Kineta Announces Formation of New Immuno-oncology Focused Scientific Advisory Board

Seattle, WA — (April 21, 2020) Kineta, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of novel immunotherapies in oncology, neuroscience and biodefense, announced today the formation of a new scientific advisory board (SAB). The SAB will collaborate with members of Kineta’s management and scientific teams to support the development of the company’s novel immuno-oncology programs.

“As Kineta advances our mission to develop novel immuno-therapies that transform patients’ lives, we are excited to have these world-renowned professionals join our team as advisors,” said Shawn Iadonato, Chief Executive Officer of Kineta. “Each individual’s expertise in oncology drug development from discovery through late-stage clinical studies will provide support through this next stage of growth for our pipeline and company. We look forward to collaborating with our newly formed SAB.”

Kineta scientific advisory board is comprised of the following experts:

Martin (Mac) Cheever, MD

Dr. Cheever is a Member of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), a Professor of Medicine and is currently the Principal Investigator and Director for the NCI-funded Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN). Through the network, researchers across the continent design and conduct novel, early phase trials of immunotherapy drugs. The goal of these trials is to provide proof of concept that helps advance the most promising new treatment regimens for patients by harnessing the power of the immune system. In his own research outside the CITN, Dr. Cheever has identified principles of T-cell therapy, discovered new targets for cancer therapies, and developed cancer vaccines.

In 2019, Dr. Cheever received the first-ever Distinguished Service Award from the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). Dr Cheever received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and was cofounder of Corixa Inc, a Seattle biotech company that was founded to develop cancer vaccines.

Lisa Coussens, PhD

Dr. Coussens is the Chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, and Associate Director for Basic Research in the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) and holds the Hildegard Lamfrom Chair in Basic Science. Dr. Coussens research focus is on elucidating the roles of immune cells and their mediators as critical regulators of solid tumor development. Her lab reported that lymphocytes selectively regulate myeloid cell functions in mouse models of squamous and mammary carcinoma, mesothelioma, and pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and that selective inhibition of key factors regulating either myeloid recruitment or function significantly enhances efficacy of chemo- and radiation therapy, and thereby extend long term survival of tumor-bearing mice. These discoveries are currently being translated into the clinical realm. Dr. Coussens was awarded a Stand Up to Cancer – Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Dream Team Translational Research grant focused on clinical evaluation of immune-based therapies in pancreas cancer.

Dr. Coussens has received the prestigious Gertrude B. Elion Award from the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the Mallinckrodt Award for Medical Science, a V Foundation Scholar Award, and two sequential Era of Hope Scholar Awards from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. In 2012, she was the recipient of the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship, and the 2015 recipient of the 13th Rosalind E. Franklin Award from the National Cancer Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from UCLA in 1993 and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Biology at UCSF in Douglas Hanahans’ laboratory.

Michael A. Curran, PhD

Dr. Curran is an Associate Professor of Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. as well as co-Scientific Director of the Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation (ORBIT) program that coordinates development and production of clinical immunotherapeutic antibodies. The Curran Lab seeks to discover the underlying mechanisms of immune resistance in the “coldest” tumors, pancreatic and prostate adenocarcinoma and glioblastoma, so that rational therapeutic interventions can be developed to restore T cell infiltration and sensitivity to T cell checkpoint blockade (for which TIL are the substrate). While pursuing his postdoctoral studies at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Curran published several influential manuscripts describing how T cell co-stimulatory pathways could be modulated in tandem to mediate immunologic rejection of melanomas in mice. Dr. Curran described how combination blockade of the T cell co-inhibitory receptors CTLA-4 and PD-1 promoted the rejection of a majority of murine melanomas. This work supported the launch of a Phase I clinical trial in which greater than 50% of metastatic melanoma patients experienced objective clinical responses. In addition, his subsequent immunologic studies of 4-1BB agonist antibodies earned him the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer’s (SITC) prestigious Presidential Award.

Dr. Curran received B.A. degrees in biology and foreign affairs and a minor in computer science at the University of Virginia. He next received a Ph.D. in Immunology from Stanford University where he was awarded the McDevitt prize for the best graduate thesis in his year. Dr. Curran was the first recipient of the prestigious American Cancer Society Levy Fellowship to fund his post-doctoral studies in the lab of Dr. James P. Allison.

Mark Frohlich, MD

Dr. Frohlich is an experienced medical oncologist and biotechnology executive with expertise in drug development of cell & gene therapies, oncology, and immunology. Dr. Frohlich has been involved in the development of immunotherapies for cancer for 20 years. He was most recently Executive VP of Portfolio Strategy at Juno Therapeutics prior to its acquisition by Celgene. He previously served as Executive VP of R&D and Chief Medical Officer of Dendreon Corporation, where he led the clinical team responsible for the approval of the first cellular immunotherapy in the US and Europe (Provenge®).

Dr. Frohlich is a graduate of Yale College with a BS in Economics and Electrical Engineering summa cum laude, and Harvard Medical School with a Doctor of Medicine degree. He was Chief Medical Resident and completed an internal medicine residency and subsequently completed the oncology fellowship program, both at UCSF.

Patricia LoRusso, DO

Dr. LoRusso is a Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology) and Associate Cancer Center Director of Experimental Therapeutics at the Yale Cancer Center. She previously served in numerous leadership roles at Wayne State University’s Barbara Karmanos Cancer Institute, most recently as director of the Phase I Clinical Trials Program and of the Eisenberg Center for Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. LoRusso has served as co-chair of the NCI Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program Investigational Drug Steering Committee. She also served on the scientific committee of the AACR, and the education and scientific committees of ASCO. She is a former editor of Investigational New Drugs, is currently on the editorial board for Clinical Cancer Research and is a reviewer for several journals.

Dr. LoRusso has garnered numerous awards, including the 1999 Heroes of Breast Cancer Award, 2004 Bennett J. Cohen Educational Leadership Award for Medical Research, 2008 NCI Michaele C. Christian Oncology Development Lectureship and Award, the 2014 Targeted Anticancer Therapies (TAT) Honorary Award and the 2014 Michigan State University Distinguished Alumni Award.

Mark Middleton, MD PhD

Dr. Middleton is Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine in the Department of Oncology, consultant Medical Oncologist at the Oxford Cancer and Haematology Center and Head of the Department of Oncology at the University of Oxford. Dr. Middleton was the Lead Cancer Clinician for the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2012 -2017) directed the Early Phase Cancer Trials Unit. He is Director of the Cancer Research UK Oxford Centre and co-leader of the Cancer Theme in the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. Dr. Middleton’s research concentrates on the development of new cancer drugs and on the treatment of melanoma and upper gastrointestinal tract cancers. He has overseen the development of internationally leading melanoma and upper GI clinical research groups and establishment of portfolios of early phase radiotherapy and hemato-oncology trials in Oxford. He is involved in the evaluation of novel immunotherapeutics, including pre-clinical development, trial design, proof of mechanism and proof of concept.

He studied medicine at Cambridge and Oxford and trained in medical oncology at the Christie Hospital

 

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Kineta, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company committed to developing disruptive life science technologies that address unmet patient needs. We have leveraged our expertise in immunology and innate immunity to advance a focused pipeline of investigational drugs in oncology, neuroscience and biodefense. We actively collaborate with a broad array of private, government and industry partners to advance our innovative products. For more information on Kineta visit our website, www.kinetabio.com, follow us on Twitter at @kinetabio, LinkedIn and Like us on facebook.com/KinetaBio.

 

NOTICE: This document contains certain forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding Kineta’s and its affiliates’ plans for pre-clinical and clinical studies, regulatory filings, investor returns and anticipated drug effects in human subjects. You are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties inherent in Kineta’s and its subsidiaries’ businesses which could significantly affect expected results, including without limitation progress of drug development, ability to raise capital to fund drug development, clinical testing and regulatory approval, developments in raw material and personnel costs, and legislative, fiscal, and other regulatory measures. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, and neither Kineta nor its affiliates undertake any obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the issuance of this press release.

Contact Jacques Bouchy
jbouchy@kineta.us
(206) 378-0400