NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Turnstone Biologics Corp., a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of cancer immunotherapies, today announced the expansion of its Scientific Advisory Board (“SAB”) with the appointments of two leaders in the cell therapy field, James Mulé, IPh.D., and Eric Tran, Ph.D. The new members of the SAB will work collaboratively with Turnstone’s leadership and R&D teams to support development of the Company’s proprietary platforms and programs, including its pipeline of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (“TIL”) therapies.
“We are honored to have Drs. Mulé and Tran, with their unparalleled expertise in the fields of cancer immunotherapy and cell therapy, join the Turnstone SAB at this exciting time for the Company,” said Stewart Abbot, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Turnstone. “We look forward to their contributions and valuable insights as we progress our lead TIL program, TIDAL-01, into the clinic, and continue to expand our capabilities to achieve our vision of building the next-generation of medicines to treat solid tumors.”
Dr. James Mulé is the Associate Center Director for Translational Science, the Michael McGillicuddy Endowed Chair for Melanoma Research and Treatment, and the Scientific Director of Cell-Based Therapies at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. Designated a “Master of Immunology” by the American Association for Cancer Research, Dr. Mulé is recognized for his research and clinical trial contributions to cellular immunotherapy, particularly in solid tumors. He has published over 250 articles on cancer vaccines and adoptive immunotherapy and is an investigator who has been continuously funded for nearly 25 years. Dr. Mulé received a special individual Ph.D. (IPh.D.) degree in Tumor Immunology from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington. He subsequently received his post-graduate training at the Surgery Branch, Division of Cancer Treatment at the National Cancer Institute, where he became a Senior Investigator with tenure.
“I am thrilled to support Turnstone as the Company prepares to progress its novel TIL technology into the clinic and beyond,” said Dr. Mulé. “TILs are proven to be effective against specific solid tumor types, but there remains substantial need to improve upon the technology. I believe that Turnstone’s innovative approach, which has been optimized for tumor reactive T-cell selection, is uniquely poised to enhance the potential of TIL-based therapies to make a significant impact on clinical responses in solid tumor patients.”
Dr. Eric Tran leads the Adoptive Cell Therapy Laboratory at Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, a division of Providence Cancer Institute. His work created a paradigm shift in basic immunology by definitively demonstrating that neoantigens arising from patient-specific somatic mutations are a major class of antigens being targeted by tumor-infiltrating T-cells in most patients with epithelial cancers. His work also was the first to demonstrate that immunotherapy with neoantigen-specific CD4+ or CD8+ T-cells could mediate the regression of metastatic human epithelial tumors. Dr. Tran earned his Ph.D. at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, and received postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute under the direct mentorship of Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg, a pioneer in cellular immunology and cancer immunotherapy.
“I am delighted to join Turnstone’s SAB along with my esteemed colleagues,” said Dr. Tran. “Turnstone’s TIL therapy platform is built on years of outstanding research by leaders in the field and I am excited to see the Company rapidly advancing their pipeline. I look forward to supporting Turnstone in its goal of developing more effective TIL therapies for a wider range of solid tumors.”
Turnstone’s SAB comprises world-renowned subject matter experts in the fields of cell therapy, tumor immunology, innate and adaptive immunity, oncolytic viruses, and novel immuno-oncology drug discovery and development. The new advisors will join existing SAB members Malcolm Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., Thomas Dubensky Jr., Ph.D., Bernard Fox, Ph.D., Adrian Hill, Ph.D., Alan Melcher, Ph.D., and Robert Seder, M.D.
About Turnstone Biologics
Turnstone Biologics, a privately held clinical stage biotech company, is developing breakthrough cancer immunotherapies by advancing two leading platforms, both independently and in combination, that drive innate and adaptive tumor immunity to provide benefit to the millions of cancer patients underserved by current treatment options.
Turnstone’s novel TIL therapy platform leverages clinically validated treatment protocols and has been specifically designed to extend beyond the use of bulk TILs to enrich for the most relevant T-cells for tumor eradication, preserving broad antigen diversity and minimizing time to treatment for patients. Turnstone is expecting the lead TIL therapy candidate, TIDAL-01, to enter the clinic by early 2022.
Their proprietary vaccinia virus platform is engineered to drive coordinated immune activation, potent viral activity and local expression of encoded therapeutics. The Company has an ongoing Phase 1/2a trial in solid tumors (RAPTOR) for its leading oncolytic virus candidate, RIVAL-01/TAK-605, which is being developed under a global collaboration with Takeda.