EAGAN, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Biothera announced today the appointment of Jeremy R. Graff, Ph.D., as Senior Vice President, Research, for its Pharