- Expansion of leadership team to support clinical trials with an emphasis on manufacturing, IND enablement and development of next generation of TRuC-T cells
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TCR2 Therapeutics Inc. (TCRR), a clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing the next generation of novel T cell therapies for patients suffering from cancer, today announced an expansion of its leadership team to strengthen expertise in manufacturing, Investigational New Drug (IND) enablement and innovation as the Company advances its approach of creating next generation TRuCTM-T cells addressing the tumor microenvironment.
“It is a pleasure to expand our leadership team with experts that deepen three core TCR2 competencies – manufacturing, IND enablement and innovation,” said Garry Menzel, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of TCR2 Therapeutics. “Earlier this year we established a manufacturing footprint in the United Kingdom by becoming the first U.S. company to strike a collaboration with the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult. We have already hired several experienced operators including our new Vice President of Manufacturing, Nigel Williams. His guidance and deep expertise in building manufacturing facilities will enable us to provide additional treatment capacity for future clinical trial demand and develop full cGMP capabilities. We are also adding experienced pharmaceutical company executives Robert Tighe (EMD Serono) and Dario Gutierrez (Merck) as Vice Presidents to drive further IND activities and innovation of our next generation of TRuC-T cells.”
“Engineering TRuC-T cells with innovative enhancements, such as bispecific targeting, accessories to address the tumor microenvironment and the development of off-the-shelf allogeneic TRuCs are the next steps in extracting significant value from our unique platform,” said Robert Hofmeister, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of TCR2 Therapeutics. “We are thrilled to have Dario and Robert developing our next generation of TRuCs and advancing these initiatives into the clinic. Dario has more than a decade of experience focusing on innovative immunology and drug discovery, including allogeneic and gamma-delta T cell therapies, and will lead the research effort of the innovation focus group. Robert, who successfully advanced four INDs while at EMD Serono and Compass Therapeutics including the NHS-IL12 immunocytokine and anti-PD-L1 antibody avelumab, brings over 25 years of experience in early clinical development and IND preparation, and will lead the translational research and IND enablement effort.”
Nigel Williams joins TCR2 as Vice President of Manufacturing. Most recently, he served at OvaScience as Senior Vice President of Global Technical Development and Operations, where he held numerous responsibilities including clinical and commercial operations management, building and qualifying multiple global GMP cell processing laboratories, developing a global supply chain and executing improvement processes and practices across the organization. Prior to OvaScience, Nigel was Vice President of Quality at Lantheus Medical Imaging. Earlier, he held several manufacturing and quality roles at Millipore through its acquisition by Merck KGaA, Serologicals Corporation, Weston Medical Group and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer.
Robert Tighe joins TCR2 as Vice President of Translational Research. Previously, he served as Vice President of Translational Immunology and Immunopharmacology at Compass Therapeutics, where he led the discovery and IND approval of CTX-471, a CD137 agonist antibody, and built the cellular immunology and autoimmunity research teams. Prior to Compass, he held several positions of increasing responsibility at EMD Serono, where he was a major contributor to the success of three INDs including the NHS-IL12 immunocytokine, the now approved anti-PD-L1 antibody avelumab (BavencioTM) and M7824, an anti-PD-L1/TGFβ-trap molecule. Earlier in his career, Robert served in various research roles at EMD Lexigen Research Center, ArQule, The Jackson Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Genetix Pharmaceuticals (now bluebird bio) and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.
Dario Gutierrez, Ph.D., joins TCR2 as Vice President of Discovery and Innovation. Previously, he was Director and Head of Investigational Biology and Immuno-Biology in the Merck Exploratory Science Center at Merck & Co., where he was responsible for establishing discovery programs consisting of different modalities such as small molecules, biologics and cell therapy, and a diverse portfolio that includes reverse-translational systems immunology discovery and multiple immuno-oncology target identification efforts. Prior to joining Merck, Dario worked at Evelo Biosciences as a Senior Scientist and Head of Immune Tolerance. Before joining the biotechnology industry, Dario worked as a postdoctoral scientist in the Division of Cellular Immunology at the German Cancer Research Center.
About TCR2 Therapeutics
TCR2 Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing the next generation of novel T cell therapies for patients suffering from cancer. TCR2’s proprietary T cell receptor (TCR) Fusion Construct T cells (TRuCTM-T cells) specifically recognize and kill cancer cells by harnessing signaling from the entire TCR, independent of human leukocyte antigens (HLA). In preclinical studies, TRuC-T cells have demonstrated superior anti-tumor activity compared to chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T cells), while exhibiting lower levels of cytokine release. The Company’s lead TRuC-T cell product candidate, TC-210, is currently being studied in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial to treat patients with mesothelin-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), ovarian cancer, malignant pleural/peritoneal mesothelioma, and cholangiocarcinoma. For more information about TCR2, please visit www.tcr2.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements and information within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws. The use of words such as “may,” “will,” “could”, “should,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “projects,” “seeks,” “endeavor,” “potential,” “continue” or the negative of such words or other similar expressions can be used to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, express or implied statements regarding TCR2’s manufacturing capacity for future clinical trial demand and cGMP capabilities and TCR2’s ability to engineer or develop off-the-shelf allogeneic TRuC-T Cells and TRuC-T Cells with enhancements such as bispecific targeting and accessories to address the tumor microenvironment and advancement of these programs into clinical trials.
The expressed or implied forward-looking statements included in this press release are only predictions and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including, without limitation: uncertainties inherent in clinical studies and in the availability and timing of data from ongoing clinical studies; whether interim results from a clinical trial will be predictive of the final results of the trial; whether results from preclinical studies or earlier clinical studies will be predictive of the results of future trials; the expected timing of submissions for regulatory approval or review by governmental authorities, including review under accelerated approval processes; orphan drug designation eligibility; regulatory approvals to conduct trials or to market products; TCR2’s ability to maintain sufficient manufacturing capabilities to support its research, development and commercialization efforts, whether TCR2's cash resources will be sufficient to fund TCR2's foreseeable and unforeseeable operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements; and other risks set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in TCR2’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events and circumstances discussed in this press release may not occur and actual results could differ materially and adversely from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. Although TCR2 believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee that the future results, levels of activity, performance or events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur.
Moreover, except as required by law, neither TCR2 nor any other person assumes responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the forward-looking statements included in this press release. Any forward-looking statement included in this press release speaks only as of the date on which it was made. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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