CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Exo Therapeutics, Inc., a company developing a pipeline of drug candidates that target exosites, unique small-molecule binding pockets that are distal to traditional active sites, thereby reprogramming enzyme activity for precise and robust therapeutic effect, today announced its lead program directed against TBK1, and the appointment of Alexandra Joseph, PhD, as Executive Vice President of Biology. Dr Joseph will be responsible for leading biology, translational and pre-clinical work for Exo’s programs.
“Exo is excited to have Dr. Joseph join us at this time, given her strong record of delivering multiple therapeutic candidates through clinical trials,” said Dorothy Lou Bailey, Chief Operating Officer and President at Exo. “Her experience and leadership, with particular expertise in autoimmune diseases, will be especially important as we approach identification of a development candidate for our lead program, an exosite-targeted compound that selectively reprograms the activity of TBK1 in the STING pathway that drives pathogenic signaling in diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome (AGS) and others.”
Prior to joining Exo, Dr. Joseph was Vice President of Research at ImmuneID, where she was responsible for building their industry-leading platform for precision therapeutics, resulting in multiple targets and biomarkers being developed for treatments in autoimmune disease. She also previously served as Head of Translational research at Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the design and implementation of translational research strategy for the company. Previously, during her 17-year tenure at Sanofi, Dr. Joseph held positions of increasing responsibility, culminating as Head of Scientific Portfolio Management and Operations, where she established and managed the Global Immunology and Inflammation Research Therapeutic Area and oversaw the discovery pipeline that delivered seven clinical candidates.
"Exo is on a mission to unlock intractable drug targets and has already developed a unique platform to identify and target exosites, as well as generated a robust pipeline of best- and first-in-class programs," said Alexandra Joseph. "Exo is bringing a new approach to previously undruggable or difficult-to-target indications and I'm excited to join the company at this stage to bring these candidates forward to meaningfully impact patients' lives. The lead program is particularly exciting as it is another strong example of the exosite approach to selectively reprogramming enzyme function, in this case modulating the STING-TBK1 signaling axis while preserving the other necessary activities of TBK1. Historically, active-site inhibitors have not resulted in beneficial effects due to their pleiotropic inhibitory activity while we believe, in contrast, that the TBK1 exosite inhibitor has the promise of mitigating the unwanted effects while providing therapeutic benefit.”
"The appointment of Dr. Joseph," added Nagesh Mahanthappa, PhD, Executive Chair, "evidences Exo's commitment to building a leadership team of industry-leading professionals with the breadth and depth of experience to successfully translate our unique scientific insights into therapies that have the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients with limited treatment options."
Dr. Joseph received her PhD in Immunology from Tufts University Graduate School of Biomedical Science and completed her post-doctoral training at the Immune-Mediated Disease Institute at Harvard Medical School. She received a BA in Biology from Santa Clara University in California.
Exo intends to declare a development candidate in their lead program later this year and enter the clinic within the next two years.
About Exo Therapeutics
Exo Therapeutics is a small molecule drug discovery and development company co-founded by Professors David R. Liu, Alan Saghatelian, and Juan Pablo Maianti with a pioneering technology to address intractable pharmaceutical targets. By leveraging the company’s ExoSight™ platform, Exo is developing a deep pipeline of potent drug candidates that bind exosites, distal and unique binding pockets that have the potential to reprogram enzyme activity for precise and robust therapeutic effect. Through this specific and selective approach to challenging targets, the company's team of world-class researchers is unlocking breakthrough therapeutics in oncology, inflammation and a broad range of other diseases. For more information, visit www.exo-therapeutics.com.