PureTech Founded Entity Vor Biopharma Appoints John King as Chief Commercial Officer

Written by: Nola Cadman
Published on: 28 Aug 2020

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., — August 26, 2020 — Vor Biopharma, an oncology company pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) for the treatment of cancer, today announced the appointment of John King as chief commercial officer. Mr. King has more than 20 years of global commercial leadership experience within biotechnology and rare diseases. Mr. King will plan and lead global commercial operations as Vor continues to advance its lead programme VOR33 and future programmes that leverage its technology platform.

“While cell therapies have already transformed the treatments of many different indications, we have also witnessed complexities related to their commercialisation,” said Robert Ang, MBBS, MBA, Vor’s president and chief executive officer. “John’s considerable expertise and experience as our first dedicated commercial team member will allow us to build our commercialisation strategy from an early stage, to ensure that our programmes reach patients in need and demonstrate endpoints that matter to all key stakeholders.”

“I believe Vor has a truly innovative approach that could dramatically disrupt standard of care in leukaemias and I’m honoured to join this dynamic and talented team,” said Mr. King. “I look forward to establishing a commercial foundation as Vor soon begins to treat patients suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia and in different indications as Vor develops additional programmes.”

Mr. King comes to Vor from Ra Pharma, recently acquired by UCB, where he was the chief commercial officer. He led the organisation in preparing for the global commercial launch of zilucoplan for complement mediated diseases. Before joining Ra Pharma, Mr. King was vice president, U.S. neurology business unit, at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for building and leading the team that launched Soliris® (eculizumab) for generalised myasthenia gravis. At Alexion, Mr. King also served as vice president, head of global LAL-D franchise, and vice president, head of global hematology franchise. Before joining Alexion in 2009, he served in commercial roles at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, including as product director of Enbrel® (etanercept). Mr. King began his career at Ernst & Young LLP. He obtained his BS in Business Logistics and MBA from Pennsylvania State University.

About Vor Biopharma

Vor Biopharma aims to transform the lives of cancer patients by pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cell (eHSC) therapies. By removing biologically redundant proteins from eHSCs, these cells become inherently invulnerable to complementary targeted therapies while tumour cells are left susceptible, thereby unleashing the potential of targeted therapies to benefit cancer patients in need.

Vor’s platform could be used to potentially change the treatment paradigm of both hematopoietic stem cell transplants and targeted therapies, such as antibody drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies and CAR-T cell treatments.

Vor is based in Cambridge, Mass. and has a broad intellectual property base, including in-licenses from Columbia University, where foundational work was conducted by inventor and Vor Scientific Board Chair Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil.

About VOR33

Vor’s lead product candidate, VOR33, consists of engineered hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) that lack the protein CD33. Once these cells are transplanted into a cancer patient, we believe that CD33 will become a far more cancer-specific target, potentially avoiding toxicity to the normal blood and bone marrow associated with CD33-targeted therapies. Vor aims to improve the therapeutic window and effectiveness of CD33-targeted therapies, thereby potentially broadening the clinical benefit to patients suffering from acute myeloid leukaemia.

About PureTech Health

PureTech is a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercialising highly differentiated medicines for devastating diseases, including intractable cancers, lymphatic and gastrointestinal diseases, central nervous system disorders and inflammatory and immunological diseases, among others. The Company has created a broad and deep pipeline through the expertise of its experienced research and development team and its extensive network of scientists, clinicians and industry leaders. This pipeline, which is being advanced both internally and through PureTech’s Founded Entities, is comprised of 24 products and product candidates, including two that have been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). All of the underlying programmes and platforms that resulted in this pipeline of product candidates were initially identified or discovered and then advanced by the PureTech team through key validation points based on the Company’s unique insights into the biology of the brain, immune and gut, or BIG, systems and the interface between those systems, referred to as the BIG Axis.

For more information, visit www.puretechhealth.com or connect with us on Twitter @puretechh.