Day One Agenda

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8:00 am Registration & Morning Coffee

8:50 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Velia Siciliano Principal Investigator - Synthetic & System Biology for Biomedicine, Italian Institute of Technology

Next Generation RNA Therapeutics: Current State of Play & Looking into the Future

9:00 am Breakfast Panel: What does the Future Landscape of Next Generation RNA Therapeutics Look Like?

  • Yusuf Erkul Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Kernal Biologics Inc.
  • Andreas Kuhn Senior Vice President - RNA Biochemistry & Manufacturing, BioNTech
  • Nathaniel Wang Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Replicate Bioscience
  • Gopi Shanker Chief Scientific Officer, Tevard Bioscience


• What are considered as next generation RNA therapeutics and where is innovation expected to come from?
• Lessons learned from the first ever approved/authorized mRNA-based vaccine
• Upcoming challenges for the next wave of mRNA-based vaccine and next generation RNA therapeutics
• New technologies for further improvements of mRNA therapeutics to achieve proof of concept and accelerate towards clinical development

10:00 am Maximizing the Impact & Potential of RNA Technology


• Pfizer’s vision for RNA from vaccines to therapeutics
• Working at lightspeed: how Pfizer’s capabilities enable transformational drug development
• Building towards our vision through a network of strategic alliances in RNA

10:30 am Morning Break & Speed Networking

11:30 am Adapting the COVID-19 Vaccine to New Sequence Variants

  • Andreas Kuhn Senior Vice President - RNA Biochemistry & Manufacturing, BioNTech


• mRNA is not only well suited for fast development of a vaccine for an emerging pandemic, but also in case of new virus variants
• This was put to a challenge with the emergence of the highly transmissive SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant
• The experience to switch as fast as possible and the biggest hurdles that have been encountered will be presented

12:00 pm Adapting the Adaptor: Developing tRNA as a Novel RNA Therapeutic Modality


• Advantages of tRNA therapeutics relative to other RNA and gene therapy approaches
• Technical advances that will propel the development of tRNA therapies
• tRNA delivery and translational challenges
• Precision medicine and enabling the clinical success of tRNA therapies

12:30 pm Networking Lunch

Optimizing Specificity, Kinetics & Scalability with Circular RNA Generation

1:30 pm Synthetic Circular RNA as a New Therapeutic Modality


• Scalability of self-circularizing synthetic circular RNA (oRNA)
• Assessing the immunostimulatory properties of oRNA
• A new world of cap- and end-independent translation
• Applying oRNA as a therapeutic modality

2:00 pm Using Hairpin Ribozymes to Make In Vitro & In Vivo Circular RNA

  • Mat Falkowski Chief Executive Officer CEO, Circularis Biotechnologies Inc.


• Optimizing kinetics and behavior for specific constructs
• Methods for developing cell-specific activity
• Understanding different paths to manufacturing

2:30 pm Circular mRNA as a Gene Therapy Modality: Past, Present & Future


• Early work on Circular RNA generation and its potential for translation
• Current data on circular mRNA potency in vitro and in animal models
• Perspectives on what the best future applications of circular mRNA could be

3:00 pm Afternoon Networking Break & Poster Session

Leveraging Self-Amplifying RNA to Improve Tolerability, Antigen Expression & Dosing

4:00 pm Leveraging the Design of Self-Amplifying RNA to Increase its Success in Prophylactic & Therapeutic Setting


• Exploring the biological mechanism of self-amplifying RNA across different diseases (vaccines for infectious diseases + protein-enhancement therapy for rare genetic diseases)
•What opportunities/advantages does saRNA offer over conventional methods (non-RNA and non replicating RNA), including lower the dose (+ advantages in clinical stage)
• How to accelerate the success of the saRNA technology?


4:30 pm Self-Amplifying mRNA Vaccines & Increased Antigen Expression


• Advantages of sa-mRNA in vaccines
• sa-mRNA vaccines produce high antigen levels
• sa-mRNA Influenza vaccines generate robust B-cell and T-cell responses

5:00 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks & End of Conference Day One

  • Velia Siciliano Principal Investigator - Synthetic & System Biology for Biomedicine, Italian Institute of Technology