ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI), a privately held, Maryland-based biotechnology company, announced today that it has appointed immuno-oncology expert Richard Ambinder, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Division of Hematologic Malignancies at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, to its scientific advisory board. ITI is currently applying its investigational UNITE™ platform in immuno-oncology, particularly for virally driven cancers and Dr. Ambinder’s extensive expertise in this field will be instrumental to these efforts.
Dr. Ambinder has approximately 40 years of experience in medical oncology and internal medicine, with 98 scientific papers and 21 book chapters on virology and human cancer, antiviral therapy, antitumor therapy, lymphoma pathogenesis and treatment. His expertise ranges from bone marrow transplants to a wide variety of cancers including AIDS-Related Cancers, Kaposi’s Sarcoma, Lymphoma, and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and Hematologic Malignancies. Dr. Ambinder’s current research is focused on exploring opportunities to prevent or treat cancer with viral infections. His team is working on studying how viruses can impact tumors and creating model systems for the development of new approaches to cancer care.
“Immunomic is pleased to welcome Dr. Ambinder to our scientific advisory board,” said Bill Hearl, Ph.D., Immunomic Founder and CEO. “His wide range of research expertise of virally driven cancers will provide a wealth of knowledge to ITI as we continue to apply our investigative UNITE platform to virally driven cancers, such as EBV positive cancer.”
Dr. Ambinder graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, after which he received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine before completing his residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also earned his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the Johns Hopkins University, and completed his oncology fellowship at Johns Hopkins. Within the clinic, Dr. Ambinder is active in the treatment of lymphoma and Kaposi’s sarcoma.
About Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.
Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a privately-held clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of the LAMP-based nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms. These investigational technologies have the potential to alter how we use immunotherapy for cancer, allergies and animal health. ITI has entered into a significant licensing agreement with Astellas Pharma Inc. to explore the use of LAMP-Vax, the precursor to UNITE, an immunotherapy platform, for use in the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases. For information about ITI and UNITE technology, visit www.immunomix.com.
ITI’s investigational UNITE platform, or UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression, is thought to work by encoding the Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein, an endogenous protein in humans. In this way, ITI’s vaccines (DNA or RNA) have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory. This approach could put UNITE technology at the crossroads of immunotherapies in a number of illnesses, including cancer, allergy and infectious diseases. UNITE is currently being employed in Phase II clinical trials as a cancer immunotherapy. ITI is also collaborating with academic centers and biotechnology companies to study the use of UNITE in cancer types of high mortality, including cases where there are limited treatment options like glioblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia. ITI believes that these early clinical studies may provide a proof of concept for UNITE therapy in cancer, and if successful, set the stage for future studies, including combinations in these tumor types and others. Preclinical data is currently being developed to explore whether LAMP nucleic acid constructs may amplify and activate the immune response in highly immunogenic tumor types and be used to create immune responses to tumor types that otherwise do not provoke an immune response.