ONK Therapeutics Appoints Professor Philippe Moreau to its Scientific Advisory Board

  • Professor Philippe Moreau brings 20 years of experience in clinical hematology
  • Translational research head at University Hospital of Nantes, France
  • World-renowned expert in multiple myeloma, leading clinical trials
  • Joins US-based SAB members, Prof Malcolm Brenner MD, Ph.D. and Prof Jeffrey Miller MD

Galway, Ireland, and San Diego, USA, 8 April 2021 - ONK Therapeutics Ltd, an innovative natural killer (NK) cell therapy company, today announced that Philippe Moreau MD, Professor of Clinical Hematology and Head of the Translational Research Program in Hematology and Oncology, at the University Hospital of Nantes, France, has been appointed to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

Professor Moreau has over 20 years’ experience in clinical hematology and has led many pivotal clinical studies. His interests are focused on multiple myeloma (MM) and its treatment with high-dose therapy and novel agents. He has served as the Principal Investigator for many international randomized phase 3 clinical trials evaluating proteasome inhibitors, Immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), or CD38 antibodies. He participated in the study of Idecabtagene Vicleucel (Abecma) (1), that received FDA approval last month as the first genetically modified autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for the treatment of relapsed and refractory MM.

Welcoming Professor Moreau to the SAB, ONK Therapeutics’ founder, CSO, and SAB Chair Professor Michael O’Dwyer MD said, “Philippe adds significant clinical and drug development experience to our SAB and we look forward to his insights guiding the clinical development pathway for our ONKT102 program, which combines an optimized affinity CD38 CAR and a TRAILv targeting DR5, intended for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.”

Currently Chairman of the Intergroupe Francophone du Myélome (IFM) since 2020 and Vice-President of the International Myeloma Society (IMS) since 2019, Professor Moreau has been a member of the steering committee of the International Myeloma Working Group since 2013. A world-recognized expert in his field, Professor Moreau has authored or coauthored more than 400 peer-reviewed publications. In 2018 he received the Robert A. Kyle lifetime achievement award.

ONK Therapeutics established its SAB in 2020, as it evolved into a more mature NK cell therapy company, with four pre-clinical programs. Other members of the SAB are Professor Malcolm Brenner MD, Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine, and Professor Jeffrey Miller MD from the University of Minnesota. Professor Brenner is a physician-scientist with expertise in the therapeutic use of T cell immunologic approaches and genetic engineering strategies, particularly in the treatment of cancer, whilst Professor Miller’s research is focused on the biology of NK cells and other immune effector cells and their use in clinical immunotherapy.

Full profiles of ONK Therapeutics’ scientific advisors are available HERE.

  1. Munshi NC, et al  Idecabtagene Vicleucel in Relapsed and Refractory Multiple Myeloma. N Engl J Med. 2021 Feb 25;384(8):705-716. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2024850. PMID: 33626253.

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ONK Therapeutics www.onktherapeutics.com

ONK Therapeutics Ltd is an innovative cell therapy company dedicated to developing the next generation of ‘off-the-shelf’, dual-targeted NK cell therapies targeting solid and hematological cancers.

The company was founded in 2015, by Prof. O’Dwyer MD, of NUI Galway, an expert in translational multiple myeloma research, the tumor microenvironment, and exploitation of NK cells as cellular immunotherapy. Its core proprietary off-the-shelf cell therapy platform is based on a dual-targeted NK cell expressing both a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting a known tumor antigen and a TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand variant (TRAILv) targeting the death receptor pathway (i.e. DR4 or DR5). This unique approach has the potential to enhance efficacy by addressing both intrinsic (e.g. CAR engagement of a tumor-specific antigen) and extrinsic (e.g. signaling through the death receptor pathway) apoptotic pathways and to reduce the susceptibility to possible target antigen escape through the engagement of tumor antigen-independent TRAILv. 

Its pre-clinical pipeline comprises four programs:

  • The lead program, ONKT101, is a dual-targeted NK cell therapy incorporating a CD19 CAR and TRAILv targeting DR5, intended for the treatment of relapsed/refractory B cell malignancies. This program is partnered with Avectas, with the company having responsibility for development to Phase 1
  • ONKT102 combines an optimized affinity CD38 CAR and a TRAILv targeting DR5, intended for the treatment of patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma
  • ONKT103 combines a TA-MUC1 CAR with a TRAILv targeting DR5, for the treatment of solid tumors
  • ONKT104 combines a CLL-1 CAR with a TRAILv targeting DR4, for the treatment of AML

In addition to the unique off-the-shelf, dual-targeted NK cell therapy platform, the company has a strong focus on engineering strategies to enhance tumor homing and persistence in-vivo, and overcome exhaustion in the tumor microenvironment, including the exploration of proprietary gene edits, such as the deletion of checkpoint inhibitory receptors in NK cells. 

ONK Therapeutics is headquartered in the med-tech hub of Galway, Ireland, with a wholly-owned US subsidiary, ONK Therapeutics, Inc. based at JLabs @ San Diego. Shareholders include Acorn Bioventures, ALSHC (principally Seamus Mulligan), and Enterprise Ireland.

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