field covering all areas of inquiry in cancer immunology and immunotherapy, including: antigens and vaccines, emerging technologies, mechanistic merging of treatment modalities, microbiota, new agents and their mode of action, new checkpoints, non-checkpoint immunotherapies, and the tumor microenvironment. Speaking at this meeting for Progenra was Dr. Suresh Kumar, Senior Director and Head of Drug Discovery; the title of his talk was “Small molecule Cbl-b inhibitors as novel intracellular checkpoint inhibitors for cancer immunotherapy.”
CHI Conference: Targeting the Ubiquitin Proteasome System. September 20-21, 2016 Boston, MA. This conference covered areas such as Novel Roles of Ubiquitin Chains and Modifications, Elucidation and Characterization of Cellular Functions/Regulatory Mechanisms, Deregulation of Ubiquitin Ligases and DUBs in Human Cancers, Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Inflammation, Technological Advances for Interrogating the Ubiquitin Proteasome System, Identification of Novel Probes (di‐Ub) and Inhibitors, Chemoproteomics for Mechanism of Action in Cells, and others. Dr. Tauseef Butt, President of Progenra, spoke at this conference on the topic “The Ubiquitin Pathway: a New Frontier in Cancer Immunotherapy.”
GTC Modern Drug Discovery and Development Summit. September 12-15, 2016 Boston, MA. This conference brought together a balance of industry and academia, affording delegates the unique opportunity to interact with colleagues from different sectors and thereby expand their perspective on the various research and current developments in the field. The Summit featured four conferences that covered current topics in drug discovery. Progenra’s President, Dr Tauseef Butt, spoke at this summit on the topic “New Chemical Approaches for Cancer Immunotherapy, Targeting Ubiquitin Pathway Enzymes.”
252nd American Chemical Society National Meeting August 21-25, 2016 Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Jian Wu, Associate Director, and Dr. Hui Wang, Senior Scientist, attended this national meeting in Philadelphia. This meeting featured speakers engaged in innovative research in chemistry and was aimed at promoting groundbreaking discovery and public understanding of the world’s mounting challenges and how chemistry can provide solutions.
Second International Conference on Clinical Science and Drug Design. July 27-29, 2016 Dundee, Scotland UK. The focus of this conference was the translation of academic research findings into industry-driven drug development. Sessions featured invited speakers from industry and academia, as well as oral and poster presentations from submitted abstracts. Progenra’s President, Dr. Tauseef Butt, presented a talk at this conference summarizing the company’s immune-oncology program, which is designed to develop novel cancer treatments by modulating the native immune response to neoplastic disease.
CHI Meeting on Cancer Immunotherapy and Combinations -- Exploring a New Generation of Immunomodulatory Agents and Combinations. June 15-16, 2016 Boston, MA. At this meeting, Dr. Suresh Kumar, Senior Director and Head of Drug Discovery at Progenra Inc., presented a talk entitled Potent and Selective Small Molecule USP7 Inhibitors for Cancer Immunotherapy in the session “Small Molecule Inhibitors as Single and Checkpoint Combination Agents.” Dr. Kumar gave an update on Progenra’s preclinical ubiquitin protease inhibitors currently being developed as single or combinatorial immunotherapy agents for cancer.
BIO International Convention. June 6th-9th, 2016 San Francisco, CA. Progenra was represented by Business Development at the BIO International Convention to discuss the company’s progress and to explore collaborative opportunities in drug discovery.
American Association of Immunologists Annual Meeting. May 13-17, 2016 Seattle, WA. For over 100 years, the association has provided the world’s leading forum for advancing the field of immunology, fostering the interchange of ideas and information among investigators, and addressing the potential integration of immunologic principles into clinical practice. Dr. Christopher Riling attended this year’s meeting and discussed Progenra’s programs in immunology with colleagues.
CSHL Meeting on Protein Homeostasis in Health and Disease. April 18-22, 2016 Cold Spring Harbor, NY. This meeting, which marked the 25th anniversary of the first Cold Spring Harbor meeting in 1991 related to heat shock and the role of molecular chaperones, featured the latest research in this area with several keynote talks by leading investigators in the field. Dr. Christopher Riling and Ivan Sokirniy attended this meeting from Progenra and presented results of work on E3 ligases and mutant CFTR in the context of cystic fibrosis, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Alabama/Birmingham, and Emory University.
American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting April 16th-20th, 2016 New Orleans, LA. Updates to Progenra's characterization of its preclinical inhibitors of deubiquitylase USP7 and E3 ligase Cbl-b were presented in posters by discovery scientists Drs. Suresh Kumar and Christopher Riling, who attended this meeting . These small molecules show promise as immuno-oncology antitumor agents either singly or in combination with approved biological immune checkpoint inhibitors such as Yervoy, Keytruda, Opdivo, and others. Progenra is currently working to identify clinical candidate inhibitors of these two novel immune-oncology targets
251st American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition. March 13-17, 2016, San Diego, CA. The 2016 ACS Meeting in San Diego offered scientific professionals a platform to present, publish, discuss and exhibit the most exciting research discoveries and technologies in chemistry and its related disciplines and provided companies with an opportunity to exhibit products and services to a targeted audience. Jian Wu and Charles Grove attended this meeting from Progenra; Dr. Wu gave a talk entitled "Selective deubiquitylase inhibitors for cancer immunotherapy", in which he discussed preclinical activities of some of Progenra's ubiquitin protease inhibitors in cellular and in vivo immuno-oncology models.
JP Morgan 34th Annual Healthcare Conference January 12th-15th, 2016 San Francisco, CA. Progenra President Tauseef Butt attended this conference and met with companies and investors interested in Progenra's business model and platform.
BIO International Convention June 15th-18th, 2015 Philadelphia, PA. Progenra was represented by Business Development and scientific staff at this annual meeting to present and discuss its progress and collaborative opportunities in drug discovery.
American Association for Cancer Research April 18th-22nd, 2015 Philadelphia, PA. Progenra scientists attended this conference to contribute to the discussions and met with current and prospective partners.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology March 28th - April 1st, 2015 Boston, MA. Progenra scientists presented on-going drug discovery efforts related with the ubiquitin pathway in cancer immunotherapy.
Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening February 7th-11th, 2015 Washington DC. Progenra scientists attended this conference to contribute to the discussions.