Finding Safe, Effective Ways to Use CAR T Cells Against Solid Cancers
AffyImmune is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing technologies that expand the utility and improve the safety of cell-based immunotherapy for cancer.
AffyImmune’s core focus is on developing CAR T cells effective in treating solid tumors, which account for over 90% of all cancer fatalities. Our Phase I clinical trial of our lead compound in patients with anaplastic or refractory thyroid cancer is now enrolling patients (NCT04420754).
Matt has over 25 years of industry experience spanning process development and manufacturing, strategy consulting, business development, and operations. Prior to joining AffyImmune, Matt was Senior Vice President and Head of Business Development at Minerva Biotechnologies, where he was integral in taking a solid tumor CAR T therapy into clinical trials and oversaw CMC, regulatory, and clinical operations. Before that, Matt held scientific, consulting, and BD roles at Merck, Pfizer, Equinox Group, Health Advances, and Envoy Therapeutics during its acquisition by Takeda. He received B.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biology from MIT and an M.A. in Biology and MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Sonal Gupta, MD, PhD
Sonal brings more than 15 years of industry experience, including leadership roles at AVROBIO, CRISPR Therapeutics and Rubius Therapeutics. She has built and led translational research and medicine teams across multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology and rare diseases. In addition, Sonal’s specialties include clinical trial design and execution, medical monitoring, and clinical data management and interpretation, including biomarker strategies. Sonal earned her PhD in cancer research from the University of Bradford in the UK, and her medical degree from the Government Medical College, Surat in India.
Dawn is a seasoned Clinical Operations leader, with over 25 years of industry experience. Her career has held a focus in early development oncology at both large and small pharma. Prior to joining AffyImmune, Dawn led the entire early development Cell Therapy portfolio for clinical trials at BMS. Her tenure at BMS/Celgene includes 5 years in Cell Therapy in both Clinical Operations and Manufacturing roles. She received a B.S. in Business and Marketing from Skidmore College and holds APMP qualification from the Association for Project Management.
Gavin Liu, PhD
Head of CMC
Gavin has over 15 years of experience in biotechnology with a focus on cancer immunotherapy, cell therapy process development, and CMC. Prior to joining AffyImmune, he led process development efforts on Simcere Pharmaceutical’s first allogeneic CAR-NK product. Gavin has led novel cell therapy pipeline development from platform building to technology transfer through clinical manufacturing, including at Mustang Bio, where he helped transfer Mustang’s first CAR T and gene therapy product for clinical development. Before that, Gavin earned his PhD at Peking University and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at UC San Francisco.
Simone Song, MBA
Simone is the founder and a senior partner at ORI Capital and has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare investment sector. She was the former head of Goldman Sachs Healthcare Investment Banking for Greater China, managing director of Cowen Group, a member of the advisory board of AXA Investment Managers, and an executive board advisor to AXA Asia Pacific Holdings. Simone holds a B.A. in Economics from Fudan University in China and an M.A. in Economics from Claremont Graduate School in the United States.
Moonsoo Jin, PhD
Moonsoo is a co-founder of AffyImmune and an Associate Professor of biomedical engineering at Weill Cornell Medical college. His lab uses multi-scale, interdisciplinary approaches to develop proteins for therapeutic and diagnostic applications and has received numerous awards for his work during his tenure at Cornell. Moonsoo completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard and holds a Ph.D. from MIT.
Robert Forrester has more than two decades of experience serving as chief executive officer or chief financial officer for both private and public biopharma companies. Prior to joining EQRx, Robert was CEO of Verastem Oncology, Chief Operating Officer or Chief Financial Officer at Forma Therapeutics, CombinatoRx (now ZLCS), and Coley Pharmaceutical Group. Robert also served as Managing Director of the Proprietary Investment Group at MeesPierson. He holds a LL.B. from Bristol University.
Elaine is a Director of ORI Capital. She leads the deal initiation, due diligence and execution process as well as the post investment portfolio management activities. Elaine was a Vice President of Goldman Sachs Healthcare Investment Banking for Greater China. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, she was Assistant Manager with the Audit & Assurance Division of KPMG China. Elaine received a BA in English Literature from Tsinghua University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. She is a licensed CPA by the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Scientific Advisory Board
Cassian Yee, MD
Dr. Cassian Yee is a Professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Department of Immunology at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center and Director of the Solid Tumor Cell Therapy Program. Dr. Yee is a pioneer in adoptive cell transfer (ACT) immunotherapy, which involves taking anti-cancer T cells from patients and then enhancing their anti-tumor capabilities before putting them back into patients. In addition to being a member of Cancer Research Institute’s Scientific Advisory Council, Dr. Yee is a leader of the CRI-SU2C Dream Team, serves on the Postdoctoral Fellowship Review Committee, and is a member of CRI’s global clinical investigator network.
Keith L. Knutson, Ph.D.
Keith L. Knutson, PhD is a Professor of Immunology at the Mayo Clinic in Florida and is internationally recognized in the field of cancer immunology. Dr. Knutson is co-director of the Mayo Clinic Immune Monitoring Core and director of the Mayo Clinic Ovarian Cancer Immunotherapy Program. His research focuses on the immunotherapy of breast and ovarian cancers, both the basic immunobiology and clinical translation. In recognition of his work, Dr. Knutson has received many awards and honors, including the prestigious Howard Temin Award, conferred by the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute.
James Mulé, Ph.D.
Dr. James Mulé is the Associate Center Director for Translational Science, Interim Associate Center Director for Basic Science, the Michael McGillicuddy Endowed Chair for Melanoma Research and Treatment, and Scientific Director of Cell Based Therapies at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Dr. Mulé, who was designated a “Master of Immunology” by the American Association for Cancer Research’s journal Cancer Immunology Research, is recognized for his research and clinical trial contributions to cancer immunotherapy, particularly in solid tumors. His clinical research group is involved in developing and validating genomic signatures of immunotherapy response to recognize and destroy tumors. The translational work in these areas has helped to develop new treatments for advanced cancer patients.