Advancing Cancer Vaccines to Move to the Forefront of Immunotherapy

Original Air Date: Thursday, May 28 2020
Time:  10am EST / 7am PST
Duration:  1 Hour

Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer treatment by using a patient’s own immune system to target and eradicate tumor cells. Therapeutic tumor vaccines, as one avenue in this emerging landscape, are designed to elicit antigen-specific antitumor immune responses. Our expanding knowledge of immuno-oncology, genomics, and bioinformatics has led to novel, optimized cancer vaccine approaches. That together with rational and biology-driven combination of cancer vaccines with other therapeutic modalities has great potential to reshape the current immunotherapy field.In this webinar, industry experts will summarize recent developments in terms of underlying biology, clinical observations and early phase trial design and protocol considerations with the aim of providing clear guidance in this fast-evolving field.

Webinar Agenda:

  • Cancer vaccines and their position in current immunotherapy
  • Strategies for vaccine optimization to improve their clinical efficacy, including combination settings
  • Design considerations for early phase trials with cancer vaccines
  • Emerging trends and expectations of the industry

Featured Speakers


Heinz Lubenau, PhD – Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder VAXIMM

Heinz Lubenau co-founded VAXIMM in 2008. Prior to this, 2003-2008, he was Global Project Manager Biosimilar G-CSF and Head of Preclinical and Clinical Development at BioGeneriX AG, where he led the development work of the first biosimilar G-CSF Ratiograstim® from preclinical studies through European marketing approval and launch and of the second-generation G-CSF Lonquex from project implementation to clinical Phase II. In 1994, he joined Servier and rose to Clinical Research Manager and Project Director Internal Medicine in 2001. In this role he was responsible for Servier Phase I to Phase III clinical trials in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for various indications. Dr. Lubenau has a PhD in pharmacy from Johannes-Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.


Katka Franke, PharmD PhD – Oncology Drug Development Consultant at CATO SMS

Katka Franke has over 10 years’ experience in the field of Immunology/Immuno-oncology. After completing her PhD in Immunology at the Vrije University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, she worked as a junior-, and later as senior postdoctoral scientist at Sanquin Research in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she coordinated and participated in several academic and industrial projects in the field of cancer immunotherapy. As consultant at CATO SMS, she is responsible for providing expert (immuno-)oncology drug development advice and assists sponsors to shape their drug/clinical development plans, assuring successful launch of their product into the clinic.


Inka Pawlitzky, PhD – Director Oncology Drug Development Affairs at CATO SMS

Inka Pawlitzky has over 12 years of oncology translational and drug development experience, and heads the Oncology Drug Development Affairs team at CATO SMS. An immunologist by training (PhD Tufts Medical School, Boston), she completed postdoctoral fellowships (Max-Planck Institute for Immunobiology and Epigenetics and Netherlands Cancer Institute) investigating the regulation of DNA rearrangements and pluripotency mechanisms in tumorigenesis. As senior scientist at Leica Biosystems she gained expertise in companion diagnostics. Since 2017, Inka is responsible for providing expert consultancy services for innovative new cancer therapies in terms of drug and clinical development planning and regulatory strategies, with particular emphasis on emerging immunotherapies.

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