Friday, 20 September 2019

Cell BT appoints Joshua Ofman to Board of Directors

09 July 2019 | News

CBI is discovering and developing novel immuno-oncology therapies for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas, leukemias and selected solid tumours.

Representative Image

Representative Image

Cell BT, an immuno-therapy company focused on the discovery and development of innovative cancer therapeutics based on next-generation CAR-T antibody constructs directed to novel biological targets, today announced that Joshua J. Ofman, M.D., MSHS, has been appointed to the CBI Board of Directors.

CBI is discovering and developing novel immuno-oncology therapies for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas, leukemias and selected solid tumours. The Company’s biological targets and therapeutic candidates are based on the leading research and clinical practice of co-founders Jacek Pinski, M.D., Ph.D., Alan L. Epstein, M.D., Ph.D., and Peisheng Hu, Ph.D., of the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. Dr. Pinski serves as CBI’s Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Epstein as CBI’s Chief Scientific Officer.

Interim CEO and co-founder of CBI, Michael Meyers, remarked, “With great enthusiasm, we welcome Dr. Ofman to the board of CBI. Dr. Ofman’s prior leadership position with Amgen, and his prior research and clinical experience will greatly benefit CBI as we advance our programs into the clinic. Additionally, Dr. Ofman’s market access and health policy expertise will help to inform important considerations for CBI as we look to the future of cell therapy. My CBI colleagues and I look forward to benefitting from Dr. Ofman’s insights, experience and judgment as we continue the discovery and development of immuno-oncology therapies and addressing the tumor microenvironment.”

Dr. Ofman stated, “I am extremely honoured to be joining the board of such an innovative company with leaders who are so passionate about improving outcomes for cancer patients. With CBI’s novel targets and approaches, the next generation of cell-based therapies has even greater potential to make an impact. I look forward to helping CBI navigate a rapidly evolving oncology landscape to get these novel therapeutic candidates to patients in need.”

Dr. Ofman was recently appointed Chief of Corporate Strategy and External Affairs at GRAIL, Inc., a company that is developing diagnostic products for the early detection of cancer, when treatment may be more successful. Prior to joining GRAIL, Dr. Ofman spent 16 years with Amgen, most recently as Senior Vice President, Global Value Access & Health Policy. Before joining Amgen in 2003, Dr. Ofman was a member of the academic faculty in the Department of Medicine and Health Services Research, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He also served as Senior Vice President of Zynx Health Inc., a healthcare IT company, and a subsidiary of the Cerner Corp. Dr. Ofman obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley and his medical degree from the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. He conducted his internship and residency in internal medicine and fellowship in digestive diseases at the UCLA Department of Medicine. In addition, he completed a RAND/VA/UCLA fellowship in ambulatory care and health services research, specializing in technology assessment, and obtained his MSHS from the UCLA School of Public Health. Dr. Ofman is widely published in health economics and technology assessment, public health program evaluation, and health policy analysis.

CBI was established in February 2016 to discover and develop CAR T-cells, antibodies and associated immunotherapy cellular approaches for treating hematologic and solid tumors. Based on the research and clinical practice of the Company’s three scientific founders at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California - Jacek Pinski, M.D., Ph.D., Alan L. Epstein, M.D., Ph.D., and Peisheng Hu, Ph.D., CBI has engineered a series of cell- and molecular-based technologies, including antigen and targeted receptors, monoclonal antibodies, and fusion proteins used in conjunction with immune system cells in order to effect a targeted immune response to various types of cancer. Among other pipeline programs, CBI has discovered and is developing an advanced approach to CAR-T/antibody constructs utilizing the Company’s novel next generation co-stimulatory and co-signaling domains. CBI plans to commence clinical development of the Company’s lead program in certain B-cell lymphomas and leukemias in the second half of 2020. CBI has also advanced the development of a novel immuno-prognostic bioassay that measures a critical immune suppressor cell population found in blood samples of cancer patients. This test has potential to be used in combination with therapeutic agents in order to enable the monitoring of tumor regression, with the potential to provide a novel method to determine early tumor recurrence

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