Gadeta B.V. (‘Gadeta’), an innovative clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of gamma delta (γδ) T-cell receptor (TCR)-based immunotherapies for solid tumors, today announced the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of internationally renowned leaders in oncology, T cell biology, and strategic drug development. The Scientific Advisory Board will be chaired by Dr. Hagop Youssoufian and includes Dr. Guillem Argilés of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Robbie Majzner of Stanford University School of Medicine, Professor Jamie Rossjohn of Monash University and Dr. Cassian Yee of The University Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Gazeta expects to progress two solid tumor cell therapy programs toward the clinic in 2023. Its first program, GDT002, is based on a γ9δ2 TCR that targets a protein broadly expressed in both hematological as well as solid tumors. GDT002 has been clinically tested in more than a dozen patients and has shown signals of clinical activity. Gazeta will now focus on the clinical development of GDT002 in solid tumors and already has an open IND. The second program, GDT201, comprises a non-δ2 TCR targeting a surface protein shown to be modified in a variety of solid tumors. This product also incorporates a proprietary costimulatory technology to enhance T cell activity in the tumor microenvironment. GDT201 will be evaluated in a phase I trial for select solid tumor indications, slated to start in H2 2023.
Geeta continues to scale up its NOVA γδ TCR discovery platform to expand its portfolio of proprietary tumor-specific γδ TCRs. The productivity and development speed of the NOVA platform supports Gadeta’s strategy of building a first-in-class product pipeline to bring the full promise of cell therapy to patients with advanced cancer and limited therapeutic options. Gazeta will also broaden the application of γδ TCRs with other biological formats to leverage the unique tumor-targeting properties of γδ TCRs.
Marcel Zwaal, Chief Executive Officer of Gazeta, said: “In light of our company’s progress, I am delighted with the formation of our Scientific Advisory Board. We are developing our technology fast and in multiple directions. The expertise of these global scientific leaders will help to shape the expansion and success of our programs. We are determined to create a new generation of cell therapies for solid tumors with enhanced potency, targeting, and access. This strong Scientific Advisory Board will be a tremendous asset to Gadeta as we accelerate the development of our internal pipeline and those of our business partners.”
Dr. Hagop Youssoufian (Chair) is a physician-scientist with more than 25 years of experience in drug development working with seed-stage ventures to multi-national biotech and pharmaceutical corporations. After a successful academic career as a clinician, teacher, and NIH-funded investigator, he held senior roles in clinical and translational science at Bristol-Myers Squibb (Head of Experimental Medicine), Sanofi Aventis (Distinguished Scientist), ImClone (Chief Medical Officer), Ziopharm Oncology (President of R&D and Chief Medical Officer), Progenics (Executive VP of R&D), and BIND (Chief Medical Officer). He supported and led the approval of ten medicines in cancer, including Erbitux® and Cyramza®. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Brown University. He received a B.S. in biology from Boston College and an MSc/MD from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, followed by fellowships at Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and MIT.
Dr. Guillem Argilés is a member of the Sloan Kettering Institute Medicine Department where he conducts research focused on developing new immunotherapy strategies for colorectal cancer. Before that he was a member of the Gastrointestinal Malignancies Division at the Vall d’Hebrón University Hospital in Barcelona since 2014. He began his career focused on translational research by obtaining his Medical Oncology specialization in 2011 under the supervision of Prof José Baselga, at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital. In 2011 Dr Argilés joined the Phase 1 and Developmental Therapeutics Division of the institution for a fellowship stage in molecular therapeutics. During this period, he had the opportunity to be involved in the pre-clinical and early clinical studies that established the basis for further clinical development of part of the main molecularly driven drugs currently emerging in clinical practice such as PI3K-MAPK, Wnt, Sonic Hedgehog, TGF-beta, and Notch pathway inhibitors. Due to his interest in the field of metastatic colorectal cancer, Dr Argilés joined the Gastrointestinal Malignancies Division at the Vall d’Hebrón University Hospital as a team member under the supervision of Prof Josep Tabernero. He is currently on sabbatical at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center investigating new ways to treat advanced colorectal cancer with immunotherapy.
Dr. Robbie Majzner is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine who is focused on the development and deployment of immunotherapies for pediatric cancer. He received his MD from Harvard Medical School followed by training in pediatrics at New York Presbyterian-Columbia and pediatric hematology-oncology at Johns Hopkins and the National Cancer Institute. His pioneering work, which started in the world-renowned Crystal Mackall laboratory, centers on engineering platform technologies to improve the efficacy of CAR T cells in solid tumors and overcome therapeutic resistance. Concurrently, he is focused on translating laboratory advances into innovative clinical trials for children with incurable cancers.
Professor Jamie Rossjohn is National Health and Medical Research Investigator Fellow at Monash University. Prof. Rossjohn is known for his contributions to the understanding of the molecular basis underpinning T-cell-mediated protective and aberrant immunity. He has used structural biology to explain how the TCR specifically recognizes polymorphic Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) molecules. He has unearthed structural mechanisms of HLA polymorphism impacting drug and food hypersensitivities. He has pioneered our molecular understanding of lipid-based immunity by T cells and has provided a structural basis of how vitamin B metabolites can be presented and recognized by the immune system, revealing a new class of antigen. Collectively, he has published > 480 papers. Prof Rossjohn has been recognized as a Clarivate/Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher and is a fellow of a number of learned academies; in 2022 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
Dr. Cassian Yee is a Professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Department of Immunology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as well as Director of the Solid Tumor Cell Therapy Program. He previously held the position of Professor in the Division of Oncology at the University of Washington and was a Member of the Program in Immunology, Clinical Research Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The Yee Lab is developing adoptive cellular therapy as a treatment modality for patients with malignant and viral diseases. Over the last 18 years, Dr. Yee’s research has been focused on the isolation of autologous antigen-specific T cells from the peripheral blood, manipulation of immune modulating parameters to enhance effector function and persistence and their expansion to numbers sufficient for adoptive transfer, and Vivo tracking. Dr. Yee holds more than 15 worldwide patents on the ex vivo generation of antigen-specific T cells, memory reprogramming, and antigen discovery in an effort to establish immunotherapy-based cancer treatments on a global scale.