November 13-15, 2018

Boston, MA, USA

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Morning Workshop
Tuesday November 14 2017

09.00 - 12.00
Optimizing Complement-based Clinical Trial Design

Workshop Leader: Eva-Maria Nichols, Head of Complement, GlaxoSmithKline Workshop Leader: Kiran Nistala, Experimental Medicine Physician, GlaxoSmithKline

A number of factors in complement pathway research present barriers to producing high quality data, creating uncertainty regarding the true efficacy and safety of new therapies.

This workshop will enable you to:

  • Collect and handle samples to avoid ex-vivo activation and improve data quality
  • Advance patient recruitment and stratification to streamline trials, especially in rare disease research
  • Determine the most effective clinical endpoints
  • Overcome issues surrounding dosing during trials

Leave this workshop with actionable insights that will enable you to improve the key aspects of clinical trial design.

Eva-Maria Nichols, Head of Complement, GlaxoSmithKline

Eva was appointed Head of Complement at GSK’s Chemokine, Cytokine and Complement Discovery Performance Unit in 2016, . The group’s focus is pre-clinical target/disease validation in complement and development of novel functional assays. Eva joined GSK’s C3 DPU back in 2014, working on the complement-focused early discovery pipeline. Eva completed her postgraduate and postdoctoral research at Newcastle University, UK. Eva’s research involved the generation and testing of recombinant Factor H molecules (“mini-FH”) and scFv fragments for drug-targeting to the glomerular basement membrane.


Kiran Nistala, Experimental Medicine Physician, GlaxoSmithKline

Kiran is an experimental medicine physician at GSK specialising in Drug Discovery Project Leadership and Early Phase Clinical Trial Design in the Complement, Chemokine and Cytokine Drug Performance Unit. His additional roles include leadership of the GSK Physician Community Global, membership of the GSK Immunotoxicology panel and Experimental Medicine Initiative steering committee, a collaboration between GSK, Astra Zeneca and University of Cambridge. His clinical activities are based at Great Ormond Street Hospital as an Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Rheumatology. Prior to joining GSK, Kiran trained as an academic paediatric rheumatologist with a focus on adaptive immune dysregulation in rheumatic disease.

Afternoon Workshop
Tuesday November 14 2017

13.00 - 16.00
Advancing Pre-Clinical Models: Development and Utilization of Effective Complement-mediated Disease Models

Workshop Leader: Ted Yednock, CSO, Annexon Biosciences Workshop Leader: Bärbel Rohrer, Professor and Endowed Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of South Carolina

Understanding the pathophysiology of complement-mediated disease through quality pre-clinical models is crucial for the development of safe and effective treatments in this space.

Join Annexon’s CSO Ted Yednock and Bärbel Rohrer, an innovative leader in retinal diseases, to:

  • Develop and utilize the key elements of effective disease models, preparing for a successful drug development process.
  • Investigate optimal approaches for treatment of complement-mediated diseases, with case studies in GA/AMD, Neurodegeneration and more.
  • Overcome potential pitfalls in the development of pre-clinical models, which could derail drug candidates further down the pipeline.

Leave this workshop having identified the most important steps in developing and utilizing high quality pre-clinical models for a range of complement-mediated diseases.

Ted Yednock, CSO, Annexon Biosciences

Dr. Yednock joined Annexon Biosciences as Chief Scientific Officer in November 2013. Dr. Yednock was previously Chief Scientific Officer for Prothena Corporation, Head of Research for Elan Pharmaceuticals and a Scientist at Athena Neurosciences. While at Athena, he was the scientific inventor of Tysabri®, a blockbuster monoclonal antibody for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. In addition to his work in multiple sclerosis, Dr. Yednock has contributed to the invention or progression of numerous drugs in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyloidosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn’s disease. Dr. Yednock earned his B.S. in biology and chemistry from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. in anatomy and cell biology from the University of California San Francisco.

Bärbel Rohrer, Professor and Endowed Chair, Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of South Carolina

Dr. Bärbel (Barb) Rohrer is Professor and Endowed Chair in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical University of South Carolina and is an academic and innovative leader in diseases of the retina. Her lab is investigating mechanism of photoreceptor degeneration and neuroprotection, focusing on two areas: targeting complement activation in models of age-related macular degeneration and improving mitochondrial metabolism as a means to promote life-span in neurons. She holds eleven U.S. and international patents, with an additional 24 applications pending. Her IP provided the foundation for three start-up companies, one of which she co-founded. Dr. Rohrer has published >80 manuscripts; PI’d or Co-PI’d 40+ grants; and mentored 50+ trainees. In addition to the numerous intramural committees on which Dr. Rohrer serves, she is a Foundation Fighting Blindness Scientific Advisory Board member, member of multiple professional societies, including the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the Society for Neuroscience, and elected member of the National Academy of Inventors.