MAIA Biotechnology, Inc. Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board

CHICAGO--()--MAIA Biotechnology, Inc., a targeted therapy, immuno-oncology company focused on developing potential first-in-class oncology drugs (“MAIA”), announced today the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which is comprised of industry and university experts in oncology and telomere research. The SAB will work closely with MAIA’s leadership to advance the planned development of its lead product, THIO, along with additional programs in MAIA’s pipeline using FKBP52 to co-chaperone inhibition.

“We are privileged to work with such an outstanding group of physician scientists and oncology experts on our Scientific Advisory Board,” stated Vlad Vitoc, MD, MAIA’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “The members of our SAB bring a great understanding of telomeres, telomerase research, as well as deep expertise in the development of many important cancer drugs. We look forward to their contributions as we continue to grow MAIA.”

MAIA’s SAB is comprised of the following members:

David M. Ashley, MBBS (Hon), FRACP, PhD, is Director, The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, Head, Preuss Laboratory, and Director, Pediatrics Neuro-Oncology, Duke University. Top key opinion leader (“KOL”) in pediatric and adult neuro-oncology. Dr. Ashley’s career in cancer research dates back more than two decades. He is credentialed in both pediatric and adult neuro-oncology practices and they have been the focus of his efforts in translational research and leadership. As evident from his publication and grant support record, his primary academic focus has been on neurologic tumors, the development of innovative therapies and approaches to care. These efforts have included basic and translational laboratory research. Dr. Ashley’s experience includes moving laboratory findings in brain tumor immunology and epigenetics into early phase clinical trials. He has expertise in immuno-oncology, having developed and clinically tested dendritic cell vaccines and other immuno-therapeutics. His achievements in research have led to change in practice in the care of children and adults with brain tumors, including the introduction of new standards of practice for the delivery of systemic therapy.

Tudor Ciuleanu, MD, PhD, Professor of Oncology Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy and Ion Chiricuta Institute of Oncology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Dr. Ciuleanu is a leading KOL in non-small cell lung cancer and colorectal cancer in Eastern Europe and he is a key investigator in more than 90 phase 3 and phase 2 clinical trials, including most immune therapy agents. He is one of the most highly published clinical investigators in Eastern Europe and he is a former President and editor of Romanian Federation of Cancer Societies and former editor for the Romanian edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Marc Cox, PhD., Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, Co-Director of the Toxicology and Cancer Cluster within the Border Biomedical Research Center, Deputy Director of the BUILDing SCHOLARS Center, and Director of the Center for Faculty Leadership and Development at the University of Texas at El Paso (“UTEP”). Dr. Cox is a molecular endocrinologist with expertise in intracellular receptor signaling pathways. In addition to identifying, characterizing, and therapeutically targeting steroid hormone receptor regulatory proteins for the treatment of prostate cancer, he also offers expertise in various model systems, including yeast, that prove useful in large-scale toxicity screens, as well as for high throughput screens for novel drug candidates.

Dr. Cox has published with collaborators in areas as diverse as Alzheimer’s Disease, stress and depression, and chronic pain. In addition to his research accomplishments, Dr. Cox has served on the Executive Committee of the UT System Faculty Advisory Council, as UTEP Faculty Senate President, and serves on a number of university-wide committees that provide leadership and guidance on curriculum assessment for accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, academic program assessment, conflict resolution, the UTEP Handbook of Operating Procedures, and intellectual property protection.

Z. Gunnur Dikmen, MD, PhD, Professor at Hacettepe University Medical Faculty, Department of Medical Biochemistry, as well as the director of the hospital’s emergency laboratory. Dr. Dikmen graduated from Ankara University Medical Faculty and subsequently completed her residency and received her PhD from Hacettepe University Medical Faculty, Department of Medical Biochemistry. She completed her doctoral research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Department of Cell Biology in the Shay-Wright Lab. Her research has been focused on the discovery of novel molecules targeting telomeres and telomerase, mainly working on GRN163L (Imetelstat®) and 6-thio-2’-deoxyguanosine (6-thio-dG) to show their potent effects on different in vitro and in vivo cancer models. She has a broad range of experimental and clinical experience in molecular & cell biology and clinical biochemistry, translating research results from bench to bedside and from academia to clinical laboratory to mentor the next generation of multidisciplinary research projects by providing new therapeutic approaches for cancer and telomere related diseases. Dr. Dikmen has various international scientific publications as well as oral and poster presentations in national and international meetings. She has also published several book chapters in the fields of telomere-telomerase and clinical biochemistry. Her research was supported by the L’OREAL – Women In Science program in 2003 and received the Hacettepe University-Science Incentive Award in 2010.

