HELSINKI, Aug. 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Valo Therapeutics Oy (ValoTx), the developer of novel, adaptable immunotherapy platforms for cancer and infectious diseases, today announced four appointments to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), Professor Paolo A. Ascierto, Dr Jeffery Bockman, Professor Malcolm K. Brenner, and Professor Kevin Harrington.
ValoTx’s CEO, Paul Higham, said, “We are delighted to welcome our distinguished, and expert, new SAB members. They bring a wealth of scientific and clinical understanding which will be of great help in progressing our antigen-coated oncolytic viruses and vaccine vectors as innovative immunotherapy approaches against cancer and infectious diseases. We look forward to working with them all.”
ValoTx’s Scientific Advisory Board chair, Professor Vincenzo Cerullo, said, “It’s a great pleasure to have such top international scientific and clinical talent join me on Valo’s Scientific Advisory Board. Our innovative solutions to vaccines, immuno-oncology and personalised cancer treatments are life-changing and will overcome some of medicine’s greatest challenges.”
Professor Paolo Antonio Ascierto is a world-leading key opinion leader in melanoma disease and immunotherapy. He is currently Director of the Department of Melanoma, Cancer Immunotherapy and Development Therapeutics at the National Cancer Institute “Pascale” in Naples, Italy. He is Editorial Board Member, Editor and Scientific Reviewer for leading medical journals and a member of the Steering Committee of the Society of Melanoma Research (SMR). Dr Ascierto is part of the Board of Directors for the Society of ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (SITC) and of the Cancer Development Drug Forum (CDDF), and is President of the Fondazione Melanoma Onlus, and the Campania Society of ImmunoTherapy of Cancer (SCITO). He has been an invited speaker to over 400 national and international scientific meetings, courses, and workshops. He has presided as Principle Investigator on over 150 clinical trials, and he is the author of over 600 publications in peer-reviewed journals. His awards and honours are numerous and include receiving the GEF Health Award in 2022. He has received funding from the POR FESR and ERA-NET, among others.
Dr Jeffrey Bockman received a BA from the University of California at San Diego, an MA in English/Creative Writing from New York University, and a PhD in Medical Microbiology from the University of California at Berkeley. He is the Executive Vice President, Head of Oncology at Lumanity BioConsulting, and was an Assistant Research Professor at The George Washington University School of Medicine. He has worked closely with two Nobel Prize recipients: Dr Sidney Altman, on ribozymes, and Dr Stanley Prusiner, on prions. He brings to the SAB extensive commercial and strategic perspective on the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, including leading the commercial development of oligonucleotide therapeutics for viral diseases and cancer at Innovir Laboratories. He is a frequent speaker at industry events such as BIO on the intersection of scientific, clinical, and strategic issues affecting biotech oncology drug development. Jeff is a member of AACR, ASCO, ASH, ASGCT, SITC and NYAS. He is a mentor for the NCI Innovation Conference, a judge for the Citeline Awards, a member of the Advisory Group to Skipper Bio Med, and is on the Clinical Advisory Board of ImmunOS (Zurich) and the Scientific Advisory Board of hC Bioscience (Cambridge, MA).
Professor Malcolm K. Brenner is an award-winning physician-scientist who has pioneered the therapeutic use in cancer of T cell immunologic approaches and genetic engineering strategies. He is the Founding Director, Centre for Cell and Gene Therapy, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Houston Methodist Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Therapy and as former President of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy and of the International Society for Cell Therapy. Dr Brenner obtained his medical degrees and PhD from the University of Cambridge, England. Dr Brenner’s work has been funded by the NIH-NCI, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, and several charitable foundations. He has been involved in the foundation of several companies, such as Allovir, Marker Therapeutics, and Tessa Therapeutics.
Professor Kevin Harrington qualified in medicine from the University of London and obtained his PhD from Imperial College, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Radiologists. He completed postgraduate training in clinical oncology (Royal College of Radiologists Rohan Williams medallist) and postdoctoral research in Professor Richard Vile’s laboratory at the Molecular Medicine Programme in the Mayo Clinic. He subsequently was appointed to a group leader position at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London and an honorary consultant oncologist post at the Royal Marsden Hospital (RMH). He is the Head of the Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging at the ICR, and Director of the CRUK ICR/RMH RadNet Centre of Excellence. He has led phase I, II and III trials of oncolytic virotherapies, immunotherapy and radiation-drug combinations. He brings to the SAB a longstanding focus on gene therapy and viral gene therapy as ways to selectively destroy cancer cells and activate anti-tumour immune responses. His laboratory research focuses on the use of biologically targeted agents, in combination with treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy, to target cancer cells selectively, especially in head and neck cancer and in melanoma.
Valo Therapeutics Oy (Helsinki) is an immunotherapy company that is developing innovative immunotherapy approaches against cancer and infectious disease. The ValoTx lead platform, PeptiCRAd (Peptide-coated Conditionally Replicating Adenovirus), was developed out of the laboratory of Professor Vincenzo Cerullo at the University of Helsinki. It turns oncolytic adenoviruses into targeted tissue specific cancer vaccines without the need to generate and manufacture multiple genetically modified viruses. The company is also developing PeptiENV and PeptiVAX, among other neoantigen strategies, in collaboration with Professor Cerullo. PeptiENV is expected to improve the therapeutic response to oncolytic enveloped viruses in the treatment of multiple forms of cancer, while PeptiVAX is a program to develop a novel, adaptable anti-infectives vaccination platform. The lead PeptiVAX project is a T-cell pan-Coronavirus vaccine. The company’s PeptiCHIP technology enables the rapid and accurate identification of tumor antigens. A film explaining the PeptiCRAd technology can be found here.