February 2, 2016
Unum Therapeutics Appoints Internationally Renowned Cancer Immunotherapy Experts to Newly Formed Scientific Advisory Board
- Pioneers in Immuno-Oncology Will Advise Unum as Company Advances Clinical Programs -
CAMBRIDGE, MA, February 2, 2016 – Unum Therapeutics, a company developing a universal cellular immunotherapy to treat multiple cancers, today announced the appointment of four distinguished translational oncology researchers to its inaugural Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The esteemed group will provide counsel to support continued development of the company’s Antibody-Coupled T-cell Receptor (ACTR) platform and help to shape the company’s broader research agenda.
“We are thrilled to have this distinguished group of immunotherapy experts join our Scientific Advisory Board,” said Chuck Wilson, PhD, President & CEO of Unum Therapeutics. “We look forward to working closely with our advisors as we build our pipeline of combination immunotherapies and bring them to patients in need.”
Unum’s advisory board members include:
Dario Campana, MD, PhD – Dr. Campana, Unum’s scientific founder and inventor of the ACTR technology, will chair the advisory board. Dario is a pioneer in the field of cancer cell therapies and has dedicated his career to translational oncology research. He currently serves as Professor, Department of Pediatrics and holds the Mrs. Lee Kong Chian Chair in Advanced Cellular Therapy at the National University of Singapore. In his prior role as Member and Vice Chair for Laboratory Research in the Department of Oncology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he created the CD19-41BB-CD3zeta chimeric antigen receptor that was subsequently shown to be highly effective in treating patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Malcolm Brenner, MD, PhD – Dr. Brenner’s career has focused on gene therapy and cancer-related immunotherapies including genetic-modification of T-cells. He is currently the founding director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital. In his prior work at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, he conducted one of the first human gene therapy studies, using a retroviral vector to transduce bone marrow stem cells. He has also served as President of the International Society for Cellular Therapy; President of the American Society of Gene Therapy; and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Molecular Therapy.
John Gribben, MD, DSc, FRCP, FRCPath, FMedSci – Dr. Gribben currently serves as Professor of Medical Oncology; Director of the Centre of Hemato-Oncology; and Director of Stem Cell Transplantation at Saint Bartholomew's Hospital, Queen Mary, University of London School of Medicine. An internationally recognized translational researcher, his primary research interests include cancer immunotherapies and new treatments for B-cell malignancies. His laboratory focuses on the role of the tumor microenvironment as a target for new therapeutic approaches.
Crystal L. Mackall, MD – Dr. Mackall is currently Professor of Pediatrics and of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. She additionally serves as associate director of the Stanford Cancer Institute, co-medical director of the Stanford Laboratory for Cell and Gene Medicine, and as program leader in pediatric cancer immunotherapy. Much of her career was spent at the National Cancer Institute where she served as Head of Immunology Section and Chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch. Her work focuses on translational research and immunotherapy for childhood cancers. An expert in the field of T-cell homeostasis, Dr. Mackall has experience leading clinical trials of engineered T-cell and Natural Killer cell therapies. She also co-leads the StandUp2Cancer/St.Baldrick’s/NCI Pediatric Dream Team.
“Our efforts are focused on maximizing the potential of engineered cellular therapies,” said Seth Ettenberg, PhD, Unum’s Chief Scientific Officer. “The shared expertise and past experiences of our SAB members will bolster Unum’s ability to positively impact patients’ lives.”
Unum uses proprietary T-cell engineering technology in combination with tumor-targeting antibodies to activate the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. The Company’s lead program, based on its Antibody-Coupled T-cell Receptor (ACTR) technology, is in Phase 1 clinical testing to assess its safety and efficacy. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. For more information, visit http://www.unumrx.com.
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