Highly Accomplished Thought Leader with Proven Track Record of Immunotherapy Drug Development
BOSTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)— Ankyra Therapeutics, a company developing cancer therapies based on tumor localized immune potentiating agents, announced today that the Board of Directors has appointed Howard L. Kaufman, MD as Chief Executive Officer effective March 22, 2022. He will be the first CEO for the company and previously served as the Chief Medical Officer at Ankyra. Co-founder Tillman Gerngross, PhD will remain as Chairman of the Board at Ankyra Therapeutics.
Dr. Kaufman has had numerous leadership roles in healthcare and biotechnology in his 20 year professional career. Among his many accomplishments include approvals of Amgen’s Talimogene laherparepvec, the first oncolytic virus approved by the FDA for the treatment of cancer, and EMD Serono’s avelumab, an anti-PD-L1 monoclonal antibody, the first drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma. Prior to joining Ankyra as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kaufman served as Chief Medical Officer at Replimune, Inc. and Head of Research & Development at Immuneering Corp. Prior to joining industry he had an exemplary academic career and was the Associate Director of the Herbert Irving Cancer Center at Columbia University in New York City, Associate Dean and Cancer Center Director at Rush University in Chicago, and was a tenured Professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He has also served as President of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer and has published over 500 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters. He currently holds clinical appointments at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary in Boston and has an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kaufman has been driven by his passion to find new treatments for patients with cancer and has enjoyed mentoring early career physicians and scientists to focus on cancer immunotherapy.
“I am honored to be leading Ankyra at this exciting time in their development”, Dr. Kaufman said. He went on to add that “the anchored immunotherapy platform being developed at Ankyra provides a novel, yet simple, solution for delivering therapeutically effective doses of immunotherapy agents to cancers while avoiding systemic toxicity. Ankyra has assembled one of the most experienced and productive teams in the business and is well positioned to benefit from the many academic collaborations already established.” Kaufman also went on to say that “we will place a high priority on getting our lead drug into the clinic while also broadening the Ankyra pipeline in order to extend the impact of anchored immunotherapy to as many cancer patients as possible.”
“Dr. Kaufman is a well-respected expert in immunotherapy, and in his CMO role at Ankyra, he has positioned the company for rapid translation of our lead compound into the clinic. Since joining Ankyra, he has also established several key academic and pharmaceutical partnerships that have accelerated our development efforts,” stated Dr. Tillman Gerngross, Co-founder, and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Ankyra Therapeutics.
About Ankyra Therapeutics
Ankyra Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that has developed a highly differentiated technology platform that expands the therapeutic window of cytokine drugs by forming a stable depot in the tumor after local administration leading to prolonged immune activation and potent local and systemic immunity with reduced systemic toxicity.
Ankyra was founded in 2019 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit www.ankyratx.com
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