CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vor Biopharma, an oncology company pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) for the treatment of cancer, today announced two additions to its leadership. Seasoned patent attorney Amy Mendel joins Vor as Chief Legal Officer and human resources executive Tania Philipp joins as Vice President of People. These experienced life sciences specialists continue to round out Vor’s management team as the company expands, develops its platform technology, and advances its pipeline of eHSC-based therapies.
“We are so excited to expand our industry-leading team as we build our unique platform and advance our lead program VOR33 into IND-enabling studies,” said Robert Ang, MBBS, MBA, Vor President and Chief Executive Officer. “Amy brings deep expertise in strategic intellectual property and transaction management for VC-backed discovery and clinical-stage public companies, and Tania adds her experience forming successful teams who drive the mission and vision of early-stage life sciences companies. We welcome them to help shape our rapid expansion and set Vor up for long-term success.”
“Vor was founded to unleash the potential of targeted therapies through the deletion of specific antigens from HSC transplants,” said Ms. Mendel. “Vor’s foundational intellectual property position underpins our platform approach and creates potential for significant growth and value creation, which we will pursue as we continue to layer on product-specific protection for our lead clinical candidate VOR33 and additional pipeline programs.”
“Talent strategies that carefully cultivate teams and culture for sustained excellence are essential for companies going through significant growth,” said Ms. Philipp. “At Vor, we are building a skilled and knowledgeable team fundamentally guided by our core values towards developing a new generation of therapies aimed to improve the lives of patients with blood diseases.”
Amy Mendel has worked for more than 18 years in the life sciences industry and is responsible for all aspects of Vor’s legal and intellectual property matters. Prior to joining Vor, Amy managed legal, contracts and intellectual property for early-stage biopharma companies, including Accent Therapeutics, Rheos Medicines, Ohana Biosciences, Epiva Biosciences, and Evelo Biosciences (which merged with Epiva). Prior to working with biotech start-ups, Amy was the VP & Associate General Counsel for Ziopharm Oncology and the Associate General Counsel for Clinical Data. Amy has also worked as a patent attorney at Greenberg Traurig and at Wolf Greenfield. She earned a ScB degree in biomedical engineering from Brown University and a JD from Suffolk University Law School.
Tania Philipp brings more than 15 years of experience in human resources, managing early-stage life science organizations through periods of growth. Prior to joining Vor, Tania was Vice President and Head of Human Resources at Tango Therapeutics, where she was responsible for developing and implementing the strategic human resources vision to support the overall objectives and culture of the company. Tania has held various senior human resources positions for Bavarian Nordic, Mendel Biotechnology, Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Pearl Therapeutics (acquired by AstraZeneca) and Protein Design Labs. She holds an MA in behavioral psychology from The University of the Pacific.
About Vor Biopharma
Vor Biopharma aims to transform the lives of cancer patients by pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cell (eHSC) therapies. By removing biologically redundant proteins from eHSCs, these cells become inherently invulnerable to complementary targeted therapies while tumor cells are left susceptible, thereby unleashing the potential of targeted therapies to benefit cancer patients in need.
Vor’s platform could be used to potentially change the treatment paradigm of both hematopoietic stem cell transplants and targeted therapies, such as antibody drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies and CAR-T cell treatments. A proof-of-concept study for Vor’s lead program 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.
Vor’s lead product candidate, VOR33, consists of engineered hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) that lack the protein CD33. Once these cells are transplanted into a cancer patient, CD33 becomes a far more cancer-specific target, potentially avoiding toxicity to the normal blood and bone marrow associated with CD33-targeted therapies. In so doing, Vor aims to improve the therapeutic window and effectiveness of CD33-targeted therapies, thereby potentially broadening the clinical benefit to patients suffering from AML.