2019 Executive Sponsors

Cofactor Genomics
Mitra Biotech

2018 Executive Sponsors

Mitra Biotech

2018 Associate Sponsors

Adaptive Biotechnologies
Compass Therapeutics
nanoString Technologies

2018 Supporting Sponsors

Neon Therapeutics

2018 Educational & Supporting Partners


2018 Media Partners

Clinical Leader
Life Science Leader
SciDoc Publishers
STAT news
Technology Networks


Designed by lead advisors Patrick Hwu, MD, Head, Division of Cancer Medicine, Department Chair, Melanoma Medical Oncology Department Chair, Sarcoma Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Axel Hoos, MD, PhD, SVP, Oncology R&D, GSK and Ian McCaffery, PhD, VP, Oncology Translational Science, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, more than 40 speakers cover the full spectrum of research and development for IO combinations from discovery and preclinical science to translational science and emerging biomarkers, clinical trial design and operations, emerging data for IO combinations, business developments and novel technologies.


Day one of this year’s program begins with the Preclinical Mechanistic Combinations Plenary session, which includes the following talks:

  • IO Combinations with CAR-T Therapies
    Michael Kalos, PhD, VP, Immuno-oncology and Oncology Cellular Therapies, Janssen Oncology
  • Preclinical Data on BiTE Platform and Associated Combinations
    Julie Bailis, PhD, Principal Scientist, Oncology Research, Amgen
  • The Tumor Explant Model as a Model System to Understand Treatment Effects
    Dirk Jäeger, MD, Director, Medical Oncology, National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), University Medical Center Heidelberg
  • Model Systems for Studying Combinations
    Marcus Bosenberg, MD, PhD, Professor, Dermatology and Pathology, Yale Cancer Center
  • Prioritizing Combinations using a Human Phenotypic Model for Drug Development
    Mark Paris, PhD, Associate Director, Translational Applications, Mitra Biotech
  • Predicting IO Combination Success Panel with Janssen, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, National Center for Tumor Diseases and Yale Cancer Center

We then move into the Translational Science and Emerging Biomarkers Plenary session, which features the following talks:  

  • The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Response to Immunotherapy
    Jennifer Wargo, MD, Associate Professor, Surgical Oncology and Genomic Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • IO Combinations Based on Tumor Mutation Analysis
    Maria Jure-Kunkel, PhD, Director, Immuno-Oncology Translational Medicine, Medimmune
  • TCR Sequencing as a Predictive Biomarker of Response in IO
    Sharon Benzeno, PhD, SVP, Business and Corporate Development, ‎Adaptive Biotechnologies
  • Advanced Analytics Combining Augmented Exome and Transcriptome Sequencing for Neoantigen Identification and Novel Biomarker Discovery
    Erin Newburn, PhD, Associate Director, Field Application Scientist, Personalis Inc
  • Synergy Mechanisms Between Combination Immunotherapies Using Single Cell Proteomics
    Sean Mackay, Co-Founder, CEO and Director, IsoPlexis

Next is the Operationalizing IO Combinations Plenary Session, which will take a look at novel platform trials design, collaborations that drive operations and the FDA will address regulatory framework for investigating & approving combinations.

We conclude day one with IO Emerging Technologies where we will showcase companies that have technologies and solutions that will help stakeholders in the IO field advance combination developments.


Day two begins with the Emerging Clinical Combinations plenary session, which includes the following talks:

  • PD-1 Antibody Based Immuno-oncology Novel Combinations Across Indications
    Roy Baynes, MD, PhD, SVP, Global Clinical Development, Merck Research Labs
  • Immunotherapy Combinations with Parp Inhibitors
    Lauren Byers, MD, Assistant Professor, Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Overcoming the Resistance to Immune Checkpoint inhibitors via Rational Combination of Immunotherapy
    Lei Zheng, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology, Johns Hopkins Medicine

This plenary also features an extended talk by Dr Holly Koblish of Incyte and Melanoma expert, Dr Jason Luke of University of Chicago on the recent IDO Inhibition Combination Trial where there will be a full analysis of the clinical data and will address the mechanisms of why people thought the combination should work, why it has not and what can be learned moving forward.

We shift gears into the next plenary session on Emerging Data Combinations in Clinical Trials where NCI’s Chief of Surgery Branch, Dr Steven Rosenberg, delivers a keynote on Lymphocytes as a Drug for the Treatment of Metastatic Cancer. Additional talks in this session include:

  • Novel Approaches to Engineered Cancer Immunotherapy
    Daniel Chen, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, IGM Biosciences
  • Update on IMPower150 in Lung Cancer
    Mark A Socinski, MD, Executive Medical Director, Florida Hospital Cancer Center
  • Addressing Clinical Combination Challenges Panel with MD Anderson Cancer Center, IOVance and NCI

We conclude the second day with our Business Aspects Plenary Session where we address topics including IO Combination Deals and Partnerships, Investment Strategies Driving IO Combinations, and lastly, Assessing Value and Market Access Implications of IO Combination Therapies.


Rational Combinations 360° provides many networking opportunities throughout the event. All scheduled breaks, including breakfast and luncheons will be held in the exhibit room, which features exhibitors showcasing new technologies and other services designed to help support advancements in IO combinations. Attendees are also welcome to the networking reception at the end of day one.

We expect over 150 senior level executives from pharma, biotech, academia, attending physicians, investors, FDA and others in attendance. There are 5 hours of built-in networking, more than 40 speakers and over 30 talks focused specifically on immuno-oncology combinations.

You can find out more and get updates on the Rational Combinations 360° summit on the website at www.theconferenceforum.org.

We hope to see you at Rational Combinations 360° in Philadelphia on September 13th and 14th.


Kate Woda

Rational Combinations 360° Director

“By bringing together groups such as scientists, investors, and experts in clinical trial design and logistics, it creates a forum where there’s quite a lot of folks participating who are not traditionally talking to one another on a daily basis.” Roy Baynes, Merck Research Labs

“The rapid advancement in our understanding of human cancer immunity and immunotherapy combinations is nearly impossible for individual scientists to comprehend. Only together, as an engaged and interactive scientific community, can we hope to enable a patient’s immune system to eradicate cancer.” – Dan Chen, IGM Biosciences