Verismo Therapeutics appoints Laura Johnson, Ph.D. as Scientific Director
20-year industry veteran to lead research and clinical development for innovative CAR T multi-chain technology
Posted: October 13, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. EDT|Update: 8 minutes ago
PHILADELPHIA CREAM, October 13, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Verismo Therapeutics, Inc., a recent Penn spin-out behind a new multi-chain KIR-CAR platform technology for CAR T cells, today announced the appointment of a leader in tumor immunology and pioneer in genetic engineering T cell therapy, Laura A. Johnson, M.Sc, Ph.D., as Scientific Director. Dr Johnson joins Verismo after working at GlaxoSmithKline Oncology, where she was responsible for preclinical translational research and, most recently, clinical biomarkers for cell and gene therapy in the Experimental Medicine Unit.
“We are delighted that Laura is joining the Verismo team,” said Bryan kim, DMD, CEO of Verismo. Laura brings over 20 years of research and development leadership in genetic engineering cell therapy targeting solid tumors and is one of the scientific founders of the KIR-CAR platform. Laura’s focus and dedication to the project will contribute to the success of our clinical development. and establish KIR-CAR therapy as a leading treatment for solid tumor indications. His experience in the development of the KIR-CAR platform alongside the co-founder of Verismo , the doctor. Michael milone, To Penn is invaluable, and we can’t wait to see her make her mark at Verismo. “
Prior to joining Verismo, Dr Johnson was the Senior Translational Medicine Manager for the Oncology Cell Therapy Research Unit at GlaxoSmithKline Pharma (UK and US), where she founded several new research teams. preclinical before moving on to clinical development where she led the first division of clinical biomarkers for cell therapy in oncology. In these roles, she has overseen asset development, from target validation to strategy and implementation of global cell therapy clinical trials, ranging from early human trials to pivotal trials in multiple indications.
During his academic career, Dr Johnson worked with Prof. Carl June to University of Pennsylvania, where she built the Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Lab, one of the founding groups of the Penn Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, and led developing preclinical translational research for clinical trials in glioblastoma (GBM) and other solid tumors. Earlier in her career, as an assistant professor at duke university and co-founder of the Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program, Dr Johnson has developed both immuno-filled and immunodeficient syngeneic preclinical models to test chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies in GBM, which has become a leader in the field, and has translated this work into clinical trials at NIH NCI. With a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Dr. Johnson did a scholarship to NIH NCI under the supervision of Dr. Steven rosenberg, where she developed, from concept to clinical trials, some of the first clinically successful genetically engineered T cell therapies for cancer.
ABOUT VERISMO THERAPEUTICS
Situated at Philadelphia cream, Verismo Therapeutics is a pioneer of multi-chain KIR-CAR T technology, on track to introduce its first active in First-in-Human clinical trials in 2023. Verismo is the only company to develop the KIR-CAR platform, a Revolutionary NK-type receptor designed to dramatically improve persistence and efficacy against the most aggressive solid tumors. This technology was developed at Penn by the team behind Kymriah â¢, the first approved CAR T cell therapy. The KIR-CAR platform technology has been developed specifically for advanced solid tumors, an area where unmet medical needs are great and where no other cell therapy has yet shown significant efficacy in clinical trials. High verismo $ 16 million in seed funding, led by HLB Pharmaceuticals and HLB, Ltd., a biopharmaceutical conglomerate in Korea. For more information visit: www.verismotherapeutics.com
ABOUT THE KIR-CAR PLATFORM
The KIR-CAR platform is the first multi-chain CAR T cell therapy, capable of maintaining anti-tumor T cell activity even in the most challenging solid tumor environments. Based on Natural Killer Cell receptors, KIR-CAR provides natural T cell stimulation, without triggering T cell depletion. DAP12 costimulatory chains help other T cell stimulation pathways, further improving persistence cellular. This continuous function and persistence can lead to continued regression of solid tumors, including those refractory to traditional CAR T cell therapies. In addition, the KIR-CAR platform can be combined with many additional emerging technologies, such as in vivo gene editing, advanced T cell selection, combination therapies and even allogeneic cell therapies to provide adaptable tumor targeting therapy to patients in need.
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SOURCE Verismo Therapeutics
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