SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immusoft Corporation, a Seattle-Wash.-based, leading cell therapy company, today announced the appointment of Robert Hayes, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer. With nearly two decades of biologics discovery and development experience, Dr. Hayes will lead Immusoft’s preclinical research and spearhead the near-term advancement of ISP-001 for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I), and additional Immune System Programming (ISP™) candidates into clinical development.
With experience working in both biotech start-ups and large pharmaceutical companies, Dr. Hayes has a proven track record for building teams around new scientific concepts and technologies, including transposon systems, cancer vaccines, and bispecific monoclonal antibodies. He also has significant experience in forming partnerships to advance the development and application of novel therapeutic platforms like the one between Janssen and Centyrex.
“It is truly a pleasure to welcome Robert to the Immusoft team and we look forward to fully leveraging his broad biotech development and strategic expertise for ISP-001, and expansion of the platform to address a broader array of indications,” stated Sean Ainsworth, Chief Executive Officer of Immusoft. “Robert brings a wide range of experience in advancing preclinical programs in immunology, oncology, and cardiovascular disease, from concept to the clinic. I look forward to his leadership as we expand the ISP platform.”
Dr. Hayes was previously Head of Biologics at Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN), a multinational biopharmaceutical company, where he was responsible for the leadership – managing a team of over 160 scientists – strategic direction and operational management of Amgen’s biologics preclinical discovery and biotherapeutics pipeline and was a member of the Discovery Research Executive Management Team. Dr. Hayes’ responsibilities included large molecule lead identification, biologics optimization, the transition to upstream process development and manufacturing.
Prior to Amgen, Dr. Hayes served as Vice President & Venture Leader of Centyrex, a biotech Venture within Janssen R&D, focused on the development of small alternative scaffold proteins. He previously served as Senior Director of Protein Engineering at Johnson & Johnson and Director of Antibody Engineering at Xencor.
Dr. Hayes holds a Ph.D. in Protein Biochemistry from the Imperial College London, where he was the Royal College of Science Scholar and a Royal Society University Research Fellow. He completed his postdoctoral research at the Imperial College of London and at the University California at Berkeley.
“I am honored to join this experienced team of leading cell therapy experts who are leveraging immune system programming to fundamentally improve the delivery of therapeutic proteins for patients in need,” commented Dr. Hayes. “I have been very impressed with the thoughtful way in which Immusoft's scientists and regulatory experts have advanced their technology towards clinical development and believe that ISP™ has clear advantages over existing approaches. I look forward to helping lead the advancement of Immusoft’s technology and in its application to potentially treat life-threatening diseases.”
About Immune System Programming (ISP™) Technology
Immusoft’s proprietary ISP™ platform technology is a gene modified cell therapy approach that uses a clinically validated, non-viral vector that aims to safely and reliably insert functional genes into immune cells. Once administered back into the patient, a subset of ISP™ modified cells are expected to reside within survival niches in the body, continuously producing gene-encoded protein(s). The platform’s broad utility to produce a wide range of therapeutic protein classes (e.g. antibodies, signaling proteins, and enzymes), has the potential to disrupt the current standard of care for many diseases requiring protein injections or infusions, including many to address orphan diseases.
About Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I)
MPS I is a rare, lethal childhood genetic disease that affects the body’s ability to produce IDUA (alpha-L-iduronidase), which is an essential enzyme that helps to break down long-chain sugars inside cells. When the sugar chains cannot be broken down and disposed of, they accumulate in the cells and cause progressive damage. In its most severe form, and if left untreated, children affected rarely live longer than ten years after diagnosis.
Immusoft Corporation’s (immusoft.com) mission is to treat diseases using its breakthrough technology platform called Immune System Programming (ISP™). The technology modifies a patient’s B cells and instructs the cells to produce gene-encoded medicines (biologics). The B cells that are reprogrammed using ISP become miniature drug factories that are expected to survive in patients for many years. Immusoft Corporation is based in Seattle, Washington.
Cautionary Note on Forward-looking Statements
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current plans, estimates and projections. The beliefs, assumptions and expectations on which these statements are based, including, without limitation, the ultimate efficacy and safety of the Company’s ISP platform technology, can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to Immusoft Corporation or are within its control. Immusoft Corporation undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in light of new information or future events. Actual results or outcomes may differ from those implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of operational, scientific, regulatory and related risks and uncertainties.