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  Industry News

Introducing the 3rd Annual PARP & DNA Damage Response Inhibitors Summit

November 22, 2019

Following an unprecedented expansion in the field, DDR therapeutics have made headlines and soaked up investment this year. As it was seen in ASCO, the monumental race to PARPi ‘best-in-class’ between AstraZeneca, Merck, and Tesaro dominates debates.

Good news continues to break: Cyteir secured funding to bring their Rad51 inhibitors into clinical trials, Onxeo are celebrating their win of the Innov’up leader PIA call for projects and Cybrexa prepare to open their first phase I trial with CBX-11.

As the field continues to evolve at an accelerated rate, it is important for the industry to gather and discuss their challenges and share their solutions. Industry-focused meetings such as the PARP & DDR Inhibitors Summit (Jan 28-30, 2020 in Boston, MA, previously “DNA Damage Response Therapeutics Summit”) are key events to meet the stars of your DDR news feeds! The 3-day event is designed to equip researchers and drug developers with the tools for blockbuster therapy success and the connections to effectively advance their work.

The meeting boasts 20 plenary sessions, 25 expert speakers and 2 open panel discussions. Experts from Cybrexa Therapeutics, Cyteir and Ribon Therapeutics will be there to run analysis of 7 novel DDR targets in addition to 2 exclusive deep-dive workshops. Attendees will take advantage of more than 5 hours of networking with 80+ leaders in the space. The major challenges and successes for DDR researchers will be addressed by the Heads, Chiefs, and Presidents of discovery, translation, and clinical practice from Pharma Biotech and Academia.

The Journal of Immunotherapy and Precision Oncology (JIPO) is proud to support this event and encourages readers to attend in Boston, MA on January 28-30, 2020.

About the agenda:

  • Workshops: these will be an excellent opportunity for dialogue, allowing scientists to leave with actionable insights after taking part in high-level discussions. Drs Timothy Yap (Associate Editor, JIPO) and Junjie Chen, MD Anderson Cancer Center, will run an end-to-end session considering the full scope of the fundamental Biology of DNA Damage Response & Targeted Therapeutics. The second workshop will be held by Jaegil Kim from Tesaro: a GSK Company, who will provide a computational toolkit for the DDR scientist by considering how computational techniques can enhance research and accelerate development.
  • Two-day conference: this will be the main exchange platform for the event. The agenda starts with an update on PARPi development, celebrating its recent success-story. BeiGene and Ribon Therapeutics will discuss combination therapies that increase efficacy, widen patient populations and overcome resistance and targets beyond PARP1 inhibitors. This year holds a spotlight on emerging DDR targets, as Bayer presents their work on ATR inhibitors. Leading researchers will also be conducting panels on promising DDR targets and give guidance on how to find them.


PARP & DDR Inhibitors 2020 will gather leaders from Artios Pharma, The Dana-Faber Institute, IDEAYA Biosciences and many more to discuss and strategize the major challenges and approaches to patient selection, bringing DDR therapeutics to the cutting edge of precision medicine. Following a monumental year at ASCO, Tesaro: a GSK Company, Cybrexa Therapeutics and AstraZeneca will also present on PARPi in expanded and novel indications such as NSCLC and HRD- settings.

Feeding off the field’s experience and savoir faire is key to progress and success in any scientific work. However, as much as understanding current challenges helps develop solutions to current problems, the community needs to face forward and consider future developments. To support this need, the PARP & DDR Inhibitors Summit will also offer a glimpse of the future. Presentations on novel approaches to targeting the DDR agnostically via anti-DNA antibodies and proprietary AsiRNA technology will be held by industry leaders such as Onxeo and Patrys. Questions will soar as attendees learn to flip the DDR on its head, deplete energy reserves in ATP-thirsty cancer cells and eliminate metabolic enzymes!

The excitement surrounding DDR therapeutics this year is palpable and this summit promises to be a celebration of success and possibility in the space. Attendees will leave the meeting with a wealth of insider-knowledge on DDR development, having gained a unique end-to-end, industry-focused perspective.

An Exclusive Interview with JIPO Editor and Speaker, Dr. Timothy Yap

Dr. Timothy Yap is a Medical Oncologist and Physician-Scientist based at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is an Associate Professor in the Department for Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (Phase I Program), and the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology. Dr. Yap is the Medical Director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science, a drug discovery biopharmaceutical unit where drug discovery and clinical translation are seamlessly integrated.

Dr. Yap’s main research focuses on the first-in-human and combinatorial development of molecularly targeted agents and immunotherapies, and their acceleration through clinical studies using novel predictive and pharmacodynamic biomarkers. His main interests include the targeting of the DNA damage response (DDR) with novel therapeutics, such as ATR and PARP inhibitors, as well as the development of novel immunotherapeutics. His laboratory interests included the development of patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) and circulating plasma DNA as predictive biomarkers of response for novel targeted agents and immunotherapies in clinical trials.

What, in your opinion, are the 3 greatest challenges faced in the DDR therapy field today?

  • Determining the specific mechanisms that underlie response and resistance to DDR therapies
  • Establishing registration strategies for DDR therapies beyond PARP inhibitors, e.g. ATR, DNA-PK, ATM, WEE1 inhibitors.
  • Managing challenging overlapping toxicities observed with DDR combination therapies, e.g. myelosuppression.

How do you envision these challenges being addressed? What interesting progress being made to further the field?

  • Translational studies undertaken on sequential tumor biopsies and ctDNA samples taken from patients on DDR therapies will provide greater insights into specific mechanisms that underlie response and resistance to DDR therapies
  • Innovative early phase clinical trials that assess the respective roles of DDR therapies beyond PARP inhibitors are being undertaken with early promise being made.
  • Innovative strategies, such as the creative scheduling of DDR combination therapies, as well as the use of drug conjugates with alphalex peptides to enable a more tumor-specific delivery of DDR agents are showing promise preclinically, and are novel approaches about to enter the clinic soon.

What are the most important or promising DDR targets in your opinion and why?

The most important DDR targets are PARP, ATR, ATM, DNA-PK, WEE1, CHK1/2 and POLQ, as these are potentially druggable targets for the clinic.

Where do you see DDR therapy fitting in the universe of cancer therapy? ie combination approaches, maintenance therapy, which line of therapy, precision medicine…

I see DDR therapy as a platform therapy with multiple applications, as monotherapy using molecularly-driven approaches, as seen with BRCA1/2 mutant cancers, both in the maintenance and relapse settings, in differrernt lines of therapy, and also in combination approaches to deepen responses, reverse resistance and increase the proportion of patients who may respond to single agent strategies.


The interview was first published in the PARP & DDP Summit Library and reprinted with permission.

The PARP & DDR Inhibitors Summit is a Hanson Wade event and will be held in Boston, MA, on January 28-30, 2020. To learn more about collaboration and partnerships with industry leaders through this open platform, please visit: www.parp-ddr-inhibitors-summit.com or contact info@hansonwade.com

The PARP & DDR community is supported by Patrys, Genomic Vision & Ambry Genetics.  



Media Enquiries: Ariane Jacobs | E: info@hansonwade.com 

Commercial Enquiries: Nicholas Ramovic | Tel: +1 617 455 4188 | E: sponsor@hansonwade.com 


Special issue 2019