In addition, ImmPACT Bio provided an update on the Phase 1 clinical study evaluating its CD19-CD20 bispecific CAR T in patients with relapsed or refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (BR/R-cell NHL ) at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Of a total of eight patients treated to date with a median follow-up of 12 months, seven patients achieved and remain in complete remission (CR). A favorable safety profile was noted with no treatment-related neurotoxicity and no cytokine release syndrome above grade 1. The data will be presented in a future scientific forum.
The Company’s logic gate-based CAR T platforms address key biological challenges in cancer treatment. ImmPACT Bio’s technologies are specifically designed to address antigen leakage, “on-target – off-tumor” toxicities and the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. The company’s technologies are based on the work of pioneering scientists Yvonne Chen, doctorate and Antoni Ribas, MD, Ph.D., both of UCLA, and Gideon Gross, Ph.D., from the MIGAL-Galilée Research Institute. Proceeds from the funding will be used to further the company’s development of CAR T-cell logic gate-based platforms.
“ImmPACT Bio is delighted to receive such support from this group of exceptional investors,” said new CEO of ImmPACT Bio, Dr. Ramachandra. “We are encouraged by these early results from our Phase 1 clinical study and look forward to advancing our portfolio of transformative next-generation CAR T cell therapies that harness the immune system and address key challenges in current cell therapies for cancer. Cancer.
“We believe that ImmPACT Bio’s technology platforms will help expand the curative potential of cell therapies in certain cancers and address the challenges that have limited the effectiveness of cell therapies in difficult-to-treat tumor types,” said Richard Gaster, MD, Ph.D., Managing Partner at venBio Partners. “We are excited to work with the scientists and clinicians at ImmPACT Bio to translate their technical innovations into new cell therapy products for multiple malignancies. »
“We are honored to work with ImmPACT Bio as they develop new strategies to address unmet needs in oncology,” said Jim Tananbaum, founder and CEO of Foresite Capital. “With Drs Gujrathi and Ramachandra at the helm, this is an incredibly exciting time for ImmPACT Bio and patients waiting for next-generation cancer therapies.”
“ImmPACT Bio’s logic gate-based CAR T platform has enormous potential to usher in a step change in the treatment of solid tumors and blood cancers. We are delighted to join this distinguished group of healthcare investors who are supporting this world-class team in what we believe could become a new paradigm in cancer treatment,” said Min Cui, Ph.D., Founder and Managing Director of Decheng Capital.
As part of the funding, Yvonne Yamanaka, Ph.D., of venBio Partners, Cindy Xiong, Ph.D., of Foresite Capital, and Min Cui, Ph.D., of Decheng Capital will join the company’s board of directors.
Sheila Gujrathi named new board chair
ImmPACT Bio also announced the appointment of Dr. Gujrathi as Chairman of the Board. Erez Chimovits, an OrbiMed partner and president of ImmPACT Bio, will remain on the company’s board of directors.
“It is a pleasure for me to welcome Sheila to the Board of Directors of ImmPACT Bio,” said Mr. Chimovits. “This is a transformative time in the evolution of ImmPACT Bio, and Sheila is an exceptional candidate for the company’s next stage of growth, given her extensive experience leading companies in biotechnology.
“ImmPACT Bio has an innovative and proprietary CAR T cell platform, compelling clinical and early-stage assets, and a dynamic management team. Today’s announcement of the Company’s Series B funding reinforces the potential to transform the therapeutic landscape in oncology,” said Dr. Gujrati. “I am thrilled to join the Board of Directors and help ImmPACT Bio achieve its vision of developing transformative oncology medicines for cancer patients who have exhausted their treatment options.”
Dr. Gujrathi is currently a Venture Capital Advisor at OrbiMed and is Executive Chairman of Ventyx Biosciences, President of ADARx Pharmaceuticals and Director of Janux Therapeutics. She previously served as president of Turning Point Therapeutics and is co-founder and former CEO of Gossamer Bio. Prior to Gossamer, Dr. Gujrathi served as Chief Medical Officer of Receptos, which was acquired by Celgene. Previously, she held senior development roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Genentech, where she led development and numerous global regulatory filings and approvals for immunology and oncology programs. Earlier in her career, she was a management consultant at the medical practice of McKinsey & Company. Dr. Gujrathi earned both her MD through the Accelerated Specialized in Medical Education program and her BSc in Biomedical Engineering with highest honors from Northwestern University. She completed her internal medicine internship and residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and additional training in allergy/immunology at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Stanford University Medical Center.
