Sensei Biotherapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision immuno-oncology therapies, today announced the formation of a new Immuno-Oncology Advisory Board (IOAB), consisting of several world-recognized and credentialed experts in the fields of immuno-oncology, tumor biology, vaccinology, cell therapy, and precision medicine. The IOAB will collaborate closely with members of Senseis management team to support the advancement of the Companys pipeline of ASPH-targeted precision immuno-oncology therapies and bring complementary expertise to guide the future of the company.
We are honored to have such a highly distinguished team of experts in the field of immune-oncology join our newly formed advisory board, said John Celebi, Chief Executive Officer of Sensei. Each of these appointees is globally recognized for their work. We look forward to working closely with them as we continue to develop our suite of novel therapies against next generation targets, including ASPH, and work to profoundly impact the health and quality of life for patients with unmet needs.
The members of the Senseis IOAB include:
- Alain Algazi, M.D., is an oncologist and Associate Professor at The University of California San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Algazi conducts clinical trials on personalized medical therapies for patients with head and neck and high-risk skin cancers, in addition to serving as the leader of the head and neck medical oncology research program at UCSF. Dr. Algazi has served as the national study chair for several pivotal trials in oncology and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, and the American Association for Cancer Research. He also served previously as a member of The National Comprehensive Cancer Network Melanoma Panel.
- Saar Gill, M.D., Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where his clinical practice is bone marrow transplantation. His laboratory studies novel approaches to produce effective and safe CAR T cells for the treatment of hematologic malignancies and CAR macrophages for the treatment of solid cancers. Dr. Gill is a scientific committee member at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (where he is a recent past Chair of the Cancer Gene and Cell Therapy committee) and at the American Society of Hematology, and he was recently elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation.
- Sara Pai, M.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Surgeon and Director of Translational Research in Head and Neck Cancer at Massachusetts General Hospital. She leads several immunotherapy trials in head and neck cancer patients. Dr. Pais research interests focus on understanding mechanisms of immune evasion utilized by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and evaluates novel ways to reactive the host immune response against the virus as it relates to cancer cells. Dr. Pai is recognized both nationally and internationally as an expert in HPV-associated head and neck cancers and cancer immunotherapy, in addition she has a research laboratory that is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as industry.
- Robert Pierce, M.D., is the Scientific Director of the Immunopathology Lab in the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Pierce is an Anatomic Pathologist with a strong academic and industry background in immuno-oncology. He was previously the Chief Scientific Officer of OncoSec. His research is focused on the mechanisms of tumor-induced immune tolerance and has longstanding expertise in the development of biomarkers to predict responses to immuno-oncology treatments. While at Merck, Dr. Pierce led a team focused on the development of tissue-based biomarkers for Mercks anti-PD- 1 therapeutic antibody (pembrolizumab; KEYTRUDA) and was the medical lead responsible for kicking-off the clinical trials of pembrolizumab in Merkel cell carcinoma and mycosis fungoides.
- Robert Schreiber, Ph.D., is an Andrew M. Bursky and Jane M. Bursky Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Immunology, Professor of Molecular Microbiology, co-leader of the tumor immunology program at the Siteman Comprehensive Cancer Center and founding Director of the Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs at The Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Schreiber is recognized globally as a pioneer in efforts to understand how the immune system may be useful in battling cancer. His research interests include the molecular and cellular basis of cancer immunoediting (a process that he discovered whereby the immune system protects against cancer development and shapes tumor immunogenicity), the biology and signaling of cytokines with special emphasis on IFN-gamma and TNF, as well as the role of IFN-gamma in tumor immunity. He has served in leadership roles for many international organizations. His has achieved multiple honors, including the 2017 Balzan Prize for Immunological Approaches in Cancer Therapy, membership in the National Academy of Sciences (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Cancer Research Institute’s Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Tumor Immunology and the AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology.
- Daniel H. Sterman, M.D., is the Thomas and Suzanne Murphy Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the Departments of Medicine and Cardiothoracic Surgery at the New York University School of Medicine, and Director of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine and Director of the Multidisciplinary Pulmonary Oncology Program at NYU Langone Health in New York City. He was previously lead clinical investigator in the multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Research Group at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Principal Investigator of the Clinical Trials Project for the NCI. Dr. Stermans research interests are related to the treatment of thoracic malignancies, specifically as they apply to the synergy of molecular medicine, tumor immunotherapy and novel technologies in Interventional Pulmonology. Over the past 20 years, he has focused on the translation of laboratory discoveries from the bench to the bedside: conducting multiple human clinical trials of gene therapy and vaccine therapy for lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other pleural malignancies. More recently, as Director of the NYU PORT (Pulmonary Oncology Research Team), Dr. Sterman has expanded his research interests into assessment of the immune microenvironment of tumor-draining lymph nodes, as well as the development of local intra-tumoral and intra-nodal immunotherapies.
About Sensei Biotherapeutics
Sensei Biotherapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision immuno-oncology therapies to transform the cancer treatment landscape. The company is using its proprietary drug discovery platform, called SPIRIT, to discover and develop both vaccines and T-cell therapies, including SNS-301, its clinical stage cancer vaccine, and SNS-723, its cell therapy program in preclinical development for solid tumors and hematological cancers. These programs target ASPH, a novel embryonic antigen. Senseis precision medicine approach in immuno-oncology includes the use of companion diagnostics to select patients who are most likely to respond to its tumor-specific antigen therapies. Sensei Biotherapeutics is located in Gaithersburg, MD. For more information, please visit www.senseibio.com.
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