PHOENIX, January 9, 2020 – OncoMyx Therapeutics, a privately-held oncolytic immunotherapy company, announced today the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), comprised of experts in tumor immunology, oncology drug discovery and development, and oncolytic viruses. The SAB will work closely with the OncoMyx leadership team as the company advances a therapeutic pipeline of oncolytic immunotherapies based on the myxoma virus (MYXV) platform. The company’s pipeline includes both monotherapies and therapies to be used in combination with immune checkpoint blockade and other immuno-modulatory approaches, offering significant therapeutic promise to a wide range of cancer targets.
“This is a group of highly-accomplished scientists and drug hunters, some whom I have known for many years,” said Leslie Sharp, Ph.D., chief scientific officer (CSO) of OncoMyx. “We are thrilled to welcome Tobias, Neil, Grant, Ronan, and Dominic to our SAB, and I look forward to working with the team to develop new therapeutic options for cancer patients.”
The SAB will be comprised of the following members:
Tobias Bald, Ph.D. is the Head of the Oncology and Cellular Immunology Laboratory at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. He is a leading expert in tumor immunology with a strong focus on the role of the innate immune system during tumor development, progression and cancer immunotherapy.
Neil Gibson, Ph.D. is President and CEO of PDI Therapeutics and Senior Vice President of COI Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Gibson has more than 30 years of drug development experience and has been involved in the successful discovery, development and commercialization of four approved oncology drugs (including temozolomide, sorafenib, erlotnib, and crizotinib). Dr Gibson’s extensive oncology experience includes being CSO of Pfizer Oncology Research Unit, CSO of Regulus Therapeutics and CSO of OSI Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Gibson also serves on the board of TCR2, a new public company focused on T-cell therapies.
Grant McFadden, Ph.D. is founder, research advisor, and director at OncoMyx. He is one of the top global leaders in oncolytic viruses with a specialization in pox viruses, including myxoma. The McFadden lab pioneered the field of viral immune subversion (also called “anti-immunology”) and is credited with the discovery of a wide spectrum of virus-derived inhibitors of the immune system.
Ronan O’Hagan, Ph.D. is Senior Vice President of Research and Translational Sciences at Akrevia Therapeutics. Prior to Akrevia, Ronan served as Executive Director, Oncology Discovery at Merck Research Laboratories. In this role he led the oncology discovery program at Merck with a particular emphasis on approaches to enable and enhance immune-modulatory therapies in cancer. Earlier at Merck, he led target identification and validation for oncology and generated an early-discovery pipeline including both biologics and small-molecule programs. He has helped to bring multiple small-molecule and biologics programs into clinical development during his time in industry. His academic career included undergraduate and graduate work in Canada followed by post-doctoral work at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). In Dr. Ron DePinho’s laboratory at DFCI, he focused on genetically engineered mouse models of cancer and novel approaches to target discovery.
Dominic Spinella, Ph.D. has over 25 years of experience in drug research and development and the discipline of Translational Medicine. He has been an executive leader at Chugai Biopharmaceuticals USA, where he was Vice President of Exploratory Research; at Pfizer where he served as head of Translational Medicine for the Oncology division; and at Amgen where he was Executive Director of Medical Sciences and head of Biomarkers and Diagnostics. A former professor of Medicine and Immunology at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and Howard Hughes postdoctoral fellow at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, he also served on several national and international cancer biomarker development bodies.
“We are assembling a world-class team with deep expertise in developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics,” said Steve Potts, Ph.D., MBA, founder and chief executive officer of OncoMyx. “Our SAB’s collective strategic, scientific, and clinical experience, together with our existing team, will help transform OncoMyx into a high growth clinical-stage therapeutics company.”
About OncoMyx Therapeutics
OncoMyx Therapeutics, a startup launched from Arizona State University (ASU), develops oncolytic immunotherapies based on the myxoma virus (MYXV) platform to orchestrate an immune response and treat cancer. Successful immuno-oncology (IO) cancer treatment generally requires combination therapy, and oncolytic viruses (OVs) have emerged as a safe and effective IO complement. The company’s MYXV platform, spun out from ASU, is poised to be a best-in-class OV approach, and the top OV team has assembled around MYXV to create important new therapeutic options for cancer patients. For more information, please visit www.oncomyx.com.
Michael G. Wood
Founder & COO