05 Mar Amphivena Expands Executive Team – Victoria Smith, Ph.D. Named Chief Scientific Officer; Peter Van Vlasselaer, Ph.D. Appointed Executive Chairman of the Board
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO – March 5, 2019 — Amphivena Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held clinical stage immuno-oncology (I/O) company that develops T cell engager therapeutics for myeloid malignancies and solid tumors, announced today the appointment of Victoria Smith, Ph.D. to the position of Chief Scientific Officer. Separately, the company said that Peter Van Vlasselaer, Ph.D. joined the Amphivena Board of Directors as an independent Executive Chairman.
“Drs. Smith and Van Vlasselaer bring strong leadership in immuno-oncology and biologics drug development to Amphivena. Their joining is timely as AMV564, our lead compound, is showing clinical efficacy, durability of response, and excellent safety in myeloid malignancies. As we prepare for testing the compound in solid tumors and expand the pipeline, their contributions will be invaluable,” said Dr. Jeanmarie Guenot, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amphivena.
“T cell engagement is poised to become a breakthrough technology in the I/O space. The monotherapy activity of AMV564, combined with its excellent safety profile and its ability to modulate the T cell and myeloid compartments in cancer, including selective elimination of myeloid derived suppressor cells in the tumor microenvironment, clearly differentiates AMV564 in I/O,” said Dr. Peter Van Vlasselaer, Executive Chair of the Board.
Dr. Smith joins Amphivena from Gilead, where she led the Biologics and Target Biology Group, responsible for biologics-focused drug discovery and translational research in oncology. Prior to that, Dr. Smith was Arresto Biosciences’ Vice President of Research and Preclinical Development and led research and non-clinical development activities from the company’s initiation to its acquisition by Gilead in 2011. Before that, at Genentech, she generated and evaluated targeted cancer therapeutics, with an emphasis on antibody drug conjugates and intellectual property protection. She has a B.S. from the University of Western Australia and a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, UK, and she was a Research and Post-Doctoral Fellow at Stanford University in the Departments of BioChemistry and Genetics. She is an author on numerous peer reviewed scientific publications and patents and has received multiple scientific awards.
Dr. Peter Van Vlasselaer has over 20 years of experience in the biotech industry. He was most recently the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of ARMO Biosciences, which shortly after its public offering (ARMO) was acquired by Eli Lilly. Before that he was President and Chief Executive Officer of iPierian (acquired by BMS), Arresto (acquired by Gilead) and Avidia (acquired by Amgen). In addition to founding ARMO, Dr. Van Vlasselaer was the founder of Arresto, co-founder of TrueNorth (acquired by Bioverativ), and he was a member of the start-up teams of InterMune (ITMN) and Dendreon (DNDN). He currently serves on the boards of Blade Therapeutics, Comet Therapeutics, Asceneuron and Rgenix. Dr. Van Vlasselaer has a degree in Zoology and a Ph.D. in Immunology from the Catholic University of 2Leuven, Belgium. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford University Medical School and DNAX Research Institute. Dr. Van Vlasselaer has authored several peer reviewed scientific publications and book chapters, and he is an inventor on multiple patents.
About Amphivena Therapeutics, Inc.
Amphivena Therapeutics, Inc. is a private clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing T cell engager therapeutics for myeloid malignancies and solid tumors. Amphivena’s lead molecule, AMV564, a bivalent, bispecific (2:2) CD33/CD3 T cell engaging antibody, is in two Phase 1/2 studies in acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. Amphivena has raised $65 M to date in Series A, B and C venture financings led by MPM Capital, funds managed by Tekla Capital Management LLC, NanoDimension and Qiming Venture Partners. For more information, please visit www.amphivena.com.
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