SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Allogene Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company with a mission to catalyze the next revolution of cell therapy through the advancement of allogeneic CAR T therapies, today announced its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which is comprised of five experts in oncology, immunology, drug discovery and development. The SAB will provide strategic and scientific counsel to Allogene’s management and research and development team to help advance allogeneic cell therapies directed at blood cancers and solid tumors.
“We are honored to welcome these leading experts in the fields of cellular immunotherapy and gene therapy to our new Scientific Advisory Board,” said David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Allogene. “The expertise that these members bring to our team will be invaluable in helping guide the development of our allogeneic cell therapies for patients.”
Allogene Scientific Advisory Board
- Ton Schumacher, Ph.D. (Chair) – Dr. Schumacher serves as a Senior Member at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam and Professor of Immunotechnology at Leiden University Medical Center. He completed his Ph.D. at The Netherlands Cancer Institute where he studied the interactions of MHC class I molecules with antigenic peptides in the laboratory of Dr. Hidde Ploegh. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Ploegh’s lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Schumacher joined the group of Dr. Peter Kim at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass. He later returned to the Netherlands Cancer Institute to study the development of tumor-specific T cell immunity through biotechnological approaches. Dr. Schumacher is a recipient of, among others, the Amsterdam Inventor Award, Queen Wilhelmina Cancer Research Award, San Salvatore Award, Meyenburg Cancer Research Award, and William B. Coley Award, and is founder of three biotechnology companies in the area of immuno-oncology.
- Donald B. Kohn, M.D. – Dr. Kohn is a Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) and Pediatrics, Director of the UCLA Human Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program, and a member of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received a B.S in biology and an M.S. in microbiology from the University of Illinois-Urbana and an M.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Kohn completed a pediatric internship and residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and a medical staff fellowship in the Metabolism Branch of the National Cancer Institute. He was at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USC Keck School of Medicine for 21 years, where he rose to the rank of professor and served as Head of the Division of Research Immunology/Bone Marrow Transplantation. Dr. Kohn previously served as President of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and the Clinical Immunology Society. He is the recipient of an Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award from the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium (PBMTC) Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Crystal Mackall, M.D. – Dr. Mackall is an Endowed Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She also serves as Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Stanford, Founding Director of the Stanford Center for Cancer Cell Therapy and Associate Director of the Stanford Cancer Institute. Previously, Dr. Mackall spent much of her career at the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute, where she served as Head of the Immunology Section and Chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch. While there, she built an internationally recognized translational research program on T-cell homeostasis and tumor immunology and directed pioneering clinical trials of immune-based therapies for cancer. She currently co-leads the StandUp2Cancer, St. Baldrick’s Foundation and NCI Pediatric Dream Team. Dr. Mackall graduated summa cum laude from the University of Akron in Ohio and received her M.D. from Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine in Rootstown.
- Matthew Porteus, M.D., Ph.D. – Dr. Porteus is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics, Divisions of Hematology/Oncology and Human Gene Therapy at Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his combined M.D./Ph.D. at Stanford, with his Ph.D. focused on understanding the molecular basis of mammalian forebrain development. After completing his dual degree program, Dr. Porteus completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship in the combined Boston Children’s Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute program. For his fellowship and postdoctoral research, he worked with Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Caltech where he began his studies in developing homologous recombination as a strategy to correct disease-causing mutations in stem cells as definitive and curative therapy for children with genetic diseases of the blood, particularly sickle cell disease. Following his training with Dr. Baltimore, Dr. Porteus took an independent faculty position at UT Southwestern in the Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry before returning to Stanford as an Associate Professor.
- Owen Witte, M.D. – Dr. Witte is a University Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA, where he holds the President's Chair in Developmental Immunology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. For 30 years, he was also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Witte is also a member of the National Academy of Science and National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Witte also serves on the Board of Directors of Allogene and previously served on the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board of Kite Pharma. He completed his postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Cancer Research, working in the lab of Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore. Dr. Witte also completed predoctoral research training in the lab of Dr. Irving Weissman while a medical student at Stanford University. He received his B.S. with highest honors in microbiology from Cornell University and his M.D. from Stanford University.
“Allogene is at the forefront of allogeneic cell therapy, and I’m excited to support its mission to advance the development of this innovative approach to cancer treatment,” said Dr. Schumacher, chair of Allogene’s SAB. “Together with this tremendously accomplished group of scientific leaders, we look forward to lending our collective expertise to what could be the next most important breakthrough in the field.”
About Allogene Therapeutics
Allogene Therapeutics is a biotechnology company with a mission to catalyze the next revolution in cancer treatment through the development of allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy directed at blood cancers and solid tumors. Founded and led by former Kite Pharma executives who bring unrivaled clinical development acumen in cell therapy, Allogene is well-positioned to further the potential of allogeneic cell therapy for patients.
Allogeneic CAR T therapies are engineered from cells of healthy donors and stored for “off-the-shelf” use in patients. This approach eliminates the need to create personalized therapy from a patient’s own cells, simplifies manufacturing, and reduces the time patients must wait for CAR T treatment. The Allogene portfolio includes 16 pre-clinical T cell therapy assets and UCART19, an allogeneic CAR T therapy currently in Phase 1 development for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Through its notable partnerships, Allogene leverages pioneering technology platforms, including TALEN® gene editing technology, to progress its portfolio of immuno-oncology therapies. Allogene, with headquarters in San Francisco, California, is a Two River portfolio company formed with one of the largest Series A financings in biotechnology from an investment consortium that includes TPG, Vida Ventures, BellCo Capital, the University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer, Gilead and Pfizer. For more information, please visit www.allogene.com, and follow @AllogeneTx on Twitter and LinkedIn.