Thomas F. Gajewski, MD, PhD, AbbVie Foundation Professor of Pathology, Professor of Ben May Department of Cancer Research, Professor of Medicine and Immunology Expert, University of Chicago. Dr. Gajewski is one of the key pioneers in cancer immunotherapies and has been a key investigator on phase 1, 2 and phase 3 trials in Melanoma (with Keytruda®, Opdivo®, etc.). Dr. Gajewski is past president of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) and he served on the program committees for the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). He currently serves as an editor for Cancer Research and Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer. Among other recognitions, he was named the AbbVie Foundation Professor for Cancer Immunotherapy, received the William B. Coley Award for contributions to the field of cancer immunology, the ESMO award in Immuno-oncology, and was inducted into the American Association of Physicians. Dr. Gajewski has published more than 220 manuscripts and 20 book chapters in these areas and has presented data at more than 400 scientific conferences. He has had continuous NIH funding for 20 years and is scientific co-founder of Jounce Therapeutics and Pyxis Oncology.

Jerry W. Shay, PhD, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Cell Biology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Shay is one of the world leaders in the study of telomeres and telomerase. Professor Shay is the scientific co-founder of the research supporting THIO and is an integral advisor to the program. He has been a consultant and a member of multiple scientific advisory boards for companies such as the Procter & Gamble Company, Geron Corporation, Corixa Corporation, BioWhitaker, Inc., Clontech Laboratories, Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Sierra Science and Barricade Therapeutics. Dr. Shay has been noted as a highly influential biomedical researcher by the Institute for Scientific Research and Science Watch, with over 30 issued patents, more than 500 peer reviewed publications, and a citation h-index of 117. Dr. Shay holds the Southland Financial Corporation Distinguished Chair in Geriatric Research and is a Distinguish Professor at UT Southwestern having received the University of Texas Regent’s Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Minnie Steven Piper Foundation Professor Award. Dr. Shay was also awarded the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NIH Alliance Pioneer Award. Dr. Shay received his PhD from the University of Kansas and completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Adam Yopp, PhD, Occidental Chemical Chair of Cancer Research and an Associate Professor and Division Chief of Surgical Oncology and Colorectal Surgery, at Harold C. Simmons National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Texas (“UT”) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Yopp completed a fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center focusing on upper gastrointestinal (“GI”) and hepato-pancreato-biliary (“HPB”) malignancy and joined UT Southwestern in 2009. At UT Southwestern, Dr. Yopp is the Director of the Liver Tumor Program, and both his research and clinical interests are focused on the delivery of care in patients with primary liver cancer. Specifically, he has National Institute of Health and Department of Defense funding examining the racial and ethnic disparities in outcome measures for patients newly diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma. In addition, as the Director of the UT Southwestern Biorepository he is focused on translational collaborations expanding our genomic characterizations of upper GI and HPB malignancies.

About MAIA Biotechnology, Inc.

MAIA Biotechnology, Inc. is a targeted therapy, immuno-oncology company focused on the development and commercialization of potential first-in-class drugs with novel mechanisms of action that are intended to meaningfully improve and extend the lives of people with cancer. Drug candidates include (i) THIO, a potential first-in-class cancer telomere targeting agent in clinical development for the treatment of telomerase-positive cancer cells and (ii) two compound families in pre-clinical evaluation for the treatment of prostate cancer and breast cancer using a potentially novel mode of action targeting androgen receptor and direct FKBP52 co-chaperone inhibition. For more information, please visit

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Investor Relations, Media & General Inquiries:
Amy Conrad


Investor Relations, Media & General Inquiries:
Amy Conrad