NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- AAVP Biosystems, Inc. (AAVP), a development stage gene therapy company focused on the pursuit of new targeted therapeutics for cancer indications, is pleased to announce the formation of its Medical Advisory Board. Joining this newly formed Board are:
- Dr. David Bartlett, MD - UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), Vice Chairman, Surgical Oncology and Gastrointestinal Services, Director, David C. Koch Regional Perfusion Cancer Therapy Center, Director, Multidisciplinary Disease Site Clinical and Research Programs for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
- Dr. Alessandra Biffi, MD - Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, Director of the Gene Therapy Program and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
- Dr. Yuman Fong, MD - City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Sangiacomo Chair in Surgical Oncology, Chair and Professor, Department of Surgery, Professor of Experimental Therapeutics, Director, International Medicine, Surgical Oncologist
- Dr. Geoffrey Shapiro, MD, PhD - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Director, Early Drug Development Center; Clinical Director, Center for DNA Damage and Repair and Co-Leader, Developmental Therapeutics, Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School
As the company prepares for the submission of its IND application with the US FDA for its lead drug candidate, it looks forward to calling upon these experts in the fields of gene therapy, cancer treatment and clinical development for guidance. The company will also rely on its Scientific Founders and Dr. Mark Shapiro, AAVP's Chief Medical Officer who will also be chairing this new Medical Advisory Board. Commenting on this newly formed Board, Dr. Shapiro stated, "We are excited to have such high caliber and skilled leaders in their respective fields join and work with us, particularly at this important time in the company's development. We value the advice and collaboration from these highly regarded clinical and scientific experts as we bring our lead therapeutic candidate into the clinic and continue to advance our development program."
About AAVP Biosystems, Inc.
AAVP Biosystems is developing a targeted gene delivery vector that aims to selectively direct therapy to tumor cells while sparing normal cells and tissue. The core technology is fully and exclusively licensed from MD Anderson Cancer Center, and is undergoing IND-enabling studies in preparation for an IND application to the US FDA. Adeno-associated virus phage or AAVP, is a hybrid vector platform developed by combining the targeting capability of bacteriophage and the sustained gene expression of adeno-associated virus. AAVP Biosystems has successfully developed a version of this hybrid bacteriophage that can infect, but not replicate, in specific human cells. That specificity can be tailored to a cell of choice, such as a tumor cell or tumor associated cell. The company's hybrid AAVP can express a gene product in a human cell based on the fact that it carries the gene expression machinery of an adeno-associated virus, but not the adeno-associated virus itself. This avoids the limitations well known to adeno-associated virus including the need for a helper virus and robust immunogenicity limiting clinical efficacy. The result is a platform that can be tailored to target any particular human cell type and express exclusively in that cell, any gene of interest. The company has generated hybrid AAVPs that infect a variety of cell types and express a variety of gene products, both for therapy and for imaging. AAVP Biosystems' lead therapeutic, RGD-AAVP-TNF, is designed to selectively infect tumor associated blood vessels and express Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFα) exclusively in the tumor associated vascular bed resulting in tumor necrosis. The company has validated this tumor targeting and selective gene expression, as well as therapeutic anti-tumor activity and absence of significant toxicity, in small and large animals and is readying to submit an FDA IND application in preparation for a first in human clinical trial in patients with advanced stage malignancies.
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SOURCE AAVP Biosystems, Inc.