MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Forty Seven Inc. (NASDAQ:FTSV) today announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), comprised of four leading scientists in the fields of immunotherapy and oncology. The SAB will complement the expertise of Forty Seven’s management team, scientific founders, board of directors and clinical investigators, and support the company in advancing 5F9 for the treatment of hematologic and solid tumors.
The initial members of Forty Seven’s SAB include:
- James Allison, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Immunology, Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Research, and Executive Director, Immunotherapy Platform at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Winner, 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
- Ronald Levy, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine
- Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Department of Immunology, Division of Cancer Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Scientific Director, Immunotherapy Platform and Co-Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center
- Louis Weiner, M.D., Director, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor and Chair, Department of Oncology, at Georgetown University Medical Center
“We are pleased to welcome these distinguished physicians and researchers to Forty Seven’s SAB,” said Mark McCamish, M.D. Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Forty Seven. “Each of these appointees is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in developing novel therapeutics that mobilize patient’s immune systems to fight disease. We look forward to working closely together to expand our understanding of macrophage activation as a new modality for treating cancer and to advance 5F9 forward as a monoclonal antibody against CD47, with potential in multiple oncology indications.”
“As a medical oncologist and immunotherapy researcher, I am committed to exploring new approaches to safely and more effectively address the unmet needs of cancer patients,” said Louis Weiner, M.D., Chairman of Forty Seven’s SAB. “I am particularly excited by Forty Seven’s approach to targeting the CD47 pathway, which has shown preliminary signs of clinical efficacy in several difficult-to-treat patient populations. I am eager to work with other members of the SAB to help implement an efficient, robust development program for 5F9.”
James Allison, Ph.D.
Dr. Allison is the Chair of the Department of Immunology, the Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Research, and the Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has spent a distinguished career studying the regulation of T cell responses and developing strategies for cancer immunotherapies. Among his most notable discoveries are the determination of the T cell receptor structure; the co-stimulatory molecule CD28, which signals the T cell to launch an immune response to a bound antigen; and the immune system inhibitory checkpoint molecule CTLA-4, which inhibits activated T cells from attacking, leading to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s approval of the first checkpoint inhibitor for cancer patients. In October 2018, Dr. Allison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in the discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation. He earned his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and his B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Texas, Austin and did his postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Immunology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation.
Ronald Levy, M.D.
Ronald Levy is the Robert K. and Helen K. Summy Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, where his work focuses on the study of malignant lymphoma, therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Levy’s research led to the development of rituximab, the first FDA-approved antibody for the treatment of lymphoma. Over the course of his career, Dr. Levy has received numerous awards, including the National Cancer Institute’s Outstanding Investigator Award (2016) and the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine (2009). Dr. Levy holds his M.D. from Stanford University and his B.A. in Biochemistry from Harvard University. He completed his internship and residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his Fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Sharma is a Professor in the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and the Department of Immunology, Division of Cancer Medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as well as Scientific Director, Immunotherapy Platform and Co-Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
She is a medical oncologist and immunologist, and a leading clinical investigator in immunotherapy trials, which allows her to further investigate immune responses and pathways that are critical for eliciting anti-tumor responses and clinical benefit in cancer patients. Dr. Sharma has received numerous awards in her field, including MD Anderson Physician-Scientist Award, Prostate Cancer Foundation Challenge Award, MD Anderson Team Science Award, Emil-Frei Award for Translational Research, SU2C-CRI Dream Team Award in Immunotherapy, Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence, and the Coley Award in Tumor Immunology. Dr. Sharma holds a Ph.D. in Immunology and an M.D. from Pennsylvania State University. She also holds a B.A. in Biology and an M.A. in Biotechnology from Boston University.
Louis Weiner, M.D.
Dr. Weiner is the Director of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University, an Associate Vice President at Georgetown University Medical Center, Chair of the Oncology Department at Georgetown’s Medical School and Clinical Director of Cancer Services at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Weiner is an internationally-recognized medical oncologist specializing in the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers and an accomplished researcher, whose work focuses on developing laboratory-crafted monoclonal antibodies to recognize specific cancer cells in the hopes of mobilizing a patient’s immune system to fight cancer. Dr. Weiner earned his M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and his B.A. in Biology, with honors, from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his internship and residency at the University of Vermont’s Medical Center Hospital and held clinical and research fellowships in hematology and oncology at Tufts University School of Medicine.
About Forty Seven Inc.:
Forty Seven, Inc. is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company that is developing therapies targeting cancer immune evasion pathways based on technology licensed from Stanford University. Forty Seven’s lead program, 5F9, is a monoclonal antibody against the CD47 receptor, a “don’t eat me” signal that cancer cells commandeer to avoid being ingested by macrophages. This antibody is currently being evaluated in six clinical studies in patients with solid tumors, acute myeloid leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, ovarian cancer and colorectal carcinoma.
Forward Looking Statements:
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "may," "will," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions, or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These statements include those related to the advancement and clinical development of 5F9; the potential of 5F9 in multiple oncology indications and Forty Seven’s intention to implement an efficient, robust development program for 5F9. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The product candidates that Forty Seven develops may not progress through clinical development or receive required regulatory approvals within expected timelines or at all. In addition, clinical trials may not confirm any safety, potency or other product characteristics described or assumed in this press release. Such product candidates may not be beneficial to patients or successfully commercialized. The failure to meet expectations with respect to any of the foregoing matters may have a negative effect on Forty Seven's stock price. Additional information concerning these and other risk factors affecting Forty Seven's business can be found in Forty Seven's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and speak only as of the date hereof, and, except as required by law, Forty Seven disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.
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