WATERTOWN, Mass., June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today SQZ Biotech, a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company developing cell therapies, announced it was selected as a member of the 2017 class of World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers. SQZ is one of only thirty companies selected and was recognized for its potential to significantly impact business and society through new technologies.
"SQZ aspires to tackle a range of challenging diseases with its unique approach to cell therapies," remarked SQZ Chief Executive Officer, Armon Sharei, PhD. "We share the World Economic Forums vision for improving the world through technological advancement and are honored to be a part of its 2017 class of technology pioneers."
In addition to this achievement, SQZ has made significant progress in the first half of 2017. The Company currently has three programs in pre-clinical development based on its proprietary CellSqueeze platform.
This pipeline includes an internal oncology program, an oncology collaboration with Roche on B cell antigen presentation, and an immune tolerance program. The company recently presented additional data related to its cell engineering platform at two Keystone conferences and the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.
"SQZ is focused on developing our cell therapy products in our first indications and we are thrilled with the progress we have made," said SQZ's Chief Scientific Officer, Howard Bernstein, MD, PhD. "With advancement across our oncology efforts and with the new data in tolerization, our pipeline is getting closer to making an impact on patients."
Reflecting SQZ's commitment to expanding into the tolerance space and continuing to build expertise on its Scientific Advisory Board, the Company announced that David Sachs, MD of Harvard Medical Schools Hospital and Columbia University, has joined the Scientific Advisory Board. Having discovered MHC Class II presentation and its importance in immune responses as well as conducting the first clinical trial in transplantation tolerance, Dr. Sachs is a thought leader in immune tolerance.
Additionally, the Company recently expanded its management team to include Bruce Beutel, PhD as Chief Business Officer. Dr. Beutel joined SQZ from Merck where he worked in Business Development & Licensing since 2009.
SQZ also entered into a new research collaboration with a large Pharma partner this year. The deal has the potential to bring over $10 million in non-dilutive funding to SQZ and further validates SQZ's potential in both therapeutic and research applications.
"I am exhilarated by this team and very happy to have joined at such an exciting time," stated Bruce Beutel, PhD, SQZ's Chief Business Officer. "We are thrilled that through this partnership our technology can play a key role in enabling cutting-edge research aimed at the discovery and validation of novel targets that ultimately could lead to life-saving new therapies. I am looking forward to SQZ being a part of more collaborations to broadly benefit the industry and community."
About SQZ Biotech
SQZ Biotechnologies is a Massachusetts based, privately held company developing cellular therapies for multiple indications using the proprietary CellSqueeze technology. Through internal research programs and external partnerships, SQZ's unique cell engineering capabilities are being used to develop a new generation of cell therapies to address a wide range of clinical challenges. For more information please visit www.sqzbiotech.com.
About World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. For more information on World Economic Forum please visit www.weforum.org and for more on this year's Tech Pioneers please visit http://wef.ch/techpioneers17.
About David Sachs, MD
David H. Sachs, MD is the Russell Professor of Surgery Emeritus at Harvard Medical School, Boston, and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, NYC. His honors include the AST Distinguished Achievement Award (2005), the Martin Prize for Excellence in Clinical Research (2009), the Thomas E. Starzl Prize in Surgery and Immunology (2011) and the Medawar Prize (2014). Throughout his career, Dr. Sachs has worked at the interface between basic science and clinical applications in the field of transplantation. He has been an editor of several journals in his field, including Transplantation and Xenotransplantation, of which he was the Founding Editor. He has published over 700 research articles and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.
About Bruce Beutel, PhD
Bruce Beutel, PhD joined SQZ in February 2017 and has been leading the Strategic Partnerships and Exploratory team that is focused on broadening the SQZ platform, and applying it to new research methods and product concepts, often in collaboration with other labs in both industry and academia. Prior to joining SQZ, Dr. Beutel was Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing at Merck, where he worked since 2009. Previously, he has held Chief Scientific Officer role at Znomics as well as various management roles at Abbott from 1995 to 2007. Dr. Beutel earned his PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin.
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SOURCE SQZ Biotechnologies