Achilles Therapeutics announces formation of Scientific Advisory Board

Published 13 May 2020

Achilles Therapeutics (“Achilles”), a clinical-stage oncology company developing personalised cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens, a novel class of tumor target, today announced the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with three world-renowned appointments: Dr Elizabeth M. Jaffee, Dr Scott Antonia and Dr Christopher A. Klebanoff. The SAB will work closely with Achilles’ senior management team and Founders to advance the Company’s pipeline of solid tumor cancer therapies.

“We are delighted to be working with world-renowned experts who bring deep scientific and medical expertise as we develop the next-generation of truly patient-specific clonal-neoantigen therapies that will harness the immune system to destroy cancer cells,” said Dr Iraj Ali, CEO of Achilles Therapeutics. “We look forward to drawing on their extensive experience as we progress our programs through the clinic and build out our pipeline of next wave immune-oncology therapies.”

Dr Elizabeth M. Jaffee is an internationally recognized expert in cancer immunology and pancreatic cancer, and currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Deputy Director of the Institute of Clinical and Translational Research, and professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Jaffee has held a series of leadership positions and is the current President of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and co-Chair of the former Blue Ribbon Panel for Vice President Joe Biden’s National Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Her research focuses on cancer immune therapies including novel immune checkpoint inhibitors and cancer vaccines to overcome immune tolerance to cancers.

Dr Scott Antonia serves as the chair of the thoracic oncology department at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute and is professor of oncologic sciences at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. His expertise lies in treating cancer patients through immunotherapeutic strategies to thwart the immunosuppressive mechanisms used by tumors to evade T cell-mediated rejection. He has designed and conducted numerous cutting-edge studies with novel immunotherapeutic agents. Dr Antonia has received many awards including Moffitt Physician of the Year, Moffitt Mentor of the Year and the W. Jackson Pledger Researcher of the Year and was inducted into the National Academy of Inventors in 2015.

Dr Christopher A. Klebanoff is a leading cellular immunologist and medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Prior to joining MSK, he was an assistant clinical investigator and an NIH-Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholar at the US National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. As a member of the NCI Surgery Branch’s senior staff, he participated in the early phase clinical development of numerous cell therapies which would later be licensed to commercial entities. These include the anti-CD19 28ζ CAR that would become Yescarta®, gene-engineered TCR therapies targeting NY-ESO-1, MAGE-A3/6, and HPV E6, and neoantigen selected TIL therapies for a diverse range of solid cancers. Dr Klebanoff’s laboratory investigations have contributed to the mechanistic understanding of how lymphodepletion enhances adoptive immunotherapies and how T-cell differentiation status influences cellular persistence and clinical outcomes.

Additional background on the SAB members can be found on the Achilles website.