CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aviceda Therapeutics, a late-stage, pre-clinical biotech company focused on developing the next generation of immuno-modulators by harnessing the power of glycobiology to manipulate the innate immune system and chronic, non-resolving inflammation, is announcing the members of its Scientific Advisory Board who will help shape ongoing development efforts.
The Aviceda Scientific Advisory Board includes Pamela Stanley, PhD; Ajit Varki, MD; Christopher Scott, PhD; Geert-Jan Boons, PhD; Salem Chouaib, PhD; and Peng Wu, PhD.
“Aviceda has assembled an extraordinary multi-disciplinary team of world-class scientists and renowned researchers to join our efforts in developing the next generation of glyco-immune therapeutics for the treatment of immune-dysfunction conditions,” said Mohamed A. Genead, MD, Founder, CEO & President of Aviceda Therapeutics. “Each individual offers a fresh perspective and unique strategic acumen that complements and strengthens the insights of our in-house leadership development team.”
Prof. Scott, Aviceda Scientific Co-Founder, is Director of the Patrick G Johnston Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast. He is internationally renowned for his work in development of novel approaches in the field of antibody and nanomedicine-based therapies for the treatment of cancer and other conditions. Prof. Scott has a background in both the pharmaceutical industry and academia and was a founding scientist of Fusion Antibodies Plc. Research in his laboratory is funded by agencies such as Medical Research Council, UK charities and various industrial sources. He also held a Royal Society Industrial Fellowship with GSK from 2012 to 2015 and won the Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Innovation in 2015 with his group’s work on developing a novel Siglec targeting nanomedicine for the treatment of sepsis and other inflammatory conditions.
“The novelty of Aviceda’s platform technology is its potential to affect immune responses associated with a wide range of disease states, many of which are currently unmet or underserved needs. I look forward to the continued development of Aviceda’s core technology and moving forward to clinical trials that will pave the way for truly disruptive therapeutic strategies to enter the clinic that will significantly impact and improve patients’ lives in the not-too-distant future,” said Prof. Scott.
Aviceda’s Scientific advisory chairwoman, Prof. Stanley, is the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Chair; Professor, Department of Cell Biology; and Associate Director for Laboratory Research of the Albert Einstein Cancer Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York. She obtained a doctorate degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia, for studies of influenza virus, and was subsequently a postdoctoral fellow of the Medical Research Council of Canada in the laboratory of Louis Siminovitch, University of Toronto, where she studied somatic cell genetics. Prof. Stanley’s laboratory is focused on identifying roles for mammalian glycans in development, cancer and Notch signaling. Among her many varied contributions, Prof. Stanley’s laboratory has isolated a large panel of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) glycosylation mutants; characterized them at the biochemical, structural and genetic levels; and used them to identify new aspects of glycan synthesis and functions. She serves on the editorial boards of Scientific Reports, Glycobiology and FASEB Bio Advances; she is an editor of the textbook Essentials of Glycobiology; and her laboratory is the recipient of grants from the National Institutes of Health. Prof. Stanley has received numerous awards, including a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health, an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, the Karl Meyer Award from the Society for Glycobiology (2003) and the International Glycoconjugate Organization (IGO) Award (2003).
“Working with Aviceda represents a unique opportunity to contribute to science at the cutting edge. Its pipeline contains a broad range of candidates that represents numerous first-in-class opportunities,” said Prof. Stanley.
Prof. Varki is currently a distinguished professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine, Co-director of the Glycobiology Research and Training Center and Executive Co-director for the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny at the University of California, San Diego; and an Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Dr. Varki is also the executive editor of the textbook Essentials of Glycobiology. He received basic training in physiology, medicine, biology and biochemistry at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, The University of Nebraska, and Washington University in St. Louis, as well as formal training and certification in internal medicine, hematology and oncology. Dr. Varki is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the US National Academy of Medicine, a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health, an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, the Karl Meyer Award from the Society for Glycobiology and the International Glycoconjugate Organization (IGO) Award (2007).
“The Aviceda team is already building on the foundational work in the emerging field of glycobiology to develop potential therapeutics and interventional strategies. Their work could be critically important for growing the understanding of how glycobiology and glycochemistry are applicable to immunology, and more broadly, to the field of drug and therapeutic development,” said Prof. Varki.
