ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI), a privately held, Maryland-based biotechnology company, announced today the promotion of Teri Heiland, Ph.D. to Chief Scientific Officer. In her new role, Dr. Heiland will oversee all of research and development and will play an integral role in business development and the management of ITI’s existing and future partnerships. Dr. Heiland is a co-founder of ITI and has amassed over two decades of executive leadership experience in the biotechnology and life sciences sector. Dr. Heiland’s focus at ITI stems from her background in DNA vaccine design, optimization and development, which has created a broad pipeline of vaccines in oncology, allergy and animal health and has driven licensing deals for ITI with Astellas and Zenoaq. ITI’s investigational UNITE technology platform has the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response and is currently being employed in a Phase II clinical trial as a cancer immunotherapy.
“Dr. Heiland’s promotion to chief scientific officer reflects her outstanding scientific acumen and deep expertise in DNA vaccine design and development,” said William Hearl, Ph.D., Immunomic Therapeutics’ Chief Executive Officer. “Teri has made significant contributions to Immunomic since we founded the company, including the design of all of our major products, including one of the UNITE vaccines currently being employed in a Phase II study in GBM, and the creation of new intellectual property that protects our core technology.”
Prior to co-founding Immunomic, Dr. Heiland was one of the founders of Capital Genomix, Inc. (CGI), a Maryland-based biomarker and drug discovery company and served as its VP of Research and Development from 2000 until 2006. Dr. Heiland acted as a principal investigator on over $2M in grants from the Department of Defense and NIAID. She received her Ph.D. in Molecular Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
ITI’s investigational UNITE platform, or UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression, is thought to work by encoding the Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein, an endogenous protein in humans. In this way, ITI’s vaccines (DNA or RNA) have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory. This approach could put UNITE technology at the crossroads of immunotherapies in a number of illnesses, including cancer, allergy and infectious diseases. UNITE is currently being employed in Phase II clinical trials as a cancer immunotherapy. ITI is also collaborating with academic centers and biotechnology companies to study the use of UNITE in cancer types of high mortality, including cases where there are limited treatment options like glioblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia. ITI believes that these early clinical studies may provide a proof of concept for UNITE therapy in cancer, and if successful, set the stage for future studies, including combinations in these tumor types and others. Preclinical data is currently being developed to explore whether LAMP nucleic acid constructs may amplify and activate the immune response in highly immunogenic tumor types and be used to create immune responses to tumor types that otherwise do not provoke an immune response.
About Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.
Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a privately-held, clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of vaccines through its proprietary technology platform, UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression (UNITE), which is designed to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop vaccines that generate broad immune responses. ITI’s UNITE platform could potentially have broad therapeutic applications in oncology, including viral antigens, cancer antigens, neoantigens and antigen-derived antibodies as biologics and ITI has built a large pipeline from UNITE with six oncology programs and two allergy programs. ITI has entered into a significant allergy partnership with Astellas Pharma and has formed several academic collaborations with leading Immuno-oncology researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, Duke University. ITI maintains its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit www.immunomix.com.