Achilles Therapeutics (“Achilles”), a clinical-stage oncology company developing personalised cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens, a novel class of tumour target, today announced the appointment of Professor Karl Peggs as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) with effect from 4th January 2021. Professor Peggs is an internationally recognised leader in the field of cancer immunology and a founder of the Company.
"Karl is a pioneer in the field of cancer immunology and has an unparalleled reputation for execution of complex cellular therapy trials,” said Dr Iraj Ali, CEO of Achilles Therapeutics. “He was instrumental in the formation of Achilles and we are delighted that he will be joining the Company on a permanent basis. We are at an exciting time in our growth as we continue to expand our studies in non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma, whilst broadening our pipeline into other solid tumour indications.”
“Achilles’ innovative platform, which enables the development of personalised T cell therapies for solid tumours targeting clonal neoantigens, has produced a uniquely compelling pipeline with the potential to target a broad range of cancers not satisfactorily addressed by currently approved therapies,” said Professor Karl Peggs, Chief Medical Officer of Achilles Therapeutics. “I am thrilled to be working with the dynamic team at Achilles to execute on our vision of fundamentally changing how certain cancers are treated.”
Karl is currently a Professor of Transplant Science and Cancer Immunotherapy at UCL Cancer Institute, Scientific Director of the NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit for Stem Cells and Immunotherapies, and Clinical and Scientific Director of the Sir Naim Dangoor Centre for Cellular Immunotherapy at UCLH. Karl received his preclinical training and MA at Cambridge University, completing his clinical training at Oxford University Medical School. He completed his general medical training at Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge, and specialist haematology training at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford and subsequently UCLH, London. He spent over 2 years at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center NYC, USA in the laboratory of Professor James Allison studying murine models of regulatory checkpoint blockade and subsequently ran a joint Research Laboratory with Professor Sergio Quezada at the UCL Cancer Institute where his research interests included viral infections, adoptive cellular therapies, and regulatory checkpoint-directed immune-therapeutics and he and Sergio retain active links to the institute. More recently he has established the clinical translational side of the academic CAR T cell programme at UCLH.