MIRAMAR, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Altor BioScience Corporation (Altor), a leading developer of cancer immunotherapeutics, announced today that it has named Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a well-known physician scientist and inventor of Abraxane, an albumin-bound nanoparticle of paclitaxel approved for breast, lung and pancreatic cancer, as Chairman of Altor’s Board of Directors.
Dr. Soon-Shiong stated, “I am delighted to be joining Altor’s board and assuming the role as Chairman. Over the past few months, I have worked closely with Dr. Hing Wong and the team at Altor to bring the Company’s therapeutic products into the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program (www.CancerMoonshot2020.org) after learning of the exciting cytokine platform the company has developed. Altor is an innovative company developing revolutionary immuno-oncology products against cancer which have demonstrated an ability to enhance the activity of both NK and T cells. I look forward to helping them advance their vision for immunotherapy and to be an important backbone to combination therapy,"
Mr. Fred Middleton, Managing Director of Sanderling Ventures, Altor’s former Chairman and also the former CFO of Genentech, becomes Vice Chairman and will serve as Altor’s Chief Business Officer. While continuing to serve on Altor’s board, Mr. Middleton will take on an important strategic and operational role in leading Altor’s business development activities.
Dr. Hing C. Wong, Altor’s founder and CEO commented, “We are thrilled to have Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong join us as the Chairman of Altor’s board. His experience, entrepreneurship and vision in biopharmaceutical development will assist us in guiding Altor to extend its leadership position in immunotherapeutic development for oncology and infectious diseases. We are also very pleased to have Mr. Fred Middleton, an executive with extensive corporate development experience, also serve in a major operating role in leading business development at Altor. Dr. Soon-Shiong’s and Mr. Middleton’s expertise in corporate board structure and the biotech industry significantly strengthen Altor’s leadership and management team. I look forward to working with them to build a world-class biotech company and develop drugs to benefit patients with unmet medical needs.”
Biography of Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., FRCS (C), FACS
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a physician, surgeon and scientist, has pioneered novel therapies for both diabetes and cancer, published over 100 scientific papers, and has over 170 issued patents worldwide on groundbreaking advancements spanning myriad fields of technology and medicine.
Dr. Soon-Shiong serves as Chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation and Chairman and CEO of the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine, a non-profit medical research organization and Chairman and CEO of NantKwest, a NASDAQ listed immunotherapy company focusing on Natural Killer cells. He currently co-chairs the CEO Council for Health and Innovation at the Bipartisan Policy Center and is a member of the Global Advisory Board of Bank of America. He is an Adjunct Professor of Surgery at UCLA, and a visiting Professor at the Imperial College of London and Dartmouth College. The Friends of the National Library of Medicine has honored him with their Distinguished Medical Science Award, he was the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award Recipient, and the recipient of the Gilda’s Club New York City Award for the Advancement of Cancer Medicine.
In 2016 he launched Cancer Moonshot 2020, a coalition of biotech, pharma, academia, community oncologists, payers and government agencies committed to accelerating next generation sequencing, proteomics, big data analytics and immunotherapy drug development for all cancer types.
Dr. Soon-Shiong performed the world’s first encapsulated human islet transplant, the first engineered islet cell transplant and the first pig to man islet cell transplant in diabetic patients. He invented and developed Abraxane, the nation’s first FDA approved protein nanoparticle albumin-bound delivery technology for the treatment of cancer. Abraxane was approved by the FDA for metastatic breast cancer in 2005, lung cancer in 2012, and pancreatic cancer in 2013. The drug is approved in the U.S. and E.U. for metastatic breast cancer, lung cancer and advanced pancreatic cancer, making it the only drug of its kind to be approved in first line therapies across this broad spectrum of tumors in both the U.S. and E.U.
From 1997 to 2010 Dr. Soon-Shiong has served as founder, Chairman and CEO of two global pharmaceutical companies, American Pharmaceutical Partners and Abraxis BioScience. Both were acquired for multi-billion dollars in 2008 and 2010. In 2011 he founded NantWorks, an ecosystem of companies to create a transformative global health information and next generation pharmaceutical development network. In 2015 he initiated the public offering of NantKwest, setting a record when trading opened on Nasdaq as the largest biotech IPO by market cap in history. In 2016, he received the Franklin Bower Award for Business Leadership from The Franklin Institute.
About Altor BioScience
Altor is a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing immunotherapies for treatment of cancer and viral infections, based on its engineered cytokine technology platforms. ALT-801 was developed as a fusion protein linking IL-2 to a single-chain T cell receptor domain capable of specifically recognizing tumor cells that overexpress p53 on their surface. When tested in various tumor models, ALT-801 exhibited significantly more potent anti-tumor activity and less toxicity than IL-2. Compared to IL-2, ALT-801 has improved pharmacokinetics and enhanced immunostimulatory activity without severe IL-2-related toxicities in patients, which led to durable immune responses. Altor has also developed ALT-803, a novel IL-15 superagonist complex, with improved pharmacokinetic properties and enhanced anti-tumor activity compared to recombinant human IL-15. Preclinical studies have shown that ALT-803 simultaneously mobilizes both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune system to elicit rapid, robust, and long-lasting responses against cancer and virally-infected cells. ALT-803 has also been shown to potently activate human effector NK cells and enhance antibody dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) of anti-CD20 antibodies against human lymphoma cells in various tumor models. These encouraging results have led to a clinical trial using ALT-803 plus rituximab in patients with relapsed/refractory indolent non-Hodgkin lymphoma (iNHL), a common B cell malignancy. Combination studies of ALT-803 and checkpoint inhibitors have also yielded encouraging preliminary results in solid tumor models and have led to the initiation of a clinical trial of ALT-803 combined with nivolumab in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Altor’s extensive network of research and clinical collaborations consist of more than fifty leading cancer institutes and universities and are actively exploring the potential clinical utilities of ALT-803 and ALT-801 against cancer and viral infections. In various tumor models, ALT-803 and ALT-801 exhibit potent immunostimulatory activity when administered as monotherapies and also as combination therapies with other types of therapeutic agents. Ten total clinical trials with the two immunotherapy candidates are ongoing in patients with hematologic and solid tumors and in patients with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy. In addition, Altor has recently announced its participation in the Cancer MoonShot 2020 Program, which is a comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative focused on accelerating development and evaluation of combination immunotherapies in clinical trials addressing up to 20 tumor types (see http://www.cancermoonshot2020.org/ for more information). Visit www.altorbioscience.com for details.