BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GRO Biosciences Inc. (“GRObio”), an emerging biotechnology company leveraging synthetic biology to expand the amino acid alphabet and deliver on the promise of protein therapeutics, today announced the appointment of distinguished gene therapy expert, Nicole Paulk, PhD, to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).
GRObio is expanding its SAB as it advances its ProGly™ approach to immunomodulation into gene therapy. Immunogenicity is a primary impediment to the safety and efficacy of gene therapy vectors. Already in use to reverse autoimmune disease and to prevent the emergence of anti-drug antibodies, the company is now applying ProGly™ to eliminate preexisting neutralizing antibodies against gene therapy vectors and to enable redosing for viral-based gene therapies.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Paulk join our SAB. Her expertise in developing and commercializing gene therapy vectors together with her prominent leadership in the field will be instrumental as we leverage ProGly™ to address critical challenges in gene therapy,” commented Daniel J. Mandell, PhD, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of GRO Biosciences.
“I am very pleased to join GRObio’s dynamic, industry-leading group of scientific advisors as it advances its innovative immunomodulation approach into gene therapy to bring life-saving medicines to patients,” said Nicole Paulk, PhD. “GRObio’s ProGly approach to immune tolerance has the potential to bring gene therapies to millions of patients who are currently ineligible due to pre-existing antibodies, or who cannot receive additional doses that are essential to their treatment.”
Dr. Paulk is an Assistant Professor of AAV Gene Therapy at the University of California San Francisco, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics. Her research focuses on pioneering next-generation AAV gene delivery and gene editing platforms. She has developed therapies for gene repair and gene transfer for numerous rare diseases and cancer and has applied high-throughput comparative proteomic and epigenomic approaches to address challenges in fundamental AAV biology. Dr. Paulk earned her B.S. in Medical Microbiology from Central Washington University, her PhD in Viral Gene Therapy from Oregon Health and Science University and completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship in Human Gene Therapy at Stanford University.
Dr. Paulk joins GRObio’s SAB that brings together some of the best minds in synthetic biology and drug development, including:
- George Church, PhD: Dr. Church is a synthetic biologist with foundational contributions to genome sequencing, DNA synthesis, multiplexed genome editing, and protein engineering. He is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Wyss Institute Synthetic Biology platform, and recipient of awards including the Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science, the Scientific American Top 50, the Time100 Impact Award, and election to both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Church led the development of the company’s genomically recoded organism (GRO) platform and is a GRObio co-founder.
- Andrew Ellington, PhD: Dr. Ellington is the Fraser Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin and is a renowned expert in using evolutionary techniques to engineer biopolymers and cells. Dr. Ellington led the development of key protein translational machinery to incorporate non-standard amino acids into proteins using GROs.
- Niels Kaarsholm, PhD: Dr. Kaarsholm has 21 years of experience at Novo Nordisk leading development and commercialization of metabolic therapeutics. He has delivered several key metabolic disease therapeutics serving in senior leadership roles in protein engineering. Dr. Kaarsholm provides scientific and commercialization expertise for GRObio’s DuraLogic™ technology.
- Tracy Lodie, PhD: Dr. Lodie serves as Chief Scientific Officer at Quell Therapeutics, and was previously Chief Scientific Officer at Gamida Cell, Ltd. Prior she held senior leadership roles at Blue Rock Therapeutics, Syros Pharma, and Sanofi/Genzyme where she led immunology efforts from discovery through early clinical development. Dr. Lodie provides scientific, early clinical translation, and commercialization expertise for GRObio’s ProGly™ technology.
GRObio’s ProGly™ platform chemistries comprises glycan-containing non-standard amino acids (NSAAs) that can induce or inhibit an immune reaction. The GRO platform enables precise placement of defined ProGly compositions on a protein surface necessary to elicit a defined immune response. The Company’s first ProGly™ NSAAs reeducate the immune system to recognize a protein as “self” or “non-self” — a totally new modality for eliminating autoimmunity and anti-drug antibodies.
About GRO Biosciences
GRO Biosciences (“GRObio”) is leveraging groundbreaking science to expand the amino acid alphabet and deliver on the promise of protein therapeutics. The Company is transforming treatments in diverse areas including autoimmune and metabolic diseases to improve the lives of patients. GRObio is applying its platform to advance partnered and collaborative programs, as well as its own pipeline of protein therapeutics bearing unique non-standard amino acid (NSAA) chemistries. The Company’s NSAA therapeutics feature previously unattainable capabilities including unprecedented duration of action and precise regulation of the immune system. GRObio, co-founded by Dr. George Church of Harvard Medical School in 2016, is headquartered in Cambridge, MA.
Find GRObio on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the web at grobio.com.