SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Onchilles Pharma announced today the expansion of the company’s scientific team with key leadership appointments. Drs. Christopher Twitty, Ingrid Joseph, and Sonia Feau will be responsible for leading the development of first-in-class therapeutics based on novel neutrophil immunobiology, discovered by the company’s scientific founder Dr. Lev Becker. This groundbreaking work has revealed that therapeutic modulation of this innate immune axis has the potential to selectively kill many cancer cell types while sparing non-cancer cells and for universal anti-cancer activity, independent of genetic mutation.
“I am excited to build out the scientific leadership team at Onchilles with the appointments of Chris, Ingrid, and Sonia, who each bring a depth of experience in translating novel research in tumor biology and immunology into first-in-class immune-oncology therapeutics,” said Court R. Turner, Cofounder and Executive Chairperson of Onchilles Pharma. “We look forward to their leadership and expertise to interrogate neutrophil pathways as an entirely new treatment paradigm, with the potential to have broad and selective cancer killing activity regardless of genetic mutation or anatomical origin.”
“Onchilles has a unique approach to immunotherapy leveraging neutrophil biology to activate both innate and adaptive immunity,” said Dr. Twitty. “Onchilles’ published breakthrough research as well as the company’s initial preclinical studies of their first drug candidate are extremely promising, and I look forward to working closely with the team to develop and advance novel therapeutic candidates that can leverage this highly conserved mechanism to fight cancer.”
Dr. Twitty has more than 20 years of experience developing immuno-therapeutics and has held scientific positions of increasing responsibility at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Cell Genesys, Tocagen, and OncoSec Medical. Before joining Onchilles as the company’s first Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), Dr. Twitty was the CSO of OncoSec, where he was responsible for the development of the clinical biomarker program, which uncovered relevant mechanisms underlying the tumor/immune relationship in patients treated with intratumoral IL-12 and anti-PD-1 with associated publications in high-impact journals. He was awarded an American Cancer Society fellowship grant for his post-doctoral studies in Dr. Bernard Fox’s Molecular Tumor Immunology Laboratory.
Dr. Joseph has more than 20 years of experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries and has contributed to R&D activities in oncology, resulting in more than 15 INDs. Nine of which reached clinical proof-of-concept and include small molecules, mono/bispecific antibodies, ADCs, and cytokines, as well as FDA-approved Padcev™. Before joining Onchilles Pharma, Dr. Joseph was Vice President of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Synthorx Inc. (acquired by Sanofi). Previously, Dr. Joseph served as Senior Director of Pharmacology and Bioimaging at Astellas Pharmaceutical Inc., and as Director of Oncopharmacology at Biogen.
Dr. Feau has 20 years of immuno-oncology experience that spans both innate and adaptive immune responses. Prior to joining Onchilles, she was the Associate Director of Immunology at Oncorus, where she led the immunology group responsible for designing, optimizing, and evaluating new immune enhancer payloads to be expressed by Oncorus’ oncolytic viruses. Before that, she proposed and evaluated several new immuno-oncology targets at Merck & Co. and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals.
About Onchilles Pharma
Onchilles Pharma was founded on breakthrough research that leverages neutrophil immunobiology to selectively and comprehensively kill cancer cells. Based on this research, the private biotech company is developing a pipeline of first-in-class drug candidates based on novel druggable pathways that have the potential to be broadly effective against a wide range of cancers. Onchilles is headquartered at the Alexandria GradLabs in San Diego. For more info, visit www.onchillespharma.com.