PureTech Affiliate Vor Biopharma Appoints Robert Ang, MBBS, MBA, as President and Chief Executive Officer
PureTech Health plc (LSE: PRTC) (“PureTech”), an advanced biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines for dysfunctions of the Brain-Immune-Gut (BIG) axis, today announced that its affiliate Vor Biopharma has appointed Robert Ang, MBBS, MBA, as president and chief executive officer.
Dr Ang joins Vor Biopharma from Neon Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NTGN), where he served as chief business officer and helped to establish the company prior to its Series A financing and through its initial public offering as an early member of the team. His deep experience in biotech business development also includes his tenure as senior vice president of business development at Bavarian Nordic, where he was primarily responsible for conducting a $975 million transaction with Bristol-Myers Squibb for PROSTVAC, a Phase 3 immuno-oncology asset. Dr Ang has also held leadership roles at Cadence Pharmaceuticals and Frazier Healthcare Ventures, a leading life sciences venture capital firm.
Bharatt Chowrira, JD, PhD, president and chief of business strategy at PureTech and a member of the board of directors of Vor Biopharma said: “Dr Ang’s extensive industry and business development experience positions him as an exceptional addition to Vor’s team. We look forward to working with him as Vor advances its lead candidate for the potential treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia.”
Vor also announced its expansion and move into new integrated offices and lab space in Cambridge, Mass.
The full text of the announcement from Vor Biopharma is as follows:
Vor Biopharma Appoints Veteran Biotech Executive Dr Robert Ang as President and Chief Executive Officer
Company expands into integrated labs and offices in global biotech hub of Kendall Square
CAMBRIDGE, August 7, 2019 — Vor Biopharma, an oncology company pioneering engineered haematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) for the treatment of haematological cancers, today announced the appointment of Robert Ang, MBBS, MBA as its president and chief executive officer. Vor also announced a move into new integrated headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. This expansion follows a recent $42 million Series A financing directed at advancing the Company’s lead eHSC-based candidate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia towards the clinic and further building the pipeline.
Dr Ang is the former chief business officer of Neon Therapeutics, part of the early team establishing the company prior to its Series A investment and through its initial public offering. Prior to Neon, he served as senior vice president of business development at Bavarian Nordic, where he was primarily responsible for conducting a $975 million transaction between the company and Bristol-Myers Squibb for PROSTVAC, a Phase 3 immuno-oncology asset. Before joining Bavarian Nordic, Dr Ang served as head of both business development and medical affairs for Cadence Pharmaceuticals and worked at Frazier Healthcare Ventures, a leading life sciences venture capital firm. At Frazier, he was involved in several pharmaceutical and biotechnology investments including Cadence Pharmaceuticals (now Mallinckrodt), Incline Therapeutics (now The Medicines Company), Alnara Pharmaceuticals (now Eli Lilly) and Collegium Pharmaceuticals. Dr Ang also has experience in strategy consulting at the Boston Consulting Group and has general surgical training. He holds an MBBS (Doctor of Medicine) from the University of Western Australia and an MBA with honours from Columbia Business School.
“I am privileged to join Vor Biopharma, a company already equipped with leading science from Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee’s lab at Columbia University and strong financial backing from eminent life science investors. Vor’s unique and scientifically elegant eHSC approach places it among the most exciting opportunities in oncology, with the potential to change the treatment paradigm of liquid tumours,” said Dr Ang. “An excellent team has already been established in Cambridge, Mass., and new headquarters in Kendall Square will catalyse our research and development in gene editing, haematopoietic stem cell biology, process development and translational medicine.”
“Robert has a deep understanding of the oncology landscape and a proven track record in strategic planning and business development,” said Kush Parmar, MD, PhD, Managing Partner at 5AM Ventures and Chairman of Vor’s Board of Directors. “We are thrilled to welcome Robert to Vor at this pivotal moment as we bring the company to a new stage of growth and development while advancing our lead candidate, VOR33, toward the clinic.”
Vor’s lead engineered haematopoietic stem cell (eHSC) product candidate, VOR33, is in development for acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). VOR33 is designed to produce healthy blood cells that lack the receptor CD33, thus enabling the targeting of AML cells through the CD33 antigen while avoiding toxicity to the blood and bone marrow. Currently, treating AML with therapy that targets CD33 can be effective but may be limited in dose and duration due to toxicity to the blood and bone marrow. By rendering healthy blood and bone marrow cells ‘invisible' to CD33-targeted therapies, VOR33 aims to significantly improve the therapeutic window and effectiveness of these AML therapies with potential to broaden clinical benefit to different patient populations.
About Vor Biopharma
Vor Biopharma is pioneering engineered haematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) to dramatically change the treatment paradigm for haematological cancers. Vor’s eHSCs are designed to generate healthy, fully functional cells with specific advantageous modifications, for example to protect the blood and bone marrow from the toxic effects of antigen-targeted therapies, protecting healthy cells from depletion but leaving tumour cells vulnerable.
Vor’s platform could potentially be used to change the treatment paradigm of both haematopoietic stem cell transplants and antigen-targeted therapies such as antibody drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies and CAR-T cell treatments. A proof-of-concept study for Vor’s lead programme has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Vor is based in Cambridge, Mass. and has a broad intellectual property base including in-licenses from Columbia University, where foundational work was conducted by inventor and Vor Scientific Board Chair Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil. Vor was founded by Dr Mukherjee and PureTech Health and is supported by leading investors including 5AM Ventures and RA Capital Management, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research and Osage University Partners.
PureTech (LSE: PRTC) is an advanced biopharmaceutical company developing highly differentiated medicines for dysfunctions of the Brain-Immune-Gut (BIG) axis. The company has gained deep insights into the connection between these systems and the resulting role in diseases that have been resistant to established therapeutic approaches. By harnessing this emerging field of human biology, PureTech is developing new categories of medicines with the potential to have great impact on people with serious disorders.
PureTech is advancing a rich pipeline of innovative therapies with an unbiased, nimble, and capital efficient R&D model across its affiliates and its internal R&D pipeline. PureTech’s pipeline comprises two dozen product candidates, including several clinical-stage programmes, and one product that has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The PureTech pipeline includes ground-breaking platforms and therapeutic candidates that were developed in collaboration with some of the world’s leading experts.
PureTech’s internal pipeline is centred on lymphatic targeting and tissue-selective immunomodulation for the potential treatment of immune and central nervous system disorders, lymphatic conditions, and cancers. The company is advancing multiple platforms to enable oral administration of therapies directly into the lymphatic system, regulate lymphatic flow and function, and target immunosuppressive mechanisms in oncology. For more information, visit www.puretechhealth.com or connect with us on Twitter @puretechh.
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments, and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.