SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Batu Biologics announced today the appointment of Nobel Prize winner Dr. Bruce Beutler to the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Beutler was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2011 for his fundamental contributions to the discovery of the sensors by which the innate immune system recognizes and responds to microbial pathogens. The molecular understanding of innate immunity, of which Dr. Beutler is a pioneer, led to the development of numerous research directions in the pathogenesis of a broad spectrum of diseases, including viral syndromes, autoimmune diseases and oncogenesis.
“It is an honor to welcome Dr. Beutler to our Scientific Advisory Board. We look forward to working with him in identifying means of using the molecular mechanisms of the innate immune system to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of the ValloVax vaccine developed by Batu, which promotes beneficial anti-tumor responses by the inhibition of angiogenesis, a central process in tumor growth,” said Samuel Wagner, President and CEO of Batu Biologics.
Batu Biologics is a clinical stage company that received Investigational New Drug (IND) clearance from the FDA for utilizing its “first in class” tumor blood vessel killing immunotherapy, termed ValloVax. By using the immune system to block new blood vessel formation, Batu Biologics hopes to “starve the tumor” as an alternative to chemotherapy and radiation therapies, which are associated with serious side effects.
“I am excited to work alongside the team assembled by Samuel Wagner and provide advice towards the development of new therapeutic approaches to the treatment of cancer,” said Dr. Beutler.
Dr. Beutler received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at San Diego in 1976, and his MD degree from the University of Chicago in 1981. After two years of residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, he became a postdoctoral fellow and then an Assistant Professor at the Rockefeller University (1983-1986), where he made the seminal discovery of the role of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), as a major mediator of inflammatory diseases, a finding that had major impact in the development of novel therapies for a broad spectrum of such disorders. Subsequently, he returned to Dallas in 1986 as an Howard Hughes Investigator, where he discovered that Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is the signaling sensor for bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and thereafter expanded the field by the identification of additional sensors for microbial products, their signaling processes and role in disease. Moving in 2000 to the Scripps Research Institute, Dr. Beutler developed the largest mouse mutagenesis program in the world, and applied forward genetics to decipher the so-called “resistome”, a term coined by him to define the entire set of genes that determine our ability to resist infections by an effective immune response. Returning to UT Southwestern in 2011, he was appointed as Regental Professor and Director of the Center for Genetics of Host Defense and holds Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, in Honor of Laverne and Raymond Willie, Sr. Dr. Beutler is broadly recognized for his contributions to medicine and has received numerous honors and awards. In addition to the Nobel Prize, his work was recognized by the Shaw Prize (2011), the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2009), election to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine (2008), the Frederik B. Bang Award (2008), the Balzan Prize (2007), the Gran Prix Charles-Leopold-Mayer (2006), the William B. Coley Award (2005), the Robert-Koch-Prize (2004), and other honors.