Prof. Boons is a Distinguished Professor in Biochemical Sciences at the Department of Chemistry and the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center (CCRC) of the University of Georgia (USA) and Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry of Utrecht University (The Netherlands). Prof. Boons directs a research program focused on the synthesis and biological functions of carbohydrates and glycoconjugates. The diversity of topics to which his group has significantly contributed includes the development of new and better methods for synthesizing exceptionally complex carbohydrates and glycoconjugates. Highlights of his research include contributions to the understanding of immunological properties of complex oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates at the molecular level, which is being used in the development of three-component vaccine candidates for many types of epithelial cancer; development of convergent strategies for complex oligosaccharide assembly, which make it possible to synthesize large collections of compounds with a minimal effort for structure activity relationship studies; and creation of a next generation glycan microarray that can probe the importance of glycan complexity for biological recognition, which in turn led to identification of glycan ligands for various glycan binding proteins that are being further developed as glycomimetics for drug development for various diseases. Among others, Prof. Boons has received the Creativity in Carbohydrate Science Award by the European Carbohydrate Association (2003), the Horace Isbell Award by the American Chemical Society (ACS) (2004), the Roy L. Whistler International Award in Carbohydrate
Chemistry by the International Carbohydrate Organization (2014), the Hudson Award (2015) and the Cope Mid-Career Scholar Award from ACS (2016).
“Aviceda is leading the field of glycoimmunology in exciting new directions. I look forward to working with the company as it pursues multiple lines of development efforts that will someday transform the way immune-inflammatory conditions are treated in the clinic,” said Prof. Boons.
Prof. Chouaib is the Director of Research, Institute Gustave Roussy, Paris, where he is active in research in tumor biology. Previously, Prof. Chouaib worked at the French National Institute of Health and Biomedical Research (INSERM) where he led a research unit focused on the investigation of the functional cross talk between cytotoxic cells and tumor targets in the context of tumor microenvironment complexity and plasticity. His research was directed at the transfer of fundamental concepts in clinical application in the field of cancer vaccines and cancer immunotherapy. Prof. Chouaib is a member of the American Association of Immunologists, New York Academy of Sciences, French Society of Immunologists, International Cytokine Society, American Association for Cancer Research, International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer and American Association of Biological Chemistry. He was awarded the cancer research prize of the French ligue against cancer in 1992 and in 2004 the presidential prize in biotechnology. He was awarded for translational research and scientific excellency by INSERM. His research has resulted in more than 310 scientific articles and several reviews in the field of human immunology, tumor biology and cancer immunotherapy; he has also been an editor for several textbooks.
Dr. Wu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research. The current research in the Wu laboratory integrates synthetic chemistry with glycobiology to explore the relevance of protein glycosylation in human disease and cancer immunotherapy. In 2018, Dr. Wu developed a platform to construct antibody-cell conjugates for cancer immunotherapy, which does not require genetic engineering. Previously, while working as a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Professor Carolyn R. Bertozzi at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Wu developed an “aldehyde-tag” (SMARTag™) based technology for site-specific labeling of monoclonal antibodies, which served as the foundation for Redwood Biosciences Inc., a biotech company co-founded by Bertozzi. In 2014, Redwood Bioscience Inc. and the SMARTag™ Antibody-Drug Conjugate technology platform was acquired by Catalent Pharma Solutions.
About Aviceda Therapeutics
Founded in 2018 and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Aviceda Therapeutics is a late-stage, pre-clinical biotechnology company with a mission to develop the next generation of glyco-immune therapeutics (GITs) utilizing a proprietary technology platform to modulate the innate immune system and chronic, non-resolving inflammation. Aviceda has assembled a world-class, cross-disciplinary team of recognized scientists, clinicians and drug developers to tackle devastating ocular and systemic degenerative, fibrotic, oncologic and immuno-inflammatory diseases. At Aviceda, we exploit a unique family of receptors found expressed on all innate immune cells and their associated glycobiological interactions to develop transformative medicines. Combining the power of our biology with our innovative cell-based high-throughput screening platform and proprietary nanoparticle technology, we can modulate the innate immune response specifically and profoundly. Aviceda is developing a pipeline of GITs that are delivered via biodegradable nanoparticles and which safely and effectively target numerous immune-inflammatory conditions. Aviceda’s lead ophthalmic optimized nanoparticle, as an intravitreal formulation, AVD-104, is being developed to target various immune system responses that contribute to pathology associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).