NEW YORK and BASEL, Switzerland, May 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Aruvant, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing transformative therapies for the treatment of severe blood disorders, today announced the appointment of Joseph McIntosh, M.D. as chief medical officer effective immediately. With 16 years of drug development experience, including more than a decade in rare disease, Dr. McIntosh will oversee clinical development at Aruvant. His initial focus will be the clinical program for ARU-1801, a one-time, potentially curative gene therapy for patients with sickle cell disease and β-thalassemia.
"Dr. McIntosh's extensive experience in rare disease and gene therapy will be invaluable as we advance the clinical development of our potentially curative gene therapy ARU-1801," said Will Chou, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Aruvant. "Given the durable efficacy we have seen in the first sickle cell disease patients treated with ARU-1801, we are excited to accelerate this program forward under Dr. McIntosh's leadership."
Dr. McIntosh joins Aruvant from PTC Therapeutics, where he was senior vice president, head of clinical development responsible for a portfolio of assets, including two gene therapies, across hematology, oncology and genetic rare diseases. Prior to this, Dr. McIntosh was the vice president of development at PTC where he facilitated the approval of Translarna, PTC's Duchenne muscular dystrophy asset. Prior to joining PTC, he worked in various development roles of increasing responsibility at NPS Pharmaceuticals, Eisai and Pfizer. Dr. McIntosh received his bachelor's and medical degrees from University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.
"I am thrilled for this exciting opportunity to work on ARU-1801 and to join such a talented team at Aruvant," said Dr. McIntosh. "We have the important goal of providing patients with sickle cell disease a potential cure with a lower conditioning chemotherapy burden.
Aruvant Sciences, part of the Roivant family of companies, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing transformative therapies for the treatment of severe blood disorders, with an emphasis on helping patients suffering from sickle cell disease and β-thalassemia. The company's lead candidate, ARU-1801, is an investigational lentiviral gene therapy for sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia. ARU-1801 incorporates a patented modified gamma-globin into autologous stem cells, with the aim of restoring normal red blood cell function through increased levels of fetal hemoglobin. The high potency of the modified gamma globin enables ARU-1801 engraftment with only Reduced Intensity Conditioning (RIC). Preliminary clinical data from an ongoing Phase 1/2 study in patients with sickle cell disease demonstrated continuing durable reductions in disease burden and cessation of daily opioid use for over 18 months of follow-up. For more information, please visit www.aruvant.com.
Roivant aims to improve health by rapidly delivering innovative medicines and technologies to patients. Roivant does this by building Vants – nimble, entrepreneurial biotech and healthcare technology companies with a unique approach to sourcing talent, aligning incentives, and deploying technology to drive greater efficiency in R&D and commercialization. For more information, please visit www.roivant.com.
E. Blair Clark-Schoeb
SOURCE Aruvant Sciences