SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Xyphos, a privately held biotechnology company developing novel cell-based therapies, today announced that Thorsten Melcher, Ph.D. has joined the company as Chief Business Officer. Reporting to James Knighton, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Melcher will lead all business development and financing activities, including implementing strategic collaboration and licensing arrangements for Xyphos’ ACCEL™ platform and its derived cell therapy products.
“Thorsten’s extensive business development and financing experience coupled with his deep understanding of research and development makes him ideally suited to deliver on the opportunities we see before us,” said Knighton. “Having worked with a broad spectrum of companies, ranging from venture-backed startups to global healthcare companies, Thorsten has a finely tuned understanding of the unique business solutions companies require at different stages in their corporate development. On behalf of the board and the management team, we welcome Thorsten and look forward to his insights and contributions.”
“With the field of oncology research and development looking for better and safer ways to treat cancer, I am excited about the promise of Xyphos’ ACCEL™ technology to deliver novel treatments for a variety of cancers,” said Dr. Melcher. “Combining the specificity of antibodies with the potency of immune cells to eradicate cancer cells, the Xyphos team is creating versatile and modular cell-based therapeutics. Xyphos’ patent-protected ACCEL™ technology has already identified its first clinical candidates, and I am excited to play a role in advancing the company’s pipeline with creative financing and partnering.”
Previously Dr. Melcher served as Senior Director of Business Development for Calico, a company focused on aging. Prior to Calico, he was Senior Director of New Ventures at Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJI), where he concentrated on partnering for Janssen Oncology and Janssen Neuroscience and led the completion of approximately 20 transactions. Before joining JJI, he was at Varian Medical Systems leading its biomedical programs as Vice President of Varian Biosynergy. Earlier in his career, he held a number of research and business development positions of increasing scope and responsibility and was co-founder of AGY Therapeutics and EnVivo Pharmaceuticals. Born in Germany, Dr. Melcher earned his masters of science degree (M.Sc.) from the University of Hannover, and a Ph.D. degree from the Center for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) in Heidelberg. Subsequently, he conducted postdoctoral research at ZMBH and the University of California, San Francisco.
About the Technology
Xyphos has developed a novel and modular Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T technology called ACCEL™ (Advanced Cellular Control through Engineered Ligands). ACCEL is used to create engineered immune cells and to deliver specifically to those cells various classes of controlling and modulating agents, including antibodies, cytokines and checkpoint inhibitors. ACCEL produces a single engineered CAR cell, the convertibleCAR™ cell; a family of bispecific antibody-derived targeting molecules, called MicAbodies; and a family of molecules, called MicAdaptors, that allow functional modulation of convertibleCAR cells. While MicAbodies control specificity and the activity level of convertibleCAR™ cells towards tumor cells and non-malignant cells, MicAdaptors modulate the functionality of convertibleCAR™ cells by specifically delivering cytokine or checkpoint blockade signals. Xyphos’ lead product, a CD20-targeted convertibleCAR-T cell enhanced with a cytokine MicAdaptor, is in preclinical development and is scheduled to be tested in a first-in-human clinical study in early 2020.
About Xyphos Biosciences, Inc.
Xyphos, a privately held development-stage biotechnology company, is focused on the creation of immuno-oncology therapeutics using its patent-protected ACCEL™ technology platform. The ACCEL™ technology platform is based on new and potentially better ways to mobilize and control engineered immune cells to find and destroy cancer cells throughout the body. Xyphos’ near-term focus is advancing its lead program, now in preclinical development. For more information on Xyphos, please visit the company’s website at www.xyphosinc.com
ACCEL™, convertibleCAR™ and MicAbody® are a trademarks of Xyphos.