SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Janux Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: JANX) (Janux), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel T cell engager immunotherapies, today announced the appointment of Shahram Salek-Ardakani, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Salek-Ardakani will lead the scientific advancement of Janux’s proprietary Tumor Activated T Cell Engager (TRACTr) platform technology to expand Janux’s pipeline of next-generation T cell engager immunotherapies. Dr. Salek-Ardakani joins Janux from Pfizer, Inc., where he was responsible for formulating first-in-class discovery programs and platform initiatives to implement Pfizer’s T-cell-targeted therapeutics strategy. Dr. Salek-Ardakani brings more than 20 years of experience as a scientific leader and drug developer in multiple disease areas.
“Shahram has deep scientific and leadership experience in drug development for immuno-oncology, with a special focus on T-cell-targeted therapies,” said David Campbell, Ph.D., President and CEO of Janux. “We are pleased to welcome Shahram to the Janux team as we work to develop unique immunotherapies that have the potential to generate tumor-specific immune responses and activate a patient’s immune system to recognize, attack, and eradicate the tumor.”
“Janux has developed a unique platform for next-generation T cell engager immunotherapies that is designed to maximize tumor cell killing while minimizing toxicity to healthy tissues,” said Dr. Salek-Ardakani. “I look forward to advancing Janux’s TRACTr platform technology and expanding Janux’s pipeline of next-generation T cell engager immunotherapies that have the potential to improve the treatment of cancer.”
Prior to joining Janux, Dr. Salek-Ardakani was the Senior Director of Cancer Immunology at Pfizer. Previous to that, he was an associate professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Before that, Dr. Salek-Ardakani was a postdoctoral fellow and principal investigator at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in San Diego. During that time, he received several institutional investigator awards from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for his work on T cell memory, mucosal vaccines, and immune regulation by members of the immunoglobulin and tumor necrosis factor receptor family. Dr. Salek-Ardakani has co-authored more than 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals. He has also served on several grant review study sections and special emphasis panels for the NIH. Dr. Salek-Ardakani holds a Ph.D. in oncology and M.Sc. in immunology and immunogenetics from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.
About Janux Therapeutics
Janux Therapeutics is an innovative biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation therapeutics based on its proprietary Tumor Activated T Cell Engager (TRACTr) platform technology to better treat patients suffering from cancer. Janux’s initial focus is on developing a novel class of T cell engagers (TCEs), and its lead product candidates are designed to target clinically validated drug targets. While TCE therapeutics have displayed potent anti-tumor activity in hematological cancers, developing TCEs to treat solid tumors have faced challenges due to the limitations of prior TCE technologies, namely (i) overactivation of the immune system leading to cytokine release syndrome, (ii) on-target, healthy tissue toxicities, and (iii) poor pharmacokinetics leading to short half-life. Janux is using its TRACTr platform technology to engineer product candidates designed to overcome these limitations. Janux is developing a broad pipeline with lead programs targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and trophoblast cell surface antigen 2 (TROP2), with all of its programs currently in the IND-enabling or discovery stage. For more info, www.januxrx.com.
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements include statements regarding, among other things, Janux’s ability to bring new treatments to cancer patients in need and the progress and expected timing of Kura’s drug development programs. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially include the risk that compounds that appear promising in early research do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in later preclinical studies or clinical trials, the risk that Janux may not obtain approval to market its product candidates, uncertainties associated with performing clinical trials, regulatory filings and applications, risks associated with reliance on third parties to successfully conduct clinical trials, the risks associated with reliance on outside financing to meet capital requirements, and other risks associated with the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics, and in the endeavor of building a business around such drugs. You are urged to consider statements that include the words “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “believes,” “estimates,” “projects,” “promise,” “potential,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “continues,” “designed,” “goal,” or the negative of those words or other comparable words to be uncertain and forward-looking. For a further list and description of the risks and uncertainties Janux faces, please refer to Janux’s periodic and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available at www.sec.gov. Such forward-looking statements are current only as of the date they are made, and Janux assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.