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>Christoph Rader

About The Speaker

Christoph Rader

CTO at Aethon Therapeutics

Christoph Rader

Christoph Rader joined Aethon Therapeutics (New York, NY) as Chief Technology Officer in 2023 following an academic career as professor and principal investigator at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, FL (2012-2023; acquired by the University of Florida in 2022), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD (2003-2012), and The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA (1999-2003).

Continuously funded by the NIH, his labs pursued both antibody drug and target discovery for cancer therapy, with a focus on antibody display, engineering, and conjugation technologies. In addition to >150 peer-reviewed publications, his work has resulted in >25 issued and pending patent families.

Creating and targeting synthetic neoepitopes on cancer cells

Aethon Therapeutics’ HapImmuneTM platform unites targeted therapy and immunotherapy, to expand the power and promise of both approaches for fighting cancer. Targeted therapies with covalent drugs can inhibit intracellular oncoproteins with high initial efficacy but typically lack durability.

However, the presentation of covalent drug-modified peptides, i.e., hapten-peptide conjugates, of oncoproteins by class I MHC molecules on the cancer cell surface creates synthetic neoepitopes that can be targeted by antibodies with high specificity and affinity. Termed HapImmuneTM antibodies, their conversion to T-cell-engaging bispecific antibodies permits a powerful combination of targeted therapy and immunotherapy, with the potential to prevail over cancer cell resistance to covalent drugs. Preclinical proof-of-concept studies based on oncoprotein KRAS_G12C will be presented.

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