PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tmunity Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company specifically designed to deliver on the bold promise of curing cancer, today announced the expansion of its senior leadership team through the addition of Dr. Vijay Reddy as Chief Research and Development Officer, and Simona King, CPA, MBA, as Chief Financial Officer. These leadership appointments will augment Tmunity’s growing team of the best minds in cancer research, synthetic biology, and the business of cell engineering and cell manufacturing.
“I am thrilled to have an accomplished and passionate physician scientist like Vijay joining our executive management team. Tmunity has a rapidly advancing clinical and preclinical oncology portfolio, requiring a seasoned executive with a proven track record of R&D organizational leadership, and also the ability to integrate complex immunology and cancer science, early development, clinical and regulatory thinking,” said Usman “Oz” Azam, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer at Tmunity.
Dr. Reddy has significant experience in cancer research including immuno-oncology, having started his career as a medical oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Reddy also has significant experience in oncology drug development: he developed the CAR-T cell clinical program with first-in-class targets in his most recent role with Autolus Ltd., and played a critical role bringing new therapies to market at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and GlaxoSmithKline. His prior work in cellular engineering and tumor biology – specifically in solid tumors – will support Tmunity’s strategy of investigating multiple modalities for unique, targeted antigens to speed time to the clinic for people currently out of time and options because of their cancer diagnosis. Dr. Reddy has published numerous oncology papers, and holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Sri Venkateshwara Medical College, and a Doctorate of Medicine in biochemistry from All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
“Tmunity has an exciting solid tumor pipeline and significant expertise in early clinical development and manufacturing,” said Dr. Vijay Reddy, Chief Research and Development Officer at Tmunity. “I believe we are well positioned to achieve breakthrough therapies in solid tumors by selectively targeting the tumor and tumor-microenvironment using a combination of unique targets and cellular engineering technologies.”
Also joining Tmunity is Simona King as Chief Financial Officer, who will leverage nearly two decades of work with Bristol-Myers Squibb, and strategic finance experience across all pharmaceutical business functions, including manufacturing, R&D from preclinical to late stage, M&A, and commercial product launches. In her most recent role with Emergent BioSolutions, Ms. King led the financial management and long-term financial planning functions, and was heavily involved in external capital financing activities. Ms. King holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Columbia Business School, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Kalamazoo College, and a Diploma in African Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
“We are delighted to have Simona join the management team at Tmunity. She is an accomplished leader with a track record of building strong finance teams,” said Dr. Azam. “As we enter the next phase of growth at Tmunity, Simona brings strategic and operational leadership that will help shape our future financial agenda. Simona’s experience in large pharmaceutical organizations as well as mid-cap, revenue-generating companies will serve us well as we further build out our finance and business capabilities.”
Tmunity is currently evaluating its novel T-cell engineering approaches in the clinic with two programs. The first aims to treat patients suffering with metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer by targeting Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) and Transformation Growth Factor Beta (TGFβ). The second program focuses on patients suffering with pancreatic, ovarian, non-small cell lung and triple negative breast cancers by targeting Tn Mucopolysaccharide-1 (TnMUC -1). Tmunity expects to complete its cGMP vector manufacturing operations in East Norriton, PA by the end of this year, with plans to have a fully functional cell manufacturing capability in 2021 – both are critical components in managing the creation of highly personalized treatments from start to finish.
“Tmunity’s innovative approach to fully unlocking the potential of next-generation T-cell immunotherapies is groundbreaking,” said Simona King, CPA, MBA, Chief Financial Officer at Tmunity. “I am thrilled to be joining Tmunity at this important time in the company’s journey. I look forward to working alongside this impressive team, with unrivaled experience in cell-based medicine, to help develop and deliver T-cell therapies with the potential to transform patients’ lives."
About Tmunity Therapeutics
Tmunity is a private clinical-stage biotherapeutics company focused on saving and improving lives by delivering the full potential of next-generation T-cell immunotherapy to patients with devastating diseases. Integrating a foundational collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) with the groundbreaking scientific, clinical, and manufacturing expertise, and the demonstrated track record of its founders (Carl June, MD; Bruce Levine, PhD; Yangbing Zhao, MD, PhD; Jim Riley, PhD; and Anne Chew, PhD), Tmunity represents a new center of gravity in translational T-cell medicine. Through Penn, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and other collaborations, the company is developing a diversified portfolio of novel treatments that exhibit best-in-class control over T-cell activation and direction in the body, with a focus in cancer and two programs currently in clinic development. With headquarters in Philadelphia, Tmunity utilizes laboratories and production facilities at Penn and its own dedicated cGMP manufacturing facility in East Norriton, PA, to pursue process improvement and production scale-up in support of clinical development of its T-cell therapies. For more information, visit www.tmunity.com and connect with us on social media at @TmunityTx and LinkedIn.