CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Akrevia Therapeutics, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly-potent, tumor-targeted immuno-oncology therapeutics, today announced the appointment of six distinguished scientists in immunology and cancer research to its scientific advisory board (SAB).
These SAB members represent a broad range of research disciplines ranging from cancer immunology and cytokine therapeutic development to enzymology and structural biology, reflecting the breadth of Akrevia's platform. Together, their deep expertise will inform the development of Akrevia's tumor-targeted immunotherapies. The experience and guidance of the SAB will be instrumental as Akrevia advances its current research programs into clinical development and expands its pipeline of novel biologics specifically activated in tumor microenvironment. New Akrevia SAB appointees include:
- Deborah Charych, Ph.D.
Dr. Deborah Charych has held scientific leadership positions in both academia and biotech. At Nektar Therapeutics, she led the strategic development of the Immuno-Oncology pipeline and designed NKTR-214, an IL-2 receptor agonist, currently in Phase 3. Alternative engineering of the IL-2 pathway led to clinical development of NKTR-358 for autoimmune disease. Follow-on cytokine and small molecule immune modulators include an IL-15 receptor agonist and a TLR 7/8 agonist. At FivePrime Therapeutics, Dr. Charych led a team that contributed to the clinical development of FP-1039, a pan-FGF inhibitor for oncology. While at Chiron Corporation she initiated and led a large proteomics effort to guide oncology target discovery. At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, she assumed an academic leadership role as tenured Principal Investigator, focusing on new materials. Dr. Charych's formal education is in Chemistry, earning a Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Chemistry from Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
- Christopher A. Hunter, Ph.D.
Dr. Christopher A. Hunter is currently the Mindy Halikman Heyer President's Distinguished Chair at the in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Pennsylvania and a leading expert in cytokines and immunology. Over three decades, Dr. Hunter's research has focused on key aspects of host-pathogen interactions, specifically on understanding the role of the cytokine networks in responding to immune insults and regulating protective and pathological immune responses. Dr. Hunter earned a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Glasgow, with a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University.
- Andrew Luster, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Andrew Luster currently serves as Chief for the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Luster's laboratory research focuses on understanding the role of chemokines and lipid chemoattractants and their receptors in controlling the migratory behavior, cellular interactions, and trafficking of leukocytes in vivo. Dr. Luster earned a Ph.D. from Rockefeller University and an M.D. from Cornell University.
- Anthony J. O'Donoghue, Ph.D.
Dr. Anthony J. O'Donoghue is an assistant professor at Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego. He has nearly two decades of experience studying proteases and focused his academic research on understanding the functional role of these enzymes in cancer and infectious disease. He received the Bioanalysis Young Investigator Award in 2013 for development of a global and unbiased protease substrate profiling method and has utilized this technology to develop diagnostic assays for pancreatic cancer and peptide inhibitors that target pathogen proteases. Dr. O'Donoghue earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Fungal Biotechnology from the National University of Ireland and a B.S. in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the National University of Ireland.
- Ulrich Rodeck, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Ulrich Rodeck currently serves as Vice Chair and Professor of Dermatology and Professor of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University and is a scientific co-founder of Akrevia Therapeutics. His research efforts over the last 30 years have focused on improving cancer therapy by leveraging immune effector mechanisms. In addition, his laboratory has investigated skewing of immune responses by tumor-derived cytokines and, as of recently, exploiting immunogenic cell death induced by radiation in combination immunotherapies, including tumor vaccine and checkpoint modifiers. Collectively, his work has been published in more than 135 peer-reviewed research reports and more than 30 reviews. Dr. Rodeck served as the PI on NIH and DoD-funded projects and currently receives support from the Department of Defense, foundations and the pharmaceutical industry. Akrevia's Aklusion platform is based on technology licensed from City of Hope and Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Rodeck earned a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Hamburg and an M.D. from the University of Münster in Germany.
- John C. Williams, Ph.D.
Dr. John C. Williams is a professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, and a scientific co-founder of Akrevia Therapeutics. Dr. Williams' areas of scientific research and expertise include structural biology, with a focus on x-ray crystallography and NMR, biophysics and protein engineering. Akrevia's Aklusion platform is based on technology licensed from City of Hope and Thomas Jefferson University. Additionally, he is a member of the Cancer Immunotherapeutics Program and co-director of the Drug Discovery and Structural Biology Core at City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Williams earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California Santa Cruz.
"We are excited to welcome new members to the Akrevia Scientific Advisory Board," said Tim Clackson, Ph.D., President and Executive Vice President, R&D, Akrevia Therapeutics. "This group represents a wide array of specialties, including expertise in cytokines, chemokines, protein engineering, and the tumor microenvironment, to drive forward our mission at Akrevia to develop potent, targeted treatment options for people living with cancer. We look forward to partnering with our SAB and working on our shared goal to bring truly innovative medicines to cancer patients in need."
About Akrevia Therapeutics
Akrevia Therapeutics, LLC is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly-potent, targeted Immuno-Oncology therapeutics. The company's proprietary Aklusion platform technology allows biologics to be specifically activated in the tumor microenvironment, and with precisely tailored properties, expanding the universe of immune-activating proteins that can be safely delivered. Akrevia is applying its technology to build a broad pipeline of engineered cytokines, antibodies and other immune modulators as potential new options for patients living with cancer. To learn more, please visit www.akrevia.com.
SOURCE Akrevia Therapeutics