9.30 | 6.30 – Virtual Coffee Networking Morning

10.00 | 7.00 – Morning Chair’s Opening Remarks

Liquid Biopsies & Broadening Industry Applications

10.05 | 7.05 – Liquid Biopsy Assay Supporting Drug Development: Faster & Focused Enrollment

  • Carol Pena Executive Director, Translational Molecular Biomarkers and Diagnostics, Merck


  • Liquid biopsies to support identification of patient responders, speedy enrollment and ensure safety and efficacy in target population
  • What the successful and synchronized launch of both drug-Dx to market means for the future successes and applications of a therapeutic
  • Realizing the prognostic and predictive value of treatments via associated assays

10.35 | 7.35 – Expertise Panelist Discussion: The Additive Role of CTCs & cfDNA in Your Clinical Development Strategy


  • Complementing your biomarker evaluation with CTCs
  • Comprehensive cancer profiling: CTCs and cfDNA
  • Banking the remnant plasma and slides for future analysis

11.05 | 8.05 – Novel Biomarkers on the Horizon: Epigenetics to Detect Cancer Early

  • Ajay Goel Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular Diagnostics and Experimental Therapeutics, City of Hope


  • Discovery and development of new promising new biomarkers for screening and surveillance
  • Opportunities for future targeted therapy development
  • Early-detection only using ncRNAs and DNA methylation

11.35 | 8.35 – Key Lessons From the Incremental Use of Liquid Biopsy Testing in the Management & Treatment of Cancer Patients

  • Shari Brown Director of Molecular Pathology Services, NeoGenomics Laboratories


  • Liquid biopsy applications currently available for clinical care: the impact on our ability to deliver precision medicine
  • Clinical utility of liquid biopsy in overcoming pandemic-related barriers to cancer care
  • Liquid biopsy support for pharmaceutical clinical trials: the tangible benefits and intangible opportunities

12.05 | 9.05 – Speed Networking

12.40 | 9.40 – The Role of Minimum Residual Disease Detection for Therapeutic Development


  • How can MRD detection support therapeutic development
  • MRD from a Diagnostics perspective
  • Promoting timely and targeted interventions via liquid biopsy techniques

13.10 | 11.10 – Utility of Circulating Tumor DNA in Informing the Patient Journey

  • Priti Hedge Chief Scientific Officer, Foundation Medicine


  • When ctDNA can inform disease and treatment decisions
  • What it will take for ctDNA to inform the patient journey
  • Why ctDNA will not be the only option for cancer diagnostics

13.40 | 10.40 – Longitudinal Monitoring of Melanoma Patients Receiving Checkpoint Inhibitor Immunotherapies Using Cell Free MiRNA

  • Dave Hoon Director, Center of Translational Molecular Medicine, Professor of Genomic Sequencing Center, John Wayne Cancer Institute


  • Profiling of cf miRNA by NGS to identify signatures in metastatic melanoma patients of stage 3 and 4
  • Identification of cf miRNA signatures that correlate to checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy responses
  • Early detection of progression disease failure during immunotherapy failure

14.10 | 11.10 – Interactive Roundtable: New Thinking for Liquid Biopsy Approaches

With two roundtables running in parallel, pick which conversation you would like to join and contribute to alongside your peers.

Which Indications Can Learn From Successes in Oncology?

• Liquid biopsy application in oncology is seeing successes in over 10 tumor types and holds great promise for the future, can other disease areas learn from these approaches?

• Adapting technologies for detection of circulating biomarkers of similar size in indications where existing diagnosis methods are inadequate /invasive

• What does the pandemic, and response from liquid biopsy leaders, tell us about the potential clinical utility of these technologies across today’s healthcare continuum

Jean-Francois Martini, Senior Director, Translational Oncology Lead, Global Product Development Pfizer

Taking a Holistic Look at Biomarker Approaches Using Liquid Biopsies

• An overview of cancer evolution, development and progression correlations

• Can taking a holistic view of past biological trends show new avenues for how to approach biomarker detection?

• A discussion forum for sharing new ideas and thinking strategically on the utility of circulating biomarkers

Yutaka Matsumoto, Senior Leader, Early Clinical Development Department, Translational Research Division Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Roche Group

14.55 | 11.55 – Panel Discussion: Starting With the End in Mind, Industry Collaboration for Industry Standards

  • Lauren Leiman Executive Director, BloodPAC
  • Darshana Jani Director, Bioanalytical & Biomarker Sciences, Agenus
  • Zheng Feng Director / Head of Molecular Biomarker & Genomics, Global Clinical Biomarkers & Companion Diagnostics, EMD Serono


  • How can the industry better work together to unpick and target tumor heterogeneity?
  • What can we learn from past successful Drug-Dx collaborations?
  • Collaborations and partnering to support regulatory submission pathways

15.25 | 12.25 – Extracellular Vesicles as Emerging Liquid Biopsy Biomarkers

  • Sunitha Nagrath Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan


  • Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a group of heterogeneous membranebound vesicles that include exosomes, microvesicles and apoptotic bodies, which are actively secreted by almost all cell types into extracellular spaces
  • EVs contain cargo from their originating cells, including DNA, RNA and protein, which is protected by the lipid bilayer from exogenous degradation while in circulation
  • Emerging evidence has shown the role of EVs and their molecular cargo in promoting pathological processes in various diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, with many studies linking specific EV cargo to disease progression and outlook

15.55 | 12.55 – Chair’s Closing Remarks: What’s Next For Liquid Biopsy in Precision Oncology


  • What new opportunities are there for liquid biopsies to further precision therapy approaches in oncology
  • What does clinical evidence show us in terms of liquid biopsy replacing the ‘gold standard’ become a reality in some instances – (Drawing on case study examples)
  • Reflecting on the core challenges industry needs to solve

16.15 | 13.15 – Networking & End of Day Two