PureTech News
2019-07-31

PureTech Health plc (LSE: PRTC) (“PureTech”), an advanced biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines for dysfunctions of the Brain-Immune-Gut (BIG) axis, today announced that its affiliate Vor Biopharma has appointed Bill Lundberg, MD, to its Board of Directors.

Dr Lundberg is a medical oncologist with deep experience running drug discovery and development. He was the first employee and founding chief scientific officer at CRISPR Therapeutics and led development of the company’s first clinical trial application. He has also held leadership roles at Taligen Therapeutics and Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

The full release from Vor Biopharma is as follows:

Vor Biopharma Appoints Dr Bill Lundberg to its Board of Directors

Vor expands expert governance and oversight with highly regarded physician-scientist and R&D leader

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. July 31, 2019 Vor Biopharma, an oncology company pioneering engineered haematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) for the treatment of haematological cancers, today announced the appointment of Bill Lundberg, MD, to its Board of Directors.

Dr Lundberg is a medical oncologist with more than 15 years of experience managing and leading biotechnology research and development. Most recently, Dr Lundberg served as Chief Scientific Officer at CRISPR Therapeutics, establishing the company in Cambridge, Mass. as the first US employee and leading the development of the company’s first clinical trial application. Dr Lundberg was previously Director and Chief Medical Officer of Taligen Therapeutics and Vice President and Head of Translational Medicine at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where he oversaw R&D from discovery through early clinical development. Prior to this, Dr Lundberg held roles of increasing responsibility in drug development and medical affairs at Xanthus (acquired by Antisoma), Wyeth (now Pfizer) and Genzyme.

“Patients with haematologic malignancies, particularly myeloid malignancies, need new, potentially curative treatments. Vor’s completely different approach to unlocking the potential of cancer immunotherapy for acute myeloid leukaemia and other myeloid malignancies has immense potential for improving patient outcomes,” said Dr Lundberg. “I’m excited to help the company advance the technology, specifically VOR33 for AML, to transform the lives of patients with blood cancers.”

“Bill’s proven track record of success building companies and developing promising novel technologies into clinical stage medicines makes him a timely addition to the Vor story,” said Kush Parmar, MD, PhD, Managing Partner at 5AM Ventures and Chair of Vor’s Board of Directors. “We welcome his involvement as we begin a new chapter of Vor’s growth and development.”

Dr Lundberg also currently serves as an independent Director of MERUS Therapeutics and a Partner at Cold Spring Partners, LLC. Dr Lundberg received an MD from Stanford University School of Medicine, an MBA from Isenberg School of Management and a BS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He completed postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute and trained in internal medicine and oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

About VOR33

Vor’s lead engineered haematopoietic stem cell (eHSC) product candidate, VOR33, is in development for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). VOR33 is designed to produce healthy blood cells that lack the receptor CD33, thus enabling the targeting of AML cells through the CD33 antigen while avoiding toxicity to the blood and bone marrow.  Currently, treating AML with therapy that targets CD33 can be effective but may be limited in dose and duration due to toxicity to the blood and bone marrow.  By rendering healthy blood and bone marrow cells ‘invisible' to CD33-targeted therapies, VOR33 aims to significantly improve the therapeutic window and effectiveness of these AML therapies with potential to broaden clinical benefit to different patient populations.

About Vor Biopharma

Vor Biopharma is working to dramatically change the treatment paradigm of haematological cancer treatments by developing engineered haematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) to enable novel approaches to cancer therapy. Vor’s eHSCs are designed to generate healthy, fully functional cells with specific advantageous modifications, for example to protect the blood and bone marrow from the toxic effects of antigen-targeted therapies, protecting healthy cells from depletion but leaving tumour cells vulnerable.

Vor’s platform could potentially be used to change the treatment paradigm of both haematopoietic stem cell transplants and antigen-targeted therapies such as antibody drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies and CAR-T cell treatments. A proof-of-concept study for Vor’s lead program has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Vor is based in Cambridge, Mass. and has a broad intellectual property base including in-licenses from Columbia University, where foundational work was conducted by inventor and Vor Scientific Board Chair Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil. Vor was founded by Dr Mukherjee and PureTech Health and is supported by leading investors including 5AM Ventures and RA Capital Management, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research and Osage University Partners.

About PureTech

PureTech (LSE: PRTC) is an advanced biopharmaceutical company developing highly differentiated medicines for dysfunctions of the Brain-Immune-Gut (BIG) axis. The company has gained deep insights into the connection between these systems and the resulting role in diseases that have been resistant to established therapeutic approaches. By harnessing this emerging field of human biology, PureTech is developing new categories of medicines with the potential to have great impact on people with serious disorders.

PureTech is advancing a rich pipeline of innovative therapies with an unbiased, nimble, and capital efficient R&D model across its affiliates and its internal R&D pipeline. PureTech’s pipeline comprises two dozen product candidates, including several clinical-stage programmes and one product that has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The PureTech pipeline includes ground-breaking platforms and therapeutic candidates that were developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading experts.

PureTech’s internal pipeline is centred on lymphatic targeting and tissue-selective immunomodulation for the potential treatment of immune and central nervous system disorders, lymphatic conditions, and cancers.  The company is advancing multiple platforms to enable oral administration of therapies directly into the lymphatic system, regulate lymphatic flow and function, and target immunosuppressive mechanisms in oncology. For more information, visit www.puretechhealth.com or connect with us on Twitter @puretechh.

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