CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Elicio Therapeutics, a next generation immuno-oncology company, announced today that Christopher Haqq M.D., Ph.D. has joined Elicio as Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development, and Chief Medical Officer.
“Chris is an accomplished physician-scientist who brings to Elicio over 20 years of translational drug development and leadership in large and small biotechnology companies across T cell immunotherapy, biologic, and small molecule modalities,” commented Elicio CEO Robert Connelly. “We expect Chris’ knowledge of the impact of T-cell expansion, persistence and trafficking in immuno-oncology will dovetail with the unique lymph node targeting ability of Elicio’s Amphiphile platform.”
Before joining Elicio, Dr. Haqq was the first employee and Chief Medical Officer of Atara Biotherapeutics, and later its Chief Scientific Officer, where he was the architect for an innovative pipeline including EBV specific T-cell product candidates for oncology and autoimmune disease, and a next generation off the shelf CAR-T cells for solid tumors. Earlier at Cougar Biotechnology and Janssen, Dr. Haqq was the lead clinician for a pivotal prostate cancer study leading to market approval for Zytiga® (abiraterone acetate) and he led early development studies at Amgen.
Dr. Haqq has served as medical monitor for numerous oncology clinical trials working closely with global regulatory agencies. His teams have made successful filings for investigational new drug applications, breakthrough therapy, priority medicines, special protocol assessments and marketing approval and he has authored multiple patents and publications. Dr. Haqq initially practiced as a medical oncologist and led a translational science laboratory as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco following post-graduate training as an Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine, Fellow in Medical Oncology and Fellow in Molecular Medicine. Dr. Haqq completed his M.D. and Ph.D. in Genetics at Harvard Medical School and his undergraduate training at Stanford University and the University of British Columbia.
“I am excited to lead Elicio’s strong R&D team during the transition from the lab bench to the bedside for its promising lymph node targeted immunotherapies where preclinical monotherapy and CAR-T combination show unique potential,” said Dr. Haqq. “And as my family has experienced the unmet need for an effective mKRAS therapy, I am looking forward to evaluate ELI-002’s safety and efficacy in mKRAS bearing pancreatic, colorectal and lung cancers.”
About the Amphiphile Platform
The Elicio Amphiphile platform enables precise targeting and delivery of immunogens and cell-therapy activators directly to the lymphatic system, the “brain center” of the immune response, to significantly amplify and enhance the body’s own system of defenses, defeat solid and hematologic cancers, and prevent their recurrence. Once in the lymph nodes, Amphiphile immunotherapies are taken up by antigen presenting cells (APC’s) to orchestrate signaling to natural or engineered immune cells in order to maximize therapeutic immune responses to disease. This strategy has been used to improve the activity of immunostimulatory agents, antigens, adjuvants, and cell-therapies that generate little to no response when used in the conventional forms. By precisely targeting these immunotherapies to the lymph nodes, Amphiphiles can unlock their full potential to generate and amplify anti-tumor immune responses. This substantially enhanced anti-tumor functionality and long-term protective memory may someday unlock the full potential of the immune response to eliminate cancer.
About Elicio Therapeutics
Elicio Therapeutics is committed to transforming the lives of patients and their families by re-engineering the body’s immune response to defeat cancer. By combining expertise in materials science and immunology, Elicio is engineering potent Amphiphile immunotherapies including lymph node targeted cell therapy activators, immunomodulators, adjuvants and vaccines for an array of aggressive cancers. Elicio’s lead Amphiphile vaccine targeting KRAS-driven cancers will begin initial patient studies in pancreatic in the first half of 2020. These programs are followed by a broad preclinical pipeline of lymph node targeted immunotherapies. For more information please visit www.elicio.com.