SAN DIEGO & VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tentarix Biotherapeutics LP, a biotechnology company developing first-in-class targeted, conditional antibody-based multifunctional biotherapies, today announced the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and appointments to its Board of Directors and leadership team.
The SAB, initially comprised of three experts in immunology, cancer biology and protein engineering, will provide strategic and scientific counsel to advance the company’s pipeline of next-generation multifunctional biologics. Its founding members include Thomas Bumol, Ph.D., Brian Kuhlman, Ph.D., and John Teijaro, Ph.D.
“We are excited and privileged to be working closely with this group of esteemed scientists with decades of experience in their respective fields on the application of the Tentarix platform,” said Stephen Demarest, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Tentarix. “Their extensive research experience in biologics, immunology, immuno-oncology, and protein engineering will be invaluable in maximizing the benefit to patients in need as we move our programs forward.”
The founding members of the Tentarix Biotherapeutics SAB include:
Thomas F. Bumol, Ph.D. – Dr. Bumol, following a 35-year career at Lilly, joined the Allen Institute as Executive Vice President and Director of the Allen Institute for Immunology, which was created by the late philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen. At Lilly, Dr. Bumol was the Senior Vice President of Biotechnology and Immunology Research and the Site Head of Lilly’s Biotechnology Center in San Diego. Dr. Bumol’s teams and collaborators advanced over 100 molecules into clinical development, including Trulicity® (dulaglutide), Taltz® (ixekizumab), Emgality® (galcanezumab), Mounjaro® (terzepatide) and mirikizumab. Through strategic alliances, he and his teams also helped develop and support Reopro® (abciximab) with Centocor as well as Olumiant® (baricitinib) with Incyte. Dr. Bumol has over 50 publications and reviews and eight issued U.S. patents. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota and received the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fellowship for his postdoctoral research in the Department of Molecular Immunology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, California.
Brian A. Kuhlman, Ph.D. – Dr. Kuhlman is an Oliver Smithies Investigator, Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and Co-Director of the Molecular and Cellular Biophysics Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Kuhlman is an expert in protein biophysics and computational protein design. As a postdoctoral fellow in David Baker’s laboratory at the University of Washington, Dr. Kuhlman developed new computational protocols for protein design in the modeling program Rosetta that led to the first de novo designed protein of novel architecture with atomic level precision. Dr. Kuhlman’s laboratory at UNC continues to develop and apply new algorithms in Rosetta for protein design and has focused on the creation of new protein-protein interfaces, photoactivatable protein switches, and tertiary structures. Over the last several years, his laboratory collaborated with Eli Lilly to redesign the key interfaces within IgG antibodies to enable the direct expression of fully assembled IgG Bispecific antibodies. He is a recipient of the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland prize and the Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology. He earned his Ph.D. at Stony Brook University and obtained the Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Washington.
John R. Teijaro, Ph.D. – Dr. Teijaro is an Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. During Dr. Teijaro’s graduate and post-graduate training, his research specialized in molecular and temporal immunologic features linked to viral infection and autoimmunity, publishing many papers on costimulation and cytokine activation in the laboratories of Donna Farber and Michael Oldstone, respectively. As an independent investigator, Dr Teijaro is recognized as a world leader in viral immunology and cytokine biology with breakthrough research that is leading to new concepts for the immunotherapy of cancer as well a deeper understanding of the immunology of viral infections including COVID-19. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine and completed his postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.
Tentarix also announced the appointments of Donald Santel and Dr. Tom Bumol as independent members of Tentarix’s Board of Directors. Mr. Santel will also serve as chairperson.
Additionally, Brady Johnson was appointed Senior Vice President, Finance and Operations. Mr. Johnson will guide the company’s financial strategy and will have responsibility over all administrative and finance operations.
“With these appointments, we continue to strengthen our leadership and advisory teams,” said Paul Grayson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tentarix. “Don has extensive experience building successful pharmaceutical companies, and we look forward to his guidance as our Board’s chairperson. Tom’s consistent track record of developing meaningful therapies for patients in need and vast biotechnology experience make him a strong strategic addition to our Board of Directors. I am also happy to welcome Brady to the Tentarix management team. His extensive leadership, business and operational expertise will help enable our next stages of growth.”
Mr. Donald Santel – Don served as Executive Chairman of Adicet Bio, Inc., a private allogeneic cell therapy oncology company, from October 2017 through its business combination with resTORbio, Inc. in September 2020. From March 2018 through April 2019, Mr. Santel also served as Adicet Bio’s interim Chief Executive Officer. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Hyperion Therapeutics, a public biopharmaceutical company, from June 2008 until the sale of the company to Horizon Pharma in May 2015 and was a member of Hyperion’s board of directors from March 2007 through the company’s sale. Previously, Mr. Santel was a co-founder, member of the board of directors and the Chief Executive Officer of CoTherix, Inc., from January 2000 through its sale to Actelion in January 2007. Prior to joining CoTherix, Mr. Santel was employed by several medical device companies, including Cardiac Pathways Corporation (acquired by Boston Scientific) and Medtronic, Inc. Mr. Santel has served as chairman and independent director of Ocelot Bio, Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company, since June 2021, and as chairperson of Oyster Point Pharma, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, since July 2021. Mr. Santel has also served as an independent director of Consonance-HFW Acquisition Corporation from November 2020 through the completion of its business combination with Surrozen, Inc., in August 2021. Mr. Santel previously served on the board of directors and the audit and compensation committees of Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and as a director of ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Mr. Brady Johnson – Brady joins Tentarix from Cidara Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CDTX), a publicly listed biotechnology company, where he was Vice President of Finance and Principal Accounting Officer from January 2015 to April 2022. At Cidara, he led the accounting and finance functions and contributed to several critical corporate initiatives, including the company’s initial public offering and important pre-clinical and clinical collaborations with Janssen Pharmaceuticals (part of Johnson & Johnson) and Mundipharma with a combined value of over $1.3 billion. Mr. Johnson began his career with Grant Thornton, LLP and is a certified public accountant.
Tentarix’s mission is to develop first-in-class targeted, multifunctional, conditional therapies. The Company is focused on modalities that have cell specific function and has built a team that aims to transform biologics. For more information, please visit www.tentarix.com.