ImmusanT Welcomes Ken Truitt, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer
Published: May 15, 2018
“Ken brings years of experience developing drug candidates through all stages of development, including preclinical development, and running all phases of clinical trial advancement through to submission of new drug applications,” said Leslie Williams, Chief Executive Officer of ImmusanT. “We look forward to benefiting from his deep expertise as we continue to advance Nexvax2® , our lead candidate currently in clinical development for the treatment of celiac disease, and expand our ESIT platform to develop treatments for other autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes.”
Prior to joining ImmusanT, Dr. Truitt served as Senior Vice President, Internal Medicine Therapeutic Areas at Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. from 2016-2018. Before his appointment to Senior Vice President, Dr. Truitt held a series of increasingly senior roles at Daiichi Sankyo and Sankyo Co., Ltd, one of the two entities that combined in 2005 to create Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. These roles included Vice President, Global Head, Translational Medicine & Clinical Pharmacology (2012-2016), Vice President, Clinical Development (2006-2012), Executive Director, Development (2004-2006) and Senior Director, Clinical Development (2002-2004). In these roles Dr. Truitt oversaw Investigational New Drug assembly through clinical trials and supported preclinical, commercial and licensing efforts. Before joining Sankyo, he was Director, Clinical Research (Pulmonary-Immunology Division) at Merck & Co. Dr. Truitt holds a Doctor of Medicine from the University of California at San Diego and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Stanford University. He did his residency at Johns Hopkins and fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of California San Francisco.
“I am eager to work with the experienced and committed team at ImmusanT as we explore the full potential of the ESIT platform to develop new treatments for a range of autoimmune diseases,” said Dr. Truitt. "In the near term, I look forward to advancing Nexvax2 into phase 2 clinical development as a potential therapy for celiac disease. I share ImmusanT’s belief that Nexvax2 and GC2, the diagnostic test ImmusanT is developing, can greatly improve the lives of those living with celiac disease.”
To learn more about Dr. Truitt and the ImmusanT management team, please visit http://www.immusant.com/team/management.php.
About Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an acquired, T cell-mediated autoimmune gastrointestinal disease triggered by the ingestion of gluten from wheat, rye and barley. About 90% of individuals affected by celiac disease carry the human leukocyte antigen-DQ2.5 (HLA-DQ2.5) immune recognition gene, which facilitates the immune response to peptide fragments of gluten. A gluten-free diet is the only current management for this disease. The global prevalence of celiac disease is approximately 1%. General awareness of celiac disease is increasing as serological testing becomes more widespread in medical practice, but presently over 80% of cases go unrecognized in the United States. When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten, the individual’s immune system responds by triggering T cells to fight the offending proteins, damaging the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients into the body. Undiagnosed, celiac disease can contribute to poor educational performance and failure to thrive in children. Untreated disease in adults is associated with osteoporosis and increased risk of fractures, anemia, reduced fertility, problems during pregnancy and birth, short stature, dental enamel hypoplasia, dermatitis, recurrent stomatitis and cancer. With no available drug therapy, the only option is a strict and lifelong elimination of gluten from the diet. Compliance is challenging and the majority of people live in fear of gluten contamination and continue to have residual damage to their small intestine in spite of adherence to a gluten-free diet.
Nexvax2® is the most advanced therapeutic approach for celiac disease in clinical development today that targets the fundamental cause of the disease; the loss of immune tolerance to gluten. Nexvax2 is a therapeutic vaccine that reprograms the T-cells responsible for the symptoms of celiac disease to stop triggering a pro-inflammatory response. Nexvax2 intends to protect patients with celiac disease against inadvertent exposure to gluten.
About ImmusanT, Inc.
ImmusanT is a privately held biotechnology company focused on protecting patients with celiac disease against the effects of gluten. By harnessing new discoveries in immunology, ImmusanT aims to improve diagnosis and medical management of celiac disease by protecting against the effects of gluten exposure while patients maintain a gluten-free diet. The company is developing Nexvax2®, a therapeutic vaccine for celiac disease, and diagnostic and monitoring tools to improve celiac disease management. ImmusanT’s targeted immunotherapy discovery platform can be applied to a variety of autoimmune diseases. To learn more about ImmusanT, visit www.ImmusanT.com, or follow ImmusanT on Twitter.
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
George E. MacDougall, 781-235-3093
Source: ImmusanT, Inc.