Trained Therapeutix Discovery appoints Nobel Laureate Dr. James Allison, Dr. Padmanee Sharma, and Dr. Mihai Netea to its Scientific Advisory Board

Written by: Editor
Published on: 20 Apr 2021

19th April, 2021: Trained Therapeutix Discovery (“TTxD”) announces that it has extended its Scientific Advisory Board to include James P. Allison, Ph.D. and Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Allison received the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on discovering immune checkpoint blockade and is the Regental Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology, the Olga Keith Wiess Distinguished University Chair for Cancer Research, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Research, and the Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Sharma is a pioneer and world-renowned expert in designing and running immuno-oncology clinical trials and is a practicing immunologist and oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center. 

Dr Allison and Dr Sharma join TTxD Scientific Advisory Board Chairman Mihai Netea, M.D., Ph.D.  Dr. Netea discoverer of innate trained immunity is Professor of Experimental Medicine at Radboud University Medical Center and TTxD co-founder.

The Scientific Advisory Board will play an important role in guiding TTxD’s activities as the Company advances its pioneering nanobiologic immunotherapy towards clinical validation for the treatment of cancer, organ inflammation, and organ transplantation rejection.

“We are delighted that Jim and Pam are joining our Scientific Advisory Board” says Dr. Mihai Netea, Chair of TTxD’s Scientific Advisory Board. “Over the past few months and with the help of key experts, the Company has made spectacular progress in solidifying the designs of our clinical programs. We are excited about TTxD’s future and are looking forward to entering the clinical stage.”

Jean Raymond Boulle II, Co-Chief Executive Officer of TTxD said: 

“From our initial conversations, it was apparent that Jim and Pam, working with Mihai, would propel TTxD forward toward clinical validation of our company. Combining the father of innate trained immunity, the discoverer of checkpoint inhibition therapy for cancer, and the leading investigator for clinical trials of cancer immunotherapies creates an immensely powerful force. We believe that this Scientific Advisory Board will accelerate TTxD’s global leadership position in effort to control the innate immune response to treat today’s most detrimental diseases.” 

Dr. Willem Mulder, co-founder, TTxD’s Chief Scientific Officer and Professor of Precision Medicine at Radboud University Medical Center and Eindhoven University of Technology, said: 

“For a science-driven immunotherapy company, the involvement of the key individuals who got immunotherapy to work is a dream scenario. While checkpoint inhibition is an immuno-oncology modality that primarily targets adaptive immunity, our proprietary nanobiologic technology regulates innate immunity. These two strategies are highly synergistic. Preclinically, we see spectacular benefits of the combination. Now we have our programs in place and established nanobiologic manufacturing, we can’t wait to enter our company’s next exciting phase.”

Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, chairman of the Heritage Group and a major shareholder of TTxD, said "I am delighted that Jim and Pam have joined the TTxD scientific board. This is clearly a major milestone for the company and a great endorsement of the work being performed by the TTxD team."

Dr. James Allison 

Dr. Allison has spent his career studying the regulation of T cell responses. Dr. Allison’s work led to the development of an antibody to human CTLA-4 called ipilimumab which became the first immune checkpoint blockade therapy ever approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The approval of ipilimumab cleared the path for the emerging field of immune checkpoint blockade therapy in the treatment of cancer. His current work is focused on improving immune checkpoint blockade therapies and identifying new targets to unleash the immune system and eradicate cancer. Dr. Allison is a member of the National Academies of Science and Medicine and is currently Regental Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology, the Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform and Co-Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Dr. Padmanee Sharma 

Dr. Sharma is focused on understanding resistance mechanisms within the immune system that impact anti-tumor responses. For more than a decade, she has been a principal investigator for multiple clinical trials to improve the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. Dr. Sharma’s work on new pathways to treat prostate cancer implicated, for the first time in a human tumor, the checkpoint VISTA in inhibiting immune responses. In partnership with Dr. Allison, Dr. Sharma is currently exploring combinations of immunological therapies and targeted drugs in preclinical studies to treat a variety of cancers more effectively. Dr. Sharma is a professor of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology in the Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the T.C. and Jeanette Hsu Endowed Chair in Cell Biology, and an Investigator with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Dr. Mihai Netea 

Mihai Netea was born and studied medicine in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He completed his PhD at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, on studies investigating the cytokine network in sepsis. After working as a post-doc at the University of Colorado, he returned to Nijmegen where he finished his clinical training as an infectious disease specialist, and where he currently heads the division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Nijmegen University Nijmegen Medical Center. Dr. Netea publishes regularly in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Science and PNAS. His main research interests are pattern recognition of fungal pathogens and the induction of antifungal immunity, primary immunodeficiencies in innate immune system, and the study of the memory traits of innate immunity. In addition, he is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academia Europaea.