CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Compass Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on drugging the human immune synapse to treat human diseases, today announced the appointment of a scientific advisory board made up of renowned immuno-oncology researchers with deep expertise in target biology, drug development and clinical trial design.
The inaugural members of the Compass advisory board are Ana Anderson, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; José Conejo-Garcia, M.D., Ph.D. of Moffitt Cancer Center; Dmitry Gabrilovich, M.D., Ph.D., of The Wistar Institute; F. Stephen Hodi, M.D., of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School; Robert A. Kramer, Ph.D., who previously directed oncology discovery and early development for Bristol-Myers Squibb and Janssen Pharmaceuticals; and Mark Smyth, Ph.D., of the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.
“Working at the forefront of immuno-oncology research not only requires assembling a stellar team of drug developers, but also providing this team with access to world-class expertise, including the advice of some of the most brilliant researchers in the space,” said Thomas Schuetz, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of Compass. “We are thrilled to draw on the insights and experience of our board as we continue the development of CTX-471, a novel CD137 agonist with the potential to become best-in-class costimulatory therapy for solid tumors, and build a pipeline that we believe will deliver a steady stream of new medicines to patients in need.”
The scientific advisory board includes experts in target biology, immune surveillance, checkpoint inhibitors, the tumor microenvironment, translational research and clinical research.
Ana Anderson, Ph.D., has deep expertise in both autoimmunity and cancer immunology, two core areas of focus for Compass Therapeutics. Her most recent immunology work focuses on how inhibitory molecules regulate T cell response to tumors. Before turning her focus to cancer, she published groundbreaking research on T cell cross-reactivity in autoimmunity. Anderson, who holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, is an associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and an associate scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
José Conejo-Garcia, M.D., Ph.D., has devoted his research to understanding the tumor microenvironment and exploring the mechanisms by which it can disable the immune response. His particular focus is understanding and targeting mechanisms of immunosuppression in gynecologic malignancies. Conejo-Garcia chairs the immunology department at Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida. He earned his M.D. from the University of Zaragoza and his Ph.D. from the University of Alcalá in Spain.
Dmitry Gabrilovich, M.D., Ph.D., investigates abnormalities in the function of cell types that play a significant role in regulating immune response. He has worked on tactics to overcome defects in these cell types that lead to immuno-suppression; several of his therapeutic approaches are being tested in clinical trials. Gabrilovich is the Christopher M. Davis Professor in Cancer Research and program leader for the Immunology, Microenvironment and Metastasis Program at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. He received his M.D. from Kabardino-Balkarian State University in Nalchik, Russia, and his Ph.D. from the Central Institute of Epidemiology in Moscow.
F. Stephen Hodi, M.D., is internationally known for his work leading to FDA approval of ipilimumab, a checkpoint inhibitor used to treat melanoma. He led the first human trial and later the Phase 3 registration trial for ipilimumab. More recently, Hodi has focused on clinical development of PD-1 and PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors and led groundbreaking trials that combined checkpoint blockade drugs with other anti-angiogenesis agents. His work has led to improved treatments for lung and kidney cancer as well as melanoma. Hodi received his M.D. from Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University and is now a principal investigator at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Robert A. Kramer, Ph.D., is an accomplished pharmaceutical executive who led successful oncology research teams as vice president, oncology and immunology drug discovery at Bristol-Myers Squibb and vice president, global head oncology drug discovery at Janssen Pharmaceuticals. In those roles he provided direct management oversight for more than 40 development candidates that advanced into clinical development, resulting in several approved cancer drugs. Rob is currently an advisor to several biotech companies. He received his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Vermont and served as an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School earlier in his career.
Mark Smyth, Ph.D., is a leading expert in cancer immune surveillance and defined immune-mediated cancer dormancy and has pioneered new methods for classifying natural killer cell subtypes. A past winner of the Copley Medal and Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize in Cancer Research, Smyth is a senior scientist and immunology coordinator at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia. He is the highest cited immunologist in Australia and is a senior editor and advisory board member for Cancer Immunology Research and Science, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne.
About Compass Therapeutics
Compass Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company targeting the human immune synapse with a new generation of monoclonal and multispecific antibody therapeutics. Compass is leveraging its proprietary StitchMabsTM and common light-chain based multispecific platforms to empirically identify multispecifics and combinations of antibody therapeutics that synergistically modulate key nodes in the immune system. The company’s lead product candidate, CTX-471, is a fully human agonistic antibody of CD137, which is in a Phase 1 study in patients with inadequate responses to PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors. Compass is also progressing several preclinical assets including a novel class of NK cell engaging bispecifics targeting NKp30 and multiple bispecific checkpoint programs. The company’s offices and labs are based in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass.