– USA, MA – Vedantra Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an immunotherapy company focused on developing products for cancer and infectious disease, today announced the appointment of Julian Adams, Ph.D. as Executive Chairman. Dr. Adams, who recently stepped down as President of Research and Development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, will oversee strategic and operational responsibilities, fund raising and drive R&D program development for the company.
“Julian’s extensive industry and leadership experience in drug discovery and development will provide a huge boost to our organization and exciting therapeutic vaccine programs,” commented Bill Koster, Acting Chairman of Vedantra Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “This is a clear advantage as we look to bring our first therapeutic cancer vaccine into the clinic within the next 18 months and advance our exciting program targeting malaria.”
“Vedantra’s interbilayer-crosslinked multilamellar vesicles, or ICMV, and albumin-binding amphiphile technologies present groundbreaking approaches to vaccine development for therapeutic areas such as oncology and infectious diseases, where I have focused my professional career,” said Julian Adams, Ph.D., Executive Chairman of Vedantra. “I’m very excited to begin working with Vedantra, and look forward to expanding our team in the coming months. Our goal is to drive toward clinical trials for our lead cancer vaccine program and explore a host of new indications for the platform technologies.”
Dr. Adams has more than 30 years of experience in drug discovery and development with a strong focus on oncology. Dr. Adams previously served as President of Research and Development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for the full spectrum of drug discovery, preclinical and clinical development, and regulatory affairs activities. Prior to joining Infinity, Dr. Adams was the Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery and Development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he headed multiple global drug discovery programs, including the successful Velcade® (bortezomib) program for multiple myeloma. Dr. Adams also held senior positions in research and development at LeukoSite (acquired by Millennium) and at ProScript, as well as in Boehringer Ingelheim, where he was credited with the discovery of Viramune® (nevirapine) for HIV. Dr. Adams was recently named Chairman of the Board at Gamida Cell.
About ICMV and Albumin-Binding Amphiphile Technologies
Interbilayer-crosslinked multilamellar vesicles (ICMVs) represent a new approach to lipid nanoparticles. Where previous generations of lipid particles rapidly degrade inside the body, ICMVs do not. By stabilizing the lipid shell with cross-linked adjacent phospholipid bilayers, ICMVs significantly improve particle stability in vivo, maintaining their integrity over weeks to months. This resiliency improves the efficacy of vaccine formulations by delivering antigens and adjuvants together to the lymph nodes, giving antigen-presenting cells (APCs) both the context and target to drive adaptive immune responses. ICMVs are manufactured in an entirely aqueous, gentle, and scalable process that has been validated by an outside GMP CMO. Where ICMVs are particularly useful for delivering protein antigens to target certain cancer populations, Vedantra’s albumin-binding amphiphiles are highly efficient for delivering peptidic antigens with adjuvants to the APCs in the lymph nodes. In this era of neoantigen discovery, albumin-binding amphiphiles provide a technology for eliciting robust T-cell responses to peptidic neoantigens identified in tumors of cancer patients.
About Vedantra Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Vedantra Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an immunotherapy company focused on developing products for cancer and infectious diseases. Vedantra’s technologies enlist both antibody and T-cell responses that impair and destroy pathogens before they can replicate and cause serious damage in the body. Prophylactic vaccines have been among the greatest achievements in human healthcare, demonstrating the power of natural immune responses when focused on the right targets. Vedantra builds upon advances in antibody and T-cell therapies, using the body’s natural immune responses against defined targets to create effective, durable and safe prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines targeting endemic maladies.
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