WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MANA Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company creating nonengineered, off-the-shelf allogeneic cell therapies that target multiple cancer antigens, today announced the appointment of Arthur (Andy) Hurwitz, Ph.D., to the newly created position of Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Hurwitz previously served as Senior Vice President and Head of Research at MANA. In addition, Michael Kuo MT (ASCP) has been appointed as Senior Vice President of Technical Operations.
“During his time at MANA Andy has been instrumental in building out our EDIFY platform, which educates T-cells to target multiple tumor associated antigens without the need for genetic modification,” said Martin Silverstein, M.D., President and CEO of MANA Therapeutics. “EDIFY serves as the basis for all of our programs including MANA-312, which recently entered into clinical trials, and it is a key element in our approach to developing an inventory of nonengineered off-the-shelf allogenic cell therapies. Andy’s expertise in immunology, cell therapy and immunotherapy along with his proven track record of bringing programs from discovery to development will bring us closer to building a product bank with a limited number of HLA types that can serve the majority of patients in targeted cancer indications based on our proprietary ManaMatch protocols. Andy’s biological and translational experience is complemented by Michael’s extensive technical experience in manufacturing, global quality and supply chain operations. We look forward to continuing to benefit from Andy and Michael’s leadership as we continue to build our platform, expand our pipeline and advance programs into the clinic.”
“Next generation cell therapy approaches hold enormous potential and MANA’s goal is to develop broadly accessible, off-the-shelf and ready-to-use cellular therapies that could overcome the limitations of first-generation autologous approaches and improve outcomes for cancer patients,” said Dr. Hurwitz. “I look forward to continuing to work toward this goal with the entire MANA team in my new capacity as CSO as we develop and advance EDIFY-based programs including MANA-412, for which we plan to file an IND by early 2022.”
Before joining MANA, Dr. Hurwitz was Vice President, Head of Preclinical Research at AgenTus Therapeutics, where he led the preclinical research team in its discovery and validation of novel TCR and CAR molecules for use in cell therapy resulting in the delivery of two novel development candidates. Dr. Hurwitz was also Senior Director of TCR Biology at Agenus where he held responsibilities for both vaccine and cell therapy activities. He was a Principal Investigator at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where his lab used preclinical models of cancer to study the impact of tumors on T-cell biology. Dr. Hurwitz received his B.S. in Biology and French and graduated Cum Laude from Tufts University. He holds a Ph.D. in Pathology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed his postdoctoral work in tumor immunology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Before being appointed as MANA’s Senior Vice President of Technical Operations, Mr. Kuo served as Vice President of Quality and Supply Chain. Prior to joining MANA, Mr. Kuo was Vice President of Quality and Operations at MaxCyte where he was responsible for overseeing new product development and commercialization of platform technologies as well as providing CMC operational leadership. Mr. Kuo also served as Senior Director of Quality Assurance at Mesoblast, where he supported multiple global Phase III clinical studies using the company’s proprietary allogeneic mesenchymal lineage cell-based products. Previously, Mr. Kuo held various leadership positions at BloodWorks Northwest, Cryo-Cell International, Aesculap Implant Systems, Amgen, and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Mr. Kuo earned his undergraduate degrees in medical technology and microbiology as well as his Biomedical Regulatory Affairs Certificate from the University of Washington.
MANA Therapeutics’ EDIFY™ platform constitutes the next-generation cell therapy approach by leveraging natural immune system pathways to educate T-cells to target unique sets of antigens expressed by tumors, without the need for genetic modification. The EDIFY platform uses dendritic cells as antigen presenting cells. The dendritic cells are loaded with ManaMix™ antigens and stimulate and expand T-cells to generate product candidates. Product candidates developed from the EDIFY platform are designed to increase efficacy through multiple antigen targeting and to support a strong safety profile by utilizing a nonengineered approach that could permit for repeat dosing of patients. The EDIFY platform uses a simplified, high-yield manufacturing process.
About MANA Therapeutics
MANA Therapeutics is harnessing the natural immune system to develop broadly accessible, ready-to-use cellular therapies to improve outcomes for cancer patients. By educating T-cells to target multiple tumor associated antigens without the need for genetic modification, MANA’s EDIFY™ platform provides the opportunity to deliver safe, effective, and repeatable therapies.
Our journey began with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and we are advancing the science to develop additional proprietary and partnered programs for additional hematologic and solid tumors. https://www.manatherapeutics.com/