Achilles Therapeutics appoints Dr Markus Dangl as Chief Scientific Officer

Published 12 Feb 2019

Achilles Therapeutics (“Achilles”), a biopharmaceutical company developing personalised cancer immunotherapies, today announces the appointment of Dr Markus Dangl as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO).

Dr Dangl joins Achilles from Medigene AG where he spent three years as Senior Vice President for Research and Non-clinical Development. During his tenure he led the non-clinical development of MDG1011, a TCR immune cell therapy targeting PRAME, which entered clinical development in 2018. Prior to that Markus spent 15 years at Roche in Germany, Singapore and the US, holding various managerial positions with increasing responsibility and was involved in the design and execution of multiple oncology projects. Markus holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

“Markus joins us at an exciting time,” said Dr Iraj Ali, CEO of Achilles Therapeutics. “His proven track record of successfully progressing projects through the pre-clinical value chain and into clinical development make him well placed to help us drive our innovative therapies forward, with our two lead programmes in non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma expected to enter the clinic this year.”

“I am very pleased to join Achilles as Chief Scientific Officer at this transformational stage in the company’s development,” added Dr Markus Dangl, CSO of Achilles Therapeutics. “Achilles is driving a revolution in cancer treatment by targeting clonal neoantigens to develop truly individualised T cell therapies. I very much look forward to working with my new colleagues as we ensure that we take advantage of our incredible science base to develop new options for cancer patients.”

Achilles is developing personalised T cell therapies for solid tumours targeting clonal neoantigens: protein markers unique to each patient that are present on the surface of all cancer cells. Using its PELEUSbioinformatics platform, Achilles can identify clonal neoantigens from each patient’s unique tumour profile which are present on every cancer cell. Achilles uses its proprietary process to manufacture T cells (cNeT) which exquisitely target a specific set of clonal neoantigens in each patient. Targeting multiple clonal neoantigens that are present on all cancer cells, but not on healthy cells, reduces the risk that new mutations can induce immune evasion and therapeutic resistance, and allows individualised treatments to target and destroy tumours without harming healthy tissue.