Immunitas Therapeutics Announces Appointment of James Wooldridge as Chief Medical Officer and Upcoming Presentation at ASH 2023 Annual Meeting

 

Seasoned biotech executive James Wooldridge, M.D., named Chief Medical Officer to support advancement of immuno-oncology pipeline

New preclinical data to be presented at the American Society of Hematology 2023 Annual Meeting supports therapeutic potential of IMT-009 in hematological malignancies

WALTHAM, Mass., Dec. 4, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Immunitas Therapeutics ("Immunitas"), a clinical stage precision immunotherapy company committed to discovering and developing novel, differentiated therapeutics for patients with cancer, today announced the appointment of James Wooldridge, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). The company also announced it will present new data supporting continued clinical development of its lead program IMT-009 for solid tumors and hematological malignancies at the 65th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition (ASH 2023).

In the CMO role, Dr. Wooldridge will leverage his extensive oncology therapeutic development experience to support clinical advancement strategy for Immunitas' pipeline of highly differentiated, antibody-based immuno-oncology assets, including lead candidate IMT-009. Dr. Wooldridge has served as Acting CMO since June 2023 and has been an advisor to the Company since October 2022.

"We are pleased to announce Jim's appointment as our Chief Medical Officer as we continue progressing toward our goal of providing groundbreaking therapeutic solutions for patients with cancer," said Amanda Wagner, Chief Executive Officer of Immunitas. "Over the past year advising Immunitas he has provided invaluable expertise, drawing from his extensive breadth of experience in immuno-oncology development to support advancement of our evolving pipeline. We are delighted to have him on board as our CMO as we continue clinical development of IMT-009 and progress our portfolio of highly differentiated immuno-oncology biologics."

Dr. Wooldridge has more than 20 years of experience in clinical oncology research and drug development spanning the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and academic sectors. He previously served as the Chief Medical Officer at Checkmate Pharmaceuticals leading up to the company's acquisition by Regeneron. Additionally, he held the role of Chief Medical Officer at Aeglea BioTherapeutics, where he oversaw development of enzyme-based treatments for rare genetic diseases and cancer.

"I am excited to continue working with this team to further advance the Immunitas pipeline. Our lead program, IMT-009, targets the CD161/CLEC2D axis and is currently dosing in the clinic with key data expected in 2024. The talented Immunitas team has built on our unique expertise in this area to progress a second compelling program for tumors that have traditionally not responded to immune-therapy, and the company's approach to target discovery is deeply rooted in human biology," said Dr. Wooldridge. "I'm particularly excited by Immunitas' strategy to develop novel therapeutics using a biomarker-driven approach early in development, and I greatly look forward to continuing my work with this team to bring new therapies to patients."

The data to be presented at ASH 2023 further supports the therapeutic potential of IMT-009 in hematological malignancies.

IMT-009 is a monoclonal, Fc silent, fully human Immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) antibody that binds to CD161 with high affinity, selectively blocking interactions with its ligand CLEC2D. Previously reported preclinical data confirm that blocking CD161 with IMT-009 restores activation of effector functions of both CD161+ T and NK cells, enhancing cytotoxicity toward target tumor cells. IMT-009 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial for use as monotherapy and combination treatment in both solid tumors and heme malignancies (NCT05565417).

"The new data to be shared at ASH 2023 adds to the growing body of evidence supporting IMT-009's potential as a differentiated treatment approach for hematologic malignancies, in addition to the strong data we have generated in solid tumors. Together with data presented at SITC 2023 that demonstrated proof-of-concept for our second program, a myeloid and B cell modulating anti CLEC2D-Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist conjugate, these data provide further compelling support for our approach targeting the CLEC2D/CD161 axis as a novel ligand-receptor pathway for immunotherapeutic intervention," said Amanda Wagner, Chief Executive Officer of Immunitas.

Presentation Details for ASH 2023:
Title: Anti CD161 antibody IMT-009 is a novel immunotherapeutic agent that effectively blocks the inhibitory CLEC2D/CD161 axis in CLEC2D+ B Cell hematological malignancies reinvigorating T and NK cell function leading to anti-tumor benefit
Abstract Number: 2815
Date/Time: Sunday, December 10, 2023, 6:00 – 8:00 pm PT

About IMT-009
IMT-009 is a fully human, Fc-attenuated IgG1 monoclonal antibody that binds to CD161 and blocks its interaction with its ligand, CLEC2D. Preclinical data confirm that CD161 blockade with IMT-009 results in enhanced anti-tumor activity. IMT-009 is under evaluation in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial for use as a monotherapy and combination treatment for solid tumor and hematological malignancies. The Phase 1 study is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacodynamic biomarkers, and preliminary efficacy of IMT-009 as well as identify the Recommended Phase 2 Dose (RP2D). The trial will then transition into Phase 2 with multiple expansion cohorts to assess the safety and efficacy of IMT-009 alone or in combination with another antineoplastic agent.

About Immunitas Therapeutics
Immunitas is a clinical stage precision immunotherapy company committed to discovering and developing novel, differentiated treatments for patients with cancer. A focus on human data, combined with fully integrated internal R&D capabilities and parallel discovery efforts, allows Immunitas to start with and stay closer to the most relevant and translatable biology for patients, accelerating the timeline from discovery to the clinic. The Immunitas discovery engine combines deep expertise in single-cell genomics with customized machine learning approaches to elucidate immune cell populations that are key actors in immuno-oncology. The company was founded by Longwood Fund with leading scientists from Dana-Farber, MGH, the Broad, and MIT. Since its founding in 2019, Immunitas has raised a total of $97 million in venture funding from a strong syndicate of investors including Agent Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Evotec, Leaps by Bayer, Longwood Fund, M Ventures, Medical Excellence Capital, and Novartis Venture Fund. To learn more, visit www.immunitastx.com.

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SOURCE Immunitas Therapeutics, Inc.

 

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