8:00 am
Morning Networking Coffee

8:50 am
Chair’s Opening Remarks

Proposing the Role of Small Molecule, Cell Engager, Cell Therapy & Gene Therapy Modalities to Overcome Tissue-Specific Delivery Challenges in Autoimmunity

9:00 am Moving Beyond B Cell Depletion by Effector Function Mechanisms: Is Deep Tissue Depletion the Key?


  • Understanding the therapeutic window and demonstrated B cell depletion in tissue for a range of B cell depleting therapies from IgG1 antibodies to CAR-T in autoimmune disease
  • Demonstrating the potential for tissue B cell depletion by an IgM based T cell engager
  • Discussing translational strategies to assess depth of B cell depletion and potential for long-term response in the clinic

9:30 am Preclinical Validation of Engineered B Cell Protein Factories: Emergent Applications

  • Mark Selby Senior Vice President, Walking Fish Therapeutics


  • Revealing Walking Fish’s next generation platform for efficient engineering and conditioning of B cells
  • Advancing niche, specific engraftment to lead to persistant cargo production
  • Understanding the potential of engineered B cell protein factories in a variety of therapeutic applications such as replacement therapy, oncology and autoimmune disease

10:00 am
Morning Networking Break

11:00 am Understanding the Antigen-Presenting Potential of Tertiary Lymphoid Structures to Facilitate Targeted Drug Development Strategies in MS

  • Sasha Gupta Assistant Professor, University of Califorina, San Francisco


  • Highlighting the role of tertiary lymphoid structures in the meningies of brains to propose their role in MS disease progression
  • Revealing TLS-penetrating CAR-T cells in mouse models as a potential next generation targeted therapy in progressive MS
  • Looking beyond in vivo mouse modeling to drive TLS-targeted CAR-T cells into the clinic

11:30 am Re-Imagining B Cell Directed Therapeutic Strategies to Achieve Differentiated Clinical Efficacy in the CNS

  • Isharat Yusuf Former Senior Director of Immunology, Gossamer Bio


  • Designing the next generation of BTK inhibitors to target CNS intrinsic B cell and microglia driven pathogenesis
  • Evaluating the potential of BTK inhibition to achieve a specific therapeutic action & minimize off target effects

12:00 pm
Lunch Break

Assessing the Effect of the Inflammatory Response on Novel Cell Types in the B Cell Lineage to Reveal their Role in Autoimmune Disease Progression

1:00 pm TIM-1 Expression in B cells is Required for Maintaining Immune Tolerance

  • Sheng Xiao Associate Director of Immunobiology, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals


  • Murine models with a deficiency of TIM-1 specifically in B cells developed spontaneous and significant inflammation in tissues, including the central nervous system as they aged
  • In addition to producing IL-10, TIM-1 expressing B cells also highly express multiple other negative regulators, including TIGIT
  • Murine models with a deficiency of TIGIT specifically in B cells developed spontaneous inflammation preferentially in the central nervous system as they aged 

1:30 pm TIM-4 Identifies Pro-Inflammatory B Cells Expressing an IL-23-driven “Pro-Inflammatory Module

  • David Rothstein Professor of Surgery, Medicine, and Immunology, University of Pittsburgh


  • In addition to generating antibodies, B cells can exhibit potent regulatory or pro-inflammatory activity that modulates immune responses in murine models and in humans
  • TIM-4 identifies murine B cells that exhibit an IL-23 driven pro-inflammatory cytokine module that resembles that of pathogenic Th17 cells
  • IL-17A produced by TIM-4+ B cells not only acts in pro-inflammatory capacity but acts as an autocrine factor to enforce their pro-inflammatory function and prevent conversion into regulatory B cells expressing IL-10

2:00 pm
Afternoon Break & Networking

3:00 pm Targeting Plasma Cells Secreting Pathogenic Antibodies


  • Understanding long-lived plasma cells as an unmet pharmacological target in antibody-mediated diseases
  • Addressing plasma cells globally by interfering with the mechanisms maintaining them
  • Addressing pathogenic plasma cells selectively

3:50 pm Panel Discussion: Assessing Novel Cell Types Within the B Cell Lineage to Understand Their Therapeutic Potential in Autoimmunity


  • Elucidating key biomarkers to help characterize B regulatory cells, plasma cells and B memory cells for therapeutic targeting
  • Understanding the re-circulation potential of B memory cells to position their role in autoimmune response recall
  • Suggesting optimal levels of re-circulation of different B cell types to refine antigen and tissue-specific drug development in autoimmunity

4:15 pm
Chair’s Closing Remarks

4:25 pm
End of Conference