Therapeutic Pipeline for COVID-19

Facilitating Translation of Potential Candidates

September 17, 2020

Big pharma has been making a lot of headlines around developing COVID-19 treatments. However, it’s small companies and academic labs that are driving innovation in the life science and healthcare industries. The Therapeutic Pipeline for COVID-19 Virtual Meeting will feature topics and discussions relevant to those small and emerging biotech and academic labs researching solutions for COVID-19 treatments.

The Therapeutic Pipeline for COVID-19 Virtual Meeting is a one-day, live event featuring scientific presentations, speed networking sessions, and 1-hour face-to-face breakout discussions (space limited).

Sign up by August 17 to receive a 50% off discount.


Thursday, September 17, 2020

The virtual program schedule is EST time zone. To check your local time, click here.

If you have questions for our speaker(s), please send them in advance to [email protected]


  • 9:00 AM

Organizer’s Opening Remarks

Emily Le, PhD, Founder & CEO, Bioinsider

  • 9:10
Chairperson’s Opening Remarks
Karl V. Voelkerding, MD, President, Voelkerding Consulting; former Professor, Pathology, University of Utah; Medical Director for Genomics and Bioinformatics, ARUP Laboratories
  • 9:15
Overview of Current COVID-19 Therapeutics
Sina Bavari, PhD, CSO, Edge BioInnovation Consulting and Management; former CSO, Scientific Director US Army Medical Research Institute of infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)
  • 9:25

COVID-19 Drug Repurposing Efforts
Marco Schito, PhD, Executive Director, CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory C-path  

The CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory (CDRC), is a consortium of public and private partners convened by the Critical Path Institute (C-Path) in collaboration with the FDA and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Collaboratory will use the global case collection platform known as CURE ID, developed by FDA/NIH, to capture off-label use of existing drugs and to inform future randomized clinical trials and potentially drug labeling. Given the current unprecedented global public health emergency, CDRC is beginning with a pilot program focused on COVID-19.  While the ideal scenario is for patients to be enrolled in randomized clinical trials of COVID-19 treatments, this may not always possible.  Working with regulators and stakeholders, CDRC aims to streamline and coordinate the process for identifying and fully developing safe and effective treatments for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases lacking sufficient approved/recommended therapies. CDRC’s approach is unique in its global emphasis and availability in current resource-limited settings, its easy-to-use mobile case report form, and its inclusion of other information including clinical trials, journal and news articles, etc., making it a “one-stop shop” of information for clinicians, researchers, and regulators.

  • 9:50

Neutrophil Targeting Peptides (NTPs) as Treatment for COVID-19
Joshua Schiffman, MD, CEO, Co-Founder, PEEL Therapeutics

COVID-19 affects millions of patients worldwide with clinical presentation ranging from isolated thrombosis to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requiring ventilator support. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) originate from decondensed chromatin released to immobilize pathogens and can trigger immunothrombosis. PEEL Therapeutics and University of Utah investigators studied the connection between NETs and COVID-19 severity and progression. NETs triggering immunothrombosis may, in part, explain the prothrombotic clinical presentations in COVID-19 and NETs may represent targets for therapeutic intervention. PEEL is developing first-in-class NET inhibitors that originate from anti-inflammatory neutrophil targeting peptides (NTPs) found in newborns during first few days of life.

  • 10:15

Sponsorship Opportunity Available

  • 10:25

Session Break

  • 11:00

Speed Networking Session
Please come camera ready for effective speed networking! You will have a few minutes to interact with people in your room before being shuffled to another room. Be ready to drop your LinkedIn profile in the chatbox or your email address for further follow-up.


  • 11:15
Chairperson’s Opening Remarks
Daniel Chen, MD, PhD, CMO, IGM Bioscience  
  • 11:20

Clinical Challenges and Engineering Therapeutic Solutions in the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Daniel Chen, MD, PhD, CMO, IGM Bioscience  

As a pandemic respiratory virus, SARS-CoV-2 presents a number of challenges for emerging therapeutics. From active immune invasion, infection in different compartments and microenvironment within the host to mutations and variants, an emerging understanding of the complexity of COVID19 virus and host biology interactions are important characteristics of the viral infection. These critical characteristics will be discussed, and an example of engineered therapeutic IgM and IgA antibodies directed against SARS-CoV-2 will be presented as one example of how different clinical challenges may be addressed.

  • 11:40

Naturally Occurring Human B Cell Responses to SARS-CoV-2
James E. Crowe, Jr., MD, Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center; Professor, Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Ann Scott Carell Chair; Founder, IDBiologics  

We have the antibody and B cell response of humans with prior SARTS-CoV-2 infection. By isolating thousands of monoclonal antibodies, we identified clones with diverse reactivities and ultrapotent neutralization activity. The lead antibodies selected conferred complete protection in nonhuman primate model of infection.

  • 12:05 PM

Development of Human Neutralizing Antibodies Against SARS-CoV-2
Jinghua Yan, PhD, Professor, Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing

SARS-CoV-2 infection caused the death of over 50,0000 in the world. So far, no vaccines or drugs are available. We developed a human neutralizing antibody (named CB6) against SARS-CoV-2 and mapped the binding site on RBD of spike protein. CB6 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in rhesus monkeys at both prophylactic and treatment settings. The results suggest CB6 deserves further clinical translation.

  • 12:30

Development of Broad-Spectrum Antibodies to Combat SARS-CoV-2 and Future Emerging SARS-Like Viruses
Laura Walker, PhD, CSO, Adagio Therapeutics; Director of Antibody Sciences, Adimab, LLC  

We isolated hundreds of antibodies from a 2003 SARS outbreak survivor and identified several with broadly neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. These antibodies were further optimized for enhanced neutralization breadth and potency against SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-related viruses using yeast library technology. Several antibodies are currently in clinical development for the treatment and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 as well as future emerging SARS-like viruses.

  • 12:55

Session Break

  • 1:40

Speed Networking Session
Please come camera ready for effective speed networking! You will have a few minutes to interact with people in your room before being shuffled to another room. Be ready to drop your LinkedIn profile in the chatbox or your email address for further follow-up.

Approaches to Interfering with the Virus Life Cycle

  • 1:55
Chairperson’s Opening Remarks
Sina Bavari, PhD, CSO, Edge BioInnovation Consulting and Management; former CSO, Scientific Director US Army Medical Research Institute of infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)
  • 2:00

Sponsorship Opportunity Available

  • 2:25

Design and Development of Alpha-Ketoamide Inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease
Rolf Hilgenfeld, PhD, Professor, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Luebeck, Germany  

We determined the crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease by early February 2020 (Zhang et al., 2020a, Science 368, 409-412), and used this structural information to optimize the peptidomimetic alpha-ketoamide inhibitors that we had previously designed for other coronavirus main proteases such as those of SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, HCoV NL63, and the bat-CoVs HKU4 and HKU9 (Zhang et al., 2020b, J. Med. Chem. 63, 4562-4578). Our current lead inhibitor, compound 13b, has an extended half-life and can be administered to mice by subcutaneous injection or by inhalation. Twice-daily inhalation at 20 mg/kg results in good levels of the compound in the lung epithelial lining fluid. Systemic application at 50 mg/kg leads to good compound levels in several organs after 24 hrs. Further developments will be discussed.

  • 2:50


  • 3:20

End of Main Event and Transition to Breakout Discussions

  • 4:00-5:00


Join our 1-hour breakout discussions for face time with our speakers and your peers. These are informal, moderated discussions featuring brainstorming and interactive problem solving—allowing participants from diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas and experiences, and develop potential future collaborations around a focused topic. 

In order to ensure effective discussion, breakout discussions will have a maximum of 10-15 attendees per room and are on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Breakout Discussion 1: Drug Repurposing Efforts and Challenges for COVID-19
Moderator: Marco Schito, PhD, Executive Director, CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory 

  • Pharmaceutical industry challenges (compound availability, IP, collaborative models, use in higher risk populations)
  • Regulatory challenges (on patent/off patent, exclusivity, generics)
  • Data sharing challenges (data ownership, privacy, standards)

Breakout Discussion 2: How do You Beat COVID-19: Vaccine, Anti-Virals, or Treatment?
Moderator: Joshua Schiffman, CEO, Co-Founder, PEEL Therapeutics

  • Discuss pros/cons of each approach
  • Which approach most successful for other viruses
  • How is COVID-19 different than previous pandemics
  • Which approach will be most successful: vaccine, anti-virals, or treatment?

Additional Breakout Discussions to be Announced

Meet Our Speakers and Moderators

Sina Bavari, PhD

Imre Berger

Daniel Chen, MD, PhD

James E. Crowe, Jr, MD

Rolf Hilgenfeld, PhD

Karl Voelkerding, MD

Laura Walker, PhD

Marco Schito, PhD

Joshua Schiffman