Industry veteran Sumant Ramachandra named president and CEO
Dr. Ramachandra brings over 30 years of healthcare experience, including over two decades in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry across multiple roles. CEO Rick Kendall, Ph.D., will continue as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of ImmPACT Bio.
“I am confident that ImmPACT has chosen the right leader in Sumant to build on our success to date and drive value for the business, as it has for several healthcare companies,” said Dr. Gujrathi. “I would like to thank Rick for his leadership in transforming ImmPACT Bio into a clinical-stage company and look forward to working closely with this ‘dream team’ and contributing to our continued growth.”
“I am thrilled to join ImmPACT Bio at such a crucial time in our development. I am impressed with the strong scientific foundation that the co-founders, management team and board have built through its programs and platforms that aim to bring curative therapies to patients living with cancer,” said Dr. Ramachandra.
Prior to joining ImmPACT Bio, Dr. Ramachandra was Scientific, Technology and Medical Director at Baxter International, which he joined in June 2017. In addition to these responsibilities, he was named President of Baxter Global Pharmaceuticals in mid-2019 and was named President of Baxter’s The Global Inclusion Council focused on inclusion and diversity. Previously, he was at Pfizer, most recently as Senior Vice President, Head of Research and Development, Pfizer Essential Health. He was CSO at Hospira from 2008 to 2015 before Hospira was acquired by Pfizer in 2015. Earlier in his career, Dr. Ramachandra worked with Pfizer and Merck & Co. in various global product developments in oncology, medical affairs and business. development and licensing roles, and as a clinical pharmacologist. Prior to entering the industry in 2000, he was an intern and resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Ramachandra earned a Ph.D. in experimental pathology in the study of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), an MD and a BA in biochemistry at Rutgers University. Additionally, he holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Lead the next generation of CAR T
For hematological malignancies, the Company’s lead program is a CD19-CD20 OR-gate bispecific CAR T designed to address antigen leakage, which is a major challenge for currently approved CD19 therapies. Early results indicate that potentially best-in-class bispecific CAR T-cell candidate is safe and effective in patients with BR/R-cell NHL.
Treatment of solid tumors is even more challenging, in part due to off-target safety considerations and the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. ImmPACT Bio is developing new strategies to address this unmet need, designing next-generation CAR T to ensure tumor specificity and efficacy in the hostile tumor environment, while protecting normal tissues.
ImmPACT Bio’s second platform includes T cells engineered with a CAR activator/inhibitor “NOT-gate” combination that uniquely differentiates tumor cells from normal cells. CAR activator kills tumor cells while CAR inhibitor protects normal cells. The activator/inhibitor platform technology has the potential to deliver multiple products across solid tumors by combining different activator/inhibitor combinations, providing diverse opportunities in an emerging and promising area of cancer treatment.
The Company’s third platform, a TGF-β CAR that can be modularly equipped with tumor-targeting binding domains to generate bispecific “OR-gate” CARs, rewires the T cell response to TGF-β to convert this potent immunosuppressive cytokine into a T-cell stimulant. Single-chain bispecific CARs that simultaneously convert TGF-β signaling while directly targeting surface-bound tumor antigens allow T cells to robustly kill tumor cells in otherwise highly immunosuppressive microenvironments.
About ImmPACT Bio
ImPACT Organic United States, Inc., is a clinical-stage company dedicated to discovering transformative chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies for cancer patients who have exhausted their treatment options. The Company’s logic gate-based CAR T platforms address key biological challenges in cancer treatment. ImmPACT Bio’s technologies are specifically designed to prevent antigen leakage, prevent “on-target – off-tumor” toxicities and overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. The company’s technology is based on the work of pioneering scientists Yvonne Chen, doctorate and Antoni Ribas, MD, Ph.D., both of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Gideon Gross, Ph.D., from the MIGAL-Galilée Research Institute. For more information, visit www.immpact-bio.com.
SOURCE Impact Bio