Immunetune Establishes International Scientific Advisory Board
LEIDEN, the Netherlands, January 11, 2022 — Immunetune, a preclinical-stage biotech developing next-generation DNA vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases, today announced the appointment of several leading international experts to its newly established Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB consists of Morten Nielsen, PhD; Patrick Ott, MD, PhD; Kirk Trisler, PhD; and John Trowsdale, PhD.
“We are thrilled to gather the support from these leaders to optimize our development and further establish our name internationally in the field of neoantigen cancer vaccines,” said Sijme Zeilemaker, CEO of Immunetune. “This group brings together crucial domains of expertise, including the investigator of the Dana-Farber neoantigen study from Neon Therapeutics, the manufacturing lead of Gritstone bio, the pioneer of the NetMHC antigen bioinformatics platform, and the early researcher of MHC and T cell genetics.”
“These experts will share important lessons in bringing our lead program into Phase I/II clinical development, and complement our strong ongoing collaboration with Prof. Ossendorp of the Leiden University Medical Center,” added Gerben Zondag, Founder & COO of Immunetune.
The SAB members are:
Morten Nielsen, PhD, Professor Bioinformatics, Department of Health Technology, Technical University of Denmark / CEO of EIR Sciences
Prof. Nielsen is Professor of Immunoinformatics and Machine-Learning at the Department of Health Technology, of the Technical University of Denmark. Prof. Nielsen graduated with a master in physics from the University of Copenhagen and obtained his PhD in physics from the University of McGill, Canada. The core of Morten Nielsen’s research deals with the development of novel and advanced data-driven prediction methods for pattern recognition in biological systems. Morten Nielsen is a pioneer in the field of immunological bioinformatics and a key inventor of several state-of- the-art methods for T and B cell epitope discovery, including NetMHC, a platform also used in prediction for neoantigen cancer vaccines. He is also CEO of EIR Sciences, a company providing services and technologies on epitope predictions and immunogenicity assessments.
Patrick Ott, MD, PhD, Clinical Director, Melanoma Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute /
Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Ott is the Clinical Director of both the Melanoma Center and the Director, Clinical Sciences, of the Center for Immuno-Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He also serves as attending physician in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and has an appointment as Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. Dr. Ott received his MD and PhD from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. He completed post-doctoral training in Immunology and residency training in Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. After a fellowship in Hematology-Oncology and four years on the faculty at New York University, he moved to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2012. Dr. Ott is a clinical investigator and an integral member of the clinical trials program at Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, where he designs and conducts phase 1 immunotherapy trials for patients with melanoma and a wide range of other tumors, including a trial testing neoantigen vaccines in combination with nivolumab in advanced cancer patients performed in collaboration with Neon Therapeutics. His primary research interests are in melanoma and immunotherapy, specifically the development of innovative tumor vaccine approaches.
Kirk Trisler, PhD, former SVP Manufacturing & Product Development at Gritstone bio
Dr. Trisler is a scientist and executive with more than 20 years of biotechnology experience focused on process development and cGMP manufacturing in the immunotherapy, cell therapy, and gene therapy spaces. Kirk earned his doctorate in immunology from the University of South Florida College of Medicine.
Following completion of his post-doctoral studies in radioimmunotherapy at Stanford University School of Medicine, he was instrumental in the development and approval of Bexxar (Iodine 131 Tositumomab) at Coulter Pharma (acquired by Corixa/GSK). He was previously the Senior VP of Manufacturing and Product Development at Gritstone bio where he was responsible for analytical and process development, facility design and cGMP manufacturing of neoantigen cancer vaccines based on viral vectors and RNA.
John Trowsdale, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Immunology, University of Cambridge
Professor John Trowsdale is Emeritus Professor of Immunology in the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge, UK. He received his undergraduate training and PhD in bacteriology at the University of Birmingham. Since then, he has worked in Paris, San Diego, Oxford and London, at Cancer Research UK, before taking up his post at the University of Cambridge. His work has focused on the genetics and functions of the human MHC class II region. In the early 1980s he was one of the first to clone HLA genes and to complete sequencing of the entire HLA region, leading to the initial discovery and function analysis of genes including HLA-DQ, -DO, -DM, -LMP and –TAP. Several of these genes were initially named RING genes, which stands for really interesting new gene and this turned out to be a prophetic nomenclature. He has published over 400 papers related to HLA as well as to Natural Killer cells. Professor Trowsdale was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000.
Immunetune is a preclinical-stage biotech developing next-generation DNA vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases. Its proprietary set of technologies allow the rapid, cell-free production of personalized cancer vaccines encoding multiple (neo-)antigens in synthetic, linear DNA with improved immunogenicity through its unique PyroVant™ adjuvant. Its lead cancer vaccine has achieved preclinical Proof of Concept in animal studies and is finalizing its preclinical package with the aim to initiate clinical studies in 2022. Immunetune’s pipeline further consists of infectious disease vaccines, including a pan-corona DNA vaccine, targeting antigens conserved across multiple strains of coronaviruses for global pandemic readiness, currently in preclinical testing.
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