By March 25, 2020July 17th, 2020News

Oncology Scientific Advisory Board to support advancement of Immuneering’s drug programs modulating the RAS/MAPK signaling pathway in cancer


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – March 25, 2020 – Immuneering Corporation today announced the addition of three leading oncology experts to the company’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The new members, Daniel H. Ahn, D.O., Mitesh J. Borad, M.D., and Bijan Nejadnik, M.D., will join the company’s SAB consisting of thought leaders in drug development, clinical trial design and oncology to provide strategic insights on how to best advance the development of Immuneering’s oncology therapeutics, starting with those modulating the RAS/MAPK signaling pathway.


Concurrent with the company’s bioinformatics services business, Immuneering is advancing a pipeline of oncology medicines driven by its Disease Cancelling Technology. The company’s initial area of cancer focus (ACF) is the RAS/MAPK pathway, a cellular signaling pathway commonly mutated in many different tumors and cancers. Immuneering’s SAB includes top scientists and clinicians with expertise researching the effect of KRAS and MEK inhibition, two critical components involved in activation of the RAS/MAPK pathway, and the focus of several of the company’s rapidly advancing programs. The SAB will collaborate with members of Immuneering’s management team to support the development of drug candidates including for dual RAF/MEK inhibition, cancer cachexia and next-generation KRAS inhibition.


“As Immuneering accelerates our efforts to develop transformative medicines for patients with cancer, we are pleased to collaborate with world-class advisors on our scientific advisory board and welcome our newest members,” said Ben Zeskind, Ph.D., MBA, co-founder and chief executive officer of Immuneering. “This talented group of advisors has extensive experience in preclinical and clinical development of drug candidates and their collective expertise will be invaluable as we quickly progress toward the clinic. We look forward to our scientific advisory board’s contributions and support in the development of new therapies to help cancer patients in need.”


Immuneering’s full oncology scientific advisory board includes:


Daniel H. Ahn, D.O.
Dr. Ahn is an assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic and director of the GI Oncology Translational Research Working Group. Dr. Ahn is an experienced clinical study program leader and a well-recognized thought leader in KRAS-driven cancers. He is a member on the Academic and Community Cancer Research United (ACCRU) Board of Directors. His peer reviewed publications focus around early therapeutic clinical trials in GI Oncology. Dr. Ahn is well-positioned to provide clinical insights into the predicted therapeutic index across early-stage compounds and his experienced opinion about dosing and tolerability strategies.


Vickie Baracos, Ph.D.
Dr. Baracos is a professor in the department of oncology at the University of Alberta. Dr. Baracos has more than 30 years of clinical research focused on the underlying causes of muscle wasting in cancer patients including the role of tumor progression, specific drugs used in cancer therapy and of a putative muscle proteolysis-inducing factor. Dr. Baracos has made numerous contributions to the understanding of the mechanisms of cancer-associated cachexia and provides insight into how the disease is best measured in patients, including key contributions to a key publication on MEK inhibition.


Tanios Bekaii-Saab, M.D.
Dr. Bekaii-Saab is a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and leads the Mayo Clinic-supported cancer research consortium Academic and Community Cancer Research United (ACCRU). He is a leading clinician-scientist in the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-supported cooperative research group. Dr. Bekaii-Saab was a key author on two clinical manuscripts describing the benefits of MEK inhibition for cancer cachexia. Dr. Bekaii-Saab provides a clinician’s perspective on how effective various MEK inhibitors are at treating cancer.


Mitesh J. Borad, M.D.
Dr. Borad is the director of the Cancer Cell, Gene, and Virus (CGV) Therapy lab at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine (CMI). He is a top-tier researcher, educator and clinician having served as director of the CGV Lab and director of the Liver & Biliary Cancer Research Program at the Mayo Clinic. He has also held the position of vice-chair of the International Cholangiocarcinoma Research Network (ICRN) of the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. Dr. Borad is the co-chair of the Mayo Clinic Hepatobiliary Cancers CME-accredited International Review Symposium. Dr. Borad serves as a resource for both preclinical and Phase I clinical trial designs, operations and regulatory approaches for registrational intent.


Egidio Del Fabbro, M.D.
Dr. Del Fabbro is the palliative care endowed chair and program director at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center. He also serves as an associate professor of internal medicine at the VCU School of Medicine. Dr. Del Fabbro directed a cachexia clinic from 2005-2011 and is the lead author on a clinical handbook on cancer cachexia. He is a member of the Richmond Academy of Medicine and serves on the board of Honoring Choices Virginia. Dr. Del Fabbro has invaluable insights into the clinical impact of cancer cachexia.


Denis C. Guttridge, Ph.D.
Dr. Guttridge is the director of the Charles P. Darby Children’s Research Institute and associate director of translational sciences for Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Dr. Guttridge’s research focuses on the cancer syndrome cachexia which contributes to poor prognosis and a reduced quality of life. Dr. Guttridge is the senior author on a key publication showing the effectiveness of MEK inhibitors in a cancer cachexia mouse model and brings his expertise in cancer cachexia molecular biology, muscle biology and in vivo models.


Bijan Nejadnik, M.D.
Dr. Nejadnik is chief medical officer and head of research at SanBio, Inc. Dr. Nejadnik has more than two decades of experience in large pharma and small biotech companies. He has led research teams in academic institutions and programs from early phase to registration trials, with successful BLA/NDA/MAA submissions and market launch. He held multiple key roles at Johnson & Johnson working on numerous compounds in early and late stage registrational trials in Alzheimer diseases immunology, autoimmune disorders, hematology and oncology.


Eric Roeland, M.D., FAAHPM
Dr. Roeland is a faculty member at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). His research spans both palliative care and medical oncology with a focus on gastric cancer. He serves as the American Society of Clinical Oncology Co-Chair for the Supportive Care and Cachexia/Nutrition Guidelines Committees. Dr. Roeland is an experienced clinician with valuable insights into clinical trial design and patient recruitment.


Michael Sawyer, M.D.
Dr. Sawyer is a professor in the department of oncology at the University of Alberta. Dr. Sawyer has published extensively in the cancer cachexia space including both research articles and reviews. Dr. Sawyer was a key author together with Dr. Bekaii-Saab on two publications assessing the clinical benefit of MEK inhibitors for cancer cachexia patients. Dr. Sawyer provides valuable insights in comparing and contrasting existing MEK inhibitors, relevant indications and toxicity.


Teresa A. Zimmers, Ph.D.
Dr. Zimmers is a professor of cancer research at the Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine. She is the founding director of the IU Simon Cancer Center Cachexia Working Group and the IUPUI Center for Cachexia Research Innovation and Therapy. Through multi-disciplinary collaboration, these groups seek to improve diagnosis, treatment and educational outreach for patients. Dr. Zimmers is experienced in high-throughput profiling of cancer cachexia and provides guidance on the molecular biology.


About Immuneering Corporation


Immuneering leverages more than a decade of leadership in bioinformatics to develop new medicines unlikely to be found by traditional drug discovery methods. Its current pipeline of drug candidates is focused on treating aspects of disease that have eluded conventional approaches, including cancer cachexia and metastasis. Utilizing its proprietary Disease Cancelling Technology, the company engineers medicines that reverse a disease signal across many relevant genes. Immuneering’s technologies have proven exceptionally rapid and capital-efficient in creating its pipeline. Concurrent with its internal programs, the company provides unparalleled computational biology services to leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.


Corporate Contact:
Rebecca Kusko, Ph.D.
Immuneering Corporation


Media Contact:
Meredith Sosulski, Ph.D.
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