PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tmunity Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company specifically designed to deliver on the bold promise to ‘uncancer the world’ by creating the best T cell medicines for solid tumor patients, today announced the appointment of Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D., as Non-Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors.
“I am thrilled to welcome Jeff as Chair of our board of directors as 2021 will be a transformative year for Tmunity with our continued rapid advancement of our clinical and preclinical oncology portfolio. We wanted to bring on an equally transformative leader to chair our board, a physician-scientist who is passionate about translating scientific advances into breakthrough therapies for our patients, and a proven track record of building leading biotech businesses, all with a focus on patients with the highest unmet medical needs” said Usman “Oz” Azam, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Tmunity. “We look forward to collaborating and working alongside Jeff as we work to ‘uncancer’ the world with our T cell medicines.”
Dr. Leiden is a physician and scientist who, for the last 40 years, has dedicated his career to improving the lives of people with serious diseases. His experience spans all aspects of the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. He is currently Executive Chairman of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he was previously Chief Executive Officer and President. During his tenure at Vertex, Dr Leiden led the company as it discovered and developed four breakthrough medicines that treat the underlying cause of Cystic Fibrosis as well as the first successful human gene editing treatment for patients with Sickle Cell Disease and β-Thalassemia. Prior to joining Vertex, Dr. Leiden was a Managing Director at Clarus Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm. Before that, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientific Officer at Abbott Laboratories where he had responsibility for running Abbott’s global pharmaceuticals business including developing and launching Humira, the first fully human monoclonal antibody for the treatment of multiple autoimmune diseases. Dr. Leiden held several academic appointments prior to joining industry, including the Rawson Professor of Medicine and Pathology and Chief of Cardiology and Director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of Chicago, the Elkan R. Blout Professor of Biological Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is an elected member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Leiden currently serves as a director of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, an insurance company and Chairman of the Board of Casana Healthcare, a private digital healthcare company. Dr. Leiden previously served as a director and the non-executive Vice Chairman of the board of Shire plc, a specialty biopharmaceutical company, and as a director of Quest Diagnostics, a medical diagnostics company. Dr. Leiden received his M.D., Ph.D. and B.A. degrees from the University of Chicago.
“I’m honored to be joining Tmunity as they advance their programs to change the lives of people with these devastating solid tumors,” said Dr. Leiden. “Over my career, I’ve had the privilege of helping companies translate scientific insights into novel transformative therapies for patients, and I’m confident in the promise of Tmunity’s T-cell immunotherapy approaches to do the same.”
Tmunity is currently evaluating its novel T-cell engineering approaches in the clinic with three 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). The third clinical program focuses on patients suffering with pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer by targeting Mesothelin. Tmunity expects to complete its cGMP vector manufacturing operations in East Norriton, PA by the end of 2021, with plans to have a fully functional cell manufacturing capability – both are critical components in managing the creation of highly personalized treatments from start to finish.
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 the University of Pennsylvania, 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.