SAN DIEGO, April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —
BioTheryX, Inc., a clinical-stage company focused on degrading proteins to create life-saving medicines, today announced the expansion of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with the appointment of three new members: David Komander, Ph.D., Kevan M. Shokat, Ph.D. and Peter Walter, Ph.D. The newly appointed members will work with the company’s current SAB members and with BioTheryX’s leadership team.
“We’re thrilled to add greater depth and breadth to our SAB with the additions of David, Kevan and Peter, who are world-leading experts in targeted protein degradation and oncology drug development,” said Rob Williamson, President and CEO of BioTheryX. “We look forward to their contributions as we progress our lead A51 program through Phase 1, advance our first molecular glue program 1188 into the clinic which is planned for the second half of 2021, and continue to expand our platform of molecular glues, Proteolysis Targeting Chimeras and monovalent degraders for promising cancer targets.”
The backgrounds of the SAB members, including the new appointments, are as follows:
Yinon Ben-Neriah, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Ben-Neriah received his M.D. from Tel Aviv University and Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science and was a postdoctoral fellow in Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore’s lab at the Whitehead Institute-MIT. His research work focuses on signaling pathways regulating innate immunity and inflammation, particularly in the context of cancer. His lab deciphered key steps in the activation of the NFkB and Wnt signaling pathways and studied them in animal models of cancer. Dr. Ben-Neriah is an elected member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), a spokesman of the International German Israeli Graduate Student program SignGene, Chair of the advisory board of the BIOSS Excellence Center of Freiburg University (Germany), and Adjunct Professor in Shanghai Jiao Tong University. In December 2019, Dr. Ben-Neriah was awarded the EMET Prize, also known as ‘Israel’s Nobel Prize’, in the Life Sciences category for his “important scientific contribution to understanding immune signaling processes and decoding abnormal signal transmission mechanisms in cancer cells”. In addition, Dr. Ben-Neriah has also been awarded the Rappaport Prize, for his biomedical research, Columbia University’s Schaefer Research Scholar Award, the Teva Founders Prize, and the Landau Prize.
Aaron Ciechanover, M.D., D.SC (Chair of SAB)
Dr. Ciechanover is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. He received his M.Sc. (1971) and M.D. (1973) from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Following national service as military physician (1973-1976), he continued his studies to obtain a doctorate in biological sciences (D.Sc., Technion, 1982). There, as a graduate student with Dr. Avram Hershko, they discovered that covalent attachment of ubiquitin to a target protein signals it for degradation. As a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. Harvey Lodish at the M.I.T., he continued his studies on the ubiquitin system and made additional important discoveries. Ciechanover has received numerous awards including the 2000 Albert Lasker Award, the 2003 Israel Prize, and the 2004 Nobel Prize (Chemistry; shared with Drs. Hershko and Rose). Among many academies, Dr. Ciechanover is a member of the Israeli National Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Foreign Fellow), the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences of the USA and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of the USA (Foreign Associate), and the Russian Academy of Sciences (Foreign Member).
David Komander, Ph.D.
Dr. David Komander is Head of the Ubiquitin Signaling Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) in Melbourne, Australia. He received his PhD from the University of Dundee, and worked as a Beit Memorial Fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, before starting a prolific lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge UK (2008-18). The Komander lab has developed various methods to interrogate the complexity in the ubiquitin code, and uncovered the molecular basis for specificity in the ubiquitin system in E3 ligases, ubiquitin binding domains, and deubiquitinases (DUBs), discovering unappreciated linkage preferences in OTU DUBs, new human enzymes including OTULIN, and establishing DUBs as drug targets. In the last few years, his lab has structurally characterized all key components mediating the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of mitochondria via PINK1/Parkin-mediated mitophagy, providing the molecular underpinning of early-onset parkinsonism. At WEHI, David now also has access to state-of-the-art facilities to interrogate ubiquitin enzymes at the physiological level, and to develop small molecule probes and inhibitors to enable drug discovery. David is a member of EMBO, and a Lister Fellow.
Robert Orlowski, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Orlowski is Chairman, Ad Interim, Director of Myeloma, and Professor of Medicine in the Departments of Lymphoma/Myeloma and Professor, Experimental Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine, at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. Dr. Orlowski earned his doctoral degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University and his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Dr. Orlowski has published numerous book chapters, articles, and abstracts on cancer therapy, with a focus on the molecular pathogenesis of oncologic disease processes and the mechanisms of action of chemotherapeutics.
Kevan M. Shokat, Ph.D.
Dr. Shokat is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California at San Francisco and Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley. He received his B.A. in Chemistry from Reed College in 1986, his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at UC Berkeley with Professor Peter Schultz and carried out post-doctoral work in cellular immunology at Stanford University with Professor Chris Goodnow. Kevan’s research group is focused on the discovery of new small molecule tools and drug candidates targeting protein/lipid kinases, GTPases, and RNA helicases. His laboratory utilizes the tools of synthetic organic chemistry, protein engineering, structural biology, biochemistry and cell biology. He was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences (2010), the National Academy of Medicine (2011), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011). He has commercialized discoveries from his laboratory through co-founding several biotechnology companies including Intellikine, Araxes, Wellspring Biosciences, Kura Oncology, eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Mitokinin, Revolution Medicines and Kumquat Biosciences.
Peter Walter, Ph.D.
Dr. Walter is a distinguished professor of biochemistry and biophysics at University of California, San Francisco, serving as Department Chair from 2001 until 2008. At UCSF, Dr. Walter and his team are identifying the machinery and mechanisms that ensure proper protein synthesis, folding, and targeting, as well as the pathways that allow organelles to communicate and regulate their abundance. Since 1997, Dr. Walter has been an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is the 2016 President of the American Society of Cell Biology and an elected member of several prestigious scientific societies such as the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Molecular Biology Organization. He is a co-author of the textbooks Molecular Biology of the Cell and Essential Cell Biology, two of the world’s most widely used standard works in the field of molecular cell biology. Among the many awards he has received are the Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, the Passano Award, the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences, the Stein & Moore Award from the Protein Society, the Gairdner Award, the E.B. Wilson Medal from the American Society of Cell Biology, the Otto Warburg Medal from the German Biochemical Society, the Jung Prize, and the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, the Shaw Prize, the Lasker Award, the Vilcek Prize, the Breakthrough Prize, and the UCSF Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award. Dr. Walter holds a Master of Science degree in organic chemistry from Vanderbilt University and later went to the Rockefeller University in New York for his doctoral study with Günter Blobel.
About BioTheryX, Inc.
BioTheryX is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on restoring protein homeostasis, including protein degradation and modulation, and multi-kinase inhibition to develop treatments intended to extend and improve the quality-of-life of patients with cancer and other diseases. Our principal technology platform centers on targeted protein degradation, PHM® ‘molecular glues’, that enable the design of small molecules to regulate protein equilibrium. This technology is designed to utilize the body’s own protein disposal system to selectively degrade and remove disease-causing proteins. It has potential applicability for a broad range of diseases, including targets that have to date been considered ‘undruggable’, and BioTheryX is initially focused on treating oncology indications with high unmet need. For more information, please visit www.biotheryx.com and engage with us on LinkedIn.
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