Scientific Sessions and Round Table

Session 1. Nucleic Acids as Therapeutic Agents

Chair & Speaker: Tamara Martínez - Sylentis / Speakers: Mano Manoharan (Alnylam-USA), Miguel Moreno (Aptus Biotech - Spain) and Beatriz Llamusí (Arthex Biotech - Spain)

Session Goals

The main objective of the Nucleic acid as Therapeutic Agents session is to give an overview of the setbacks and problems we have encountered in the RNA field and to show the hurdles we have faced and are facing to move forward with nucleic acid-based therapies. The cases of success and failure and how the field is emerging and what is yet to come, and most importantly what paths we need to take to flood the market with nucleic acid-based therapies and what strategies are being followed. It will also try to show how the different types of RNA-based molecules are therapeutic alternatives and what problems are encountered in each case.

Session 2 : How to potentiate Drug Discovery in Spain

Chairs: Jorge Beleta (SDDN)/ Emilio Diez (e10Bio) / Speakers: Thomas Eichholtz, CSO (Chiesi Pharmaceutici - Italy), Damià Tormo (Columbus Venture Partners - Spain) and Jordi Gracia (Evotec - France)

Session Goals

The ability to generate novel therapies in Europe, and in particular in Spain, has been declining over the last few years. In parallel, there is a profound transformation in the models by which new drugs are discovered and developed. The session will address: 1) The current landscape of organizations involved in the generation of new drugs, highlighting their different roles and interactions. 2) The direct weight and impact this specific activity has on the biomedical sector and the innovation profile of the country as a whole Finally, some recommendations to improve the competitiveness and self-sufficiency of the public and private Spanish biomedical sectors will be presented for discussion.

Session 3. Targeted Protein Degradation

Chair: Marie Helène Larraufie (Almirall -Spain) / Speakers: Bernat Crosas (Institute of Molecular Biology Barcelona, Spain), David Zollman (University of Dundee, Scotland -UK), Carlos Galdeano (University of Barcelona-Spain), Marta Isasa (Odissey Therapeutics - UK)

Session Goals

In this session, we would like to focus on emerging technologies and approaches that will shape the future of TPD and expand the therapeutic impact of both glue degraders and bifunctional degraders (PROTACs). We would like to cover the following aspects: - Enriching the toolset of E3 ligases that can be hijacked for TPD beyond the most used CRBN and VHL could have an impact in terms of avoiding resistance or enabling tissue targeted degradation: how to identify new E3 ligases that bear promises for TPD? - Further extending the “degradable proteome” to hard-to-drug proteins might require alternative approaches that trigger degradation via non-E3 dependent mechanisms of action, what are up-and-coming concepts in those directions? - Glue degraders have historically demonstrated that they can lead to the degradation of proteins thought to be undruggable, such as transcription factors. Nevertheless, the identification of new glue degraders has been hampered by the lack of methodology to rationally identify those types of small molecules. What are the newest methodologies to screen for glue degraders?

Session 4. Antimicrobial Resistance and New Antibiotics

Chair & Speaker: Domingo Gargallo, ABAC Therapeutics / Speakers: Rafael Cantón, (Hospital Ramon y Cajal, Madrid, Spain), Concepción González-Bello, (University Santiago de Compostela-Spain) and Sergio Lociuro ( Bioversys AG - Basel, Switzerland)

Session Goals

The so-called "silent pandemic" is one of most relevant Global Health challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. It is a priority issue for the WHO, but it is also a prominent part of the agenda of the United Nations, the G20 or the G7. There is unanimous concern and commitment about the need to take measures to stop the proliferation of multi-resistant pathogens, and the urgent need to discover new therapeutic options to deal with this serious health threat. Currently, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the main players in the fight against AMR, providing 80% of the approximately 400 active antimicrobial projects worldwide. In this session we would like to focus on reviewing the ongoing efforts and barriers to discover and develop new antibiotics to treat AMR: - Product discovery and development pipeline including small molecules, but also new approaches and unconventional strategies that contribute to the therapeutic arsenal. Products that meet the innovation criteria described by the WHO, not cross-resistance with commercial products, new targets and new mechanisms of action - PUSH and PULL financial incentives will be discussed, which are imperative to ensure that the industry maintains its focus on developing innovative AMR solutions. Financial incentives are needed to help both the implementation of R&D actions (PUSH) and to restore a broken value chain and market of products focused on combating AMR (PULL).

Session 5. Biologics in Drug Discovery and Development

Chair and Speaker : Francesc Mitjans ( LEITAT- Spain) / Speakers: Luis Álvarez-Vallina (Cancer Immunotherapy Unit ,12 de Octubre University Hospital- Spain), John McCafferty (Maxion Therapeutics-UK), and Claus Møller ( Denmark)

Session Goals

Currently, there is no doubt that biologic drugs stand for a real revolution in the global therapeutic market. According to the most recent data from the Antibody Society, there are 113 mAbs already approved by the FDA, 22 in review, and close to 600 in clinical trials. With more than 70% biologics in the top ten pharma drugs by sales and a global therapeutic monoclonal antibody market revenue forecast of $300 billion by 2025, the discovery of new biologic drugs, and especially new antibody formats, is the highest priority in major pharma and biotech companies. One of the main drivers of these trends imply the evolution from conventional naked whole length antibodies to the engineering of new antibody fragments, formats, conjugates, bi- and multispecifics, CAR-T cells, etc., and new biologic production processes. The session will address and review some of the front-edge technologies and approaches that are being currently used by the industry, academia, and at the clinical level, with leading experts in this exciting therapeutic area.