BOSTON and TEL AVIV, Israel, March 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Aulos Bioscience, a biotechnology company that is developing highly differentiated interleukin-2 (IL-2)-binding monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics against solid tumors, announced today that Aron Knickerbocker has joined the company as its chief executive officer and a member of its board of directors, effective immediately. Yanay Ofran, Ph.D., CEO of Biolojic Design and co-founder and founding CEO of Aulos, will continue to serve on the Aulos board.
Aulos was formed late last year by ATP, a leading life sciences venture capital firm, and Biolojic Design, a biotechnology company that computationally designs functional antibodies. "With the addition of Aron Knickerbocker as CEO, we are building a world-class organization with deep experience in bringing breakthrough medicines to cancer patients. Aron's record of accomplishment is remarkable, and we are confident that his leadership will propel Aulos to become a signature oncology therapeutics company," said Michael Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder and executive chair of Aulos, and venture partner and chief scientific officer at ATP.
Knickerbocker brings to Aulos deep and broad expertise in oncology and a track record of success leading innovative biotechnology companies. Most recently he was a co-founder, founding CEO, and chairman of RayzeBio, a developer of targeted radiopharmaceutical treatments for cancer. Prior to that, he spent ten years in executive leadership positions at Five Prime Therapeutics, culminating as president and CEO. At Five Prime, Knickerbocker in-licensed the company's lead asset, bemarituzumab, prioritizing it in the portfolio and driving its advancement into the randomized trial that recently demonstrated a significant overall survival benefit when added to chemotherapy as first-line treatment for advanced gastric cancer. He significantly expanded the Five Prime clinical pipeline, established multiple transformational strategic alliances, and was instrumental in taking the company public. Before Five Prime, Knickerbocker led oncology business development at Genentech for more than eight years, orchestrating many key collaborations including those that led to the marketed products VENCLEXTA®, COTELLIC®, and ERIVEDGE®. He serves on the boards of KAHR Medical Ltd. and Phenomic AI.
"We are very pleased to welcome Aron as our new CEO," Ofran said. "He comes to Aulos at an exciting and pivotal time for us as we work to complete IND-enabling studies for our lead pipeline candidate AU-007, a functional antibody computationally designed by Biolojic Design to solve the challenges seen in other IL-2 approaches. Our aim is to be in human trials before year-end, and Aron's wealth of experience in leading and growing leading-edge oncology companies, programs, and partnerships will be vital to our progress and success."
"It's a distinct privilege to join the team and board at Aulos," said Knickerbocker. "In addition to the outstanding founding group, I was recruited by the simple elegance of the idea behind AU-007, and I commend the insight and innovation of Yanay and the Biolojic Design team. I believe that AU-007 offers possible competitive advantages in stability, immunogenicity, and manufacturing, and I am excited to advance it expeditiously toward the clinic. Our hope is that AU-007 will prove to be a cornerstone immunotherapy that can help patients with cancer live longer and better lives."
About Aulos Bioscience
Aulos Bioscience, an ATP company, is dedicated to revolutionizing patient care in cancer with highly differentiated immuno-oncology therapeutics. Aulos is initially developing unique IL-2 targeting antibodies that it believes have the potential to become best-in-class treatments for solid tumors. For more information, visit aulosbio.com.