February 5, 2020
Obsidian Therapeutics Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board
Members will help to guide the development strategy of existing pipeline as well as identify innovative applications for the cytoDRiVE™ platform
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 5, 2020 – Obsidian Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering controllable cell and gene therapies, announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Obsidian’s SAB is comprised of distinguished research scientists, professors and industry experts recognized as key opinion leaders in the fields of immuno-oncology, synthetic biology, and cell and gene therapy.
“Obsidian is privileged to have this group of prestigious, multidisciplinary advisors dedicated to advancing the research and development of cytoDRiVE™,” said Paul K. Wotton, Ph.D., Obsidian’s Chief Executive Officer. “Their scientific perspectives will provide the utmost value in supporting the advancement of Obsidian’s pipeline into the clinic to improve outcomes for patients. Our management team is eager to leverage their expertise to optimize our preclinical R&D activities. Additionally, by utilizing the expertise of all the members – including adoptive T cell immunobiology, cell therapy, protein synthesis and control, and gene delivery – we will be able to continue to identify new applications for our platform.”
The members of Obsidian’s Scientific Advisory Board are as follows:
- Dan Anderson, Ph.D., Samuel A. Goldblith Professor of Applied Biology, Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. At MIT, Dr. Anderson pioneered the use of robotic methods for the development of smart biomaterials for drug delivery and medical devices. His work has led to the first methods for rapid synthesis, formulation, analysis, and biological evaluation of large libraries of biomaterials for use in medical devices, cell therapy and drug delivery.
- Michael Briskin, Ph.D., Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Board at Obsidian Therapeutics. Dr. Briskin brings more than 20 years of industry experience in multiple areas of drug discovery, including molecular biology, immunobiology, oncology and inflammation. Dr. Briskin brings a deep knowledge of Obsidian’s cytoDRiVE™ technology, having served in the past as a senior advisor to the Company. Prior to Obsidian, Dr. Briskin founded and ran discovery research at Jounce Therapeutics, a company developing biotherapeutics for immune-oncology indications.
- Chris Klebanoff, M.D., Assistant Member, Center for Cell Engineering, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Member Investigator, The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Dr. Klebanoff is a cellular immunologist and medical oncologist with 17 years of experience in the pre-clinical and clinical development of T cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of solid and hematologic cancers. Dr. Klebanoff’s laboratory investigations have contributed to the mechanistic understanding of how lymphodepletion enhances adoptive immunotherapies and how T cell differentiation status influences cellular persistence and clinical outcomes.
- Lewis Lanier, Ph.D., American Cancer Society Professor and the J. Michael Bishop MD Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California San Francisco, and Leader of the Cancer Immunity Program of the UCSF Helen Diller Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at UCSF. Dr. Lanier’s research group studies Natural Killer (NK) cells and he has received multiple recognitions for his scientific contributions to basic tumor immunology and immunogenetics research.
- Kim Schluns, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Schluns’s laboratory is currently identifying mechanisms that regulate IL-15 responses in the tumor microenvironment to guide development of new cancer vaccines and tumor immunotherapies.
- Christina Smolke, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. Dr. Smolke’s laboratory develops foundational tools that drive transformative advances in our ability to engineer biological systems. The Smolke lab has pioneered the development of microbial biosynthesis platforms for plant-based natural products and RNA-based genetic switches for programming cellular behaviors.
- Tom Wandless, Ph.D., Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and, by courtesy, of Chemistry at Stanford University and Scientific Founder of Obsidian Therapeutics. The Wandless Lab concentrates on the invention of molecules and techniques that enable better studies of biological processes, inventing tools and techniques that provide new experimental windows into mechanisms that cells use to maintain protein homeostasis. His work over the last 15+ years on the use of small molecules to regulate protein folding and stability serves as the basis for Obsidian’s cytoDRiVE™ technology.
- Cassian Yee, M.D., Professor in the Departments of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Immunology, Co-Director of the Adoptive Cellular Therapy Platform and Director of Solid Tumor Cell Therapy at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Yee has pioneered a form of adoptive cell therapy, known as Endogenous T Cell (ETC) therapy, using peripheral blood to generate antigen-specific memory T cells for the treatment of patients with cancer. His lab has performed several seminal first-in-human studies using a well-defined, uniform population of ex vivo expanded antigen-specific T cells to delineate the requirements for effective immune-based therapies.
About Obsidian Therapeutics
Obsidian Therapeutics is a biotechnology company pioneering controllable cell and gene therapies to deliver transformative outcomes for patients with intractable diseases. Obsidian’s proprietary cytoDRiVE™ technology provides a way to control protein degradation using FDA-approved small molecules, permitting precise control of the timing and level of protein expression. The cytoDRiVE™ platform can be applied to design controllable intracellular, membrane and secreted proteins for cell and gene therapies as well as other applications. The Company’s initial applications focus on developing novel cell therapies for the treatment of cancer. Obsidian is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit www.obsidiantx.com.
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