– New Leader to Guide Immunotherapy Biotech in its Next Phase of Growth –
– FDA Accepts Tizona’s Investigational New Drug Application for TTX-030 –
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 03, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tizona Therapeutics, Inc. (“Tizona”), a privately-held immunotherapy company, announced today that Scott Clarke has joined the company as its chief executive officer. Mr. Clarke joins from Roche where he served as the Global Head of Oncology Partnering and Head of Asia and Emerging Markets Partnering.
Also today, the company announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted its Investigational New Drug (IND) application for its lead drug candidate, TTX-030, a first-in-class CD39-targeting immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer. In addition to TTX-030, Tizona has a portfolio of novel immuno-oncology product candidates in discovery and advanced pre-clinical development.
The ATP/adenosine axis has recently emerged as a key immune regulatory switch in the tumor microenvironment. Inhibition of CD39 with TTX-030 represents a novel and differentiated approach to targeting this pathway.
“We are thrilled to bring Scott on as CEO during this critical time for Tizona as it transitions to a clinical stage company,” said Luke Evnin, Ph.D., Chairman of Tizona’s Board of Directors. “Scott has a stellar track record as a leader and extensive experience in both partnering and product development. Importantly, he shares our vision for delivering next generation immunotherapies to patients.”
“Tizona is poised to become a leading player in developing immunotherapies that target immune suppression, evasion and escape,” said Scott Clarke. “I’m honored to join Tizona’s high caliber leadership team in fulfilling this mission.”
While at Roche, Mr. Clarke was responsible for worldwide oncology partnering activities, including identifying and evaluating product and company acquisition opportunities, and structuring and negotiating collaborations and licenses. Prior to Roche, Mr. Clarke held positions of increasing responsibility at BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Inc, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President of Product Development. Mr. Clarke earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Science in Biotechnology at Northwestern University and an MBA at London Business School.
TTX-030, the ATP/Adenosine Axis, and the Tumor Microenvironment
TTX-030 is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits the activity of CD39, a cell surface enzyme upregulated on tumors, exhausted T cells, as well as many suppressive cell types as an immune evasion strategy. It catalyzes the conversion of ATP to AMP, the first step in the generation of adenosine. By blocking the action of CD39, TTX-030 prevents the formation of immune suppressive extracellular adenosine, which would otherwise inhibit effector cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME). In addition to preventing the formation of suppressive adenosine, TTX-030 prevents the degradation of ATP, preserving its ability to stimulate dendritic and myeloid-derived cells responsible for innate immunity and immune cell priming necessary for adaptive immunity. TTX-030 is the subject of a global strategic collaboration agreement with AbbVie and was discovered using the Adimab platform.
About Tizona Therapeutics, Inc.
Tizona Therapeutics, Inc., is a privately held immunotherapy company focused on harnessing the power of the immune system to develop treatments for cancer. In addition to TTX-030, Tizona has additional preclinical product candidates targeting pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory signals that regulate the immune system’s function. For more information, visit www.tizonatx.com.
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