WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Abata Therapeutics, a company focused on translating the biology of regulatory T cells (Tregs) into transformational medicines for patients living with severe autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, today announced the appointment of David Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D., partner at Third Rock Ventures, to its board of directors. With prior tenures at the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute and Merck Research Labs, David brings 20 years of experience in translational medicine and novel drug development to Abata’s board.
“As we continue to rapidly advance our lead programs into the clinic, starting with our potential first-in-class progressive multiple sclerosis therapy, ABA-101, David’s deep experience in leading translational development efforts is a welcome addition to our fantastic board of directors,” said Samantha Singer, M.S., M.B.A., president and chief executive officer of Abata. “We are pioneering an entirely new approach to the treatment of autoimmune disease by engineering Tregs, and David offers an incredible perspective on how to advance novel, high-impact drugs successfully. We’re also thrilled that Lorence will remain on our board as his invaluable counsel has helped us get to where we are today.”
“It’s an exciting time for Abata as ABA-101 is set to enter the clinic in 2024, with another program for the treatment of type 1 diabetes following in quick succession,” said Kaufman. “The Treg space offers great promise for patients, and I believe Abata’s science-first approach sets it apart. I look forward to working closely with the board and leadership team as it advances these differentiated programs toward patients.”
David Kaufman joined Third Rock Ventures as a venture partner in 2020 and was promoted to partner in 2022. He was previously chief medical officer and head of translational development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute (MRI). He helped establish the Gates MRI as a “nonprofit biotech,” developing novel drugs and vaccines for tuberculosis, malaria, enteric diseases, neonatal health, and other global health challenges. Previously, he led translational oncology at Merck Research Laboratories, where he oversaw immuno-oncology translational medicine, novel biomarker development, and global translational research partnering. He joined Merck through the Merck Drug Development and Leadership Program, where he worked across vaccines, infectious diseases, and clinical oncology. Prior to joining Merck, he was a physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a director of Hookipa Pharma and a director ex officio of the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer.
About Abata Therapeutics
Abata Therapeutics is focused on translating the biology of regulatory T cells (Tregs) into transformational medicines for patients with severe autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Founded by pioneers in Treg biology, TCR and antigen discovery, disease pathogenesis, and molecular and imaging biomarkers, Abata has developed a differentiated product engine to create engineered Treg cell therapies that are tissue-specific, robust, and durable. In addition to its lead program in progressive MS, Abata has programs in type 1 diabetes and inclusion body myositis – two other tissue-specific autoimmune diseases with substantial unmet need and a strong rationale for Abata’s Treg approach. The company was launched in 2021 by Third Rock Ventures, with participation from a diverse syndicate of investors, including ElevateBio, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Invus, Samsara BioCapital, and the JDRF T1D Fund. Abata is based in Cambridge, Mass. Please visit abatatx.com or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn for more information.