- Former SVP at Millennium/Takeda Fills Newly Created Position to Advance Unum's Expanding Immunotherapy Clinical Program
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Unum Therapeutics, a company developing a universal cellular immunotherapy to treat multiple cancers, announced today that it has named Michael J. Vasconcelles, M.D., to serve as the company's Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately. He is responsible for defining the strategic vision and leading execution of the company's clinical efforts to develop its universal Antibody-Coupled T-cell Receptor (ACTR) product. In this capacity, Dr. Vasconcelles oversees a growing portfolio of combination therapies that incorporate marketed, partnered, and proprietary antibodies.
"It is an optimal time for me to join the company as it embarks on the critical phase of clinical translation. I am looking forward to leading the team that plays an integral part in the clinical value proposition for the platform."
"We are embarking on a new and exciting phase of our company's expansion, progressing rapidly into clinical development and expanding a pipeline of programs," said Chuck Wilson, Ph.D., President & CEO of Unum Therapeutics. "It's a true win for us to attract an industry veteran with the breadth of experience and track record of accomplishment that Mike brings to our company. He has the vision to understand the potential of our ACTR technology, the skills to work successfully with our development partners, and the means to quickly and safely deliver the technology to the benefit of patients."
Dr. Vasconcelles most recently served as the Senior Vice President, Global Head, Oncology Therapy Area Unit, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Co. where he was accountable for the oncology research and development strategy and progression of the oncology portfolio from candidate selection through life cycle management. During Dr. Vasconcelles' tenure, Takeda's oncology portfolio averaged approximately 12 investigational agents or marketed products, including new Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs) or IND-equivalents and several assets each in early clinical development pre-proof of concept, pivotal development, and/or commercialized with ongoing clinical investigation intended for expanded indications.
"Immunotherapy continues to make great strides in the treatment of cancer patients with limited options, and I am very excited by Unum's vision of a single cellular immunotherapy that may be used to treat many types of cancers," said Dr. Vasconcelles. "It is an optimal time for me to join the company as it embarks on the critical phase of clinical translation. I am looking forward to leading the team that plays an integral part in the clinical value proposition for the platform."
Prior to his leadership post at Takeda, Dr. Vasconcelles has held several positions at Genzyme Corporation and Sanofi, including Global Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology and Transplantation, and Head, Personalized Medicine and Companion Diagnostics, respectively.
Dr. Vasconcelles currently holds positions as a Clinical Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and as a staff physician at two prestigious institutions: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.
He received his B.A. from Northwestern University, and his M.D. from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Vasconcelles is a member of numerous professional societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology. He is a member of the board of the Personalized Medicine Coalition, and a grant reviewer for the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH). He has been the recipient of several major research grants from the NIH and has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Journal of Immunotherapy.
About Unum Therapeutics
Unum Therapeutics uses proprietary T-cell engineering technology in combination with tumor-targeting antibodies to activate the body's own immune system to fight cancer. Unum's lead program, based on its Antibody-Coupled T-cell Receptor (ACTR) technology, recently entered Phase 1 clinical testing to assess safety and efficacy. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. For more information, visit www.unumrx.com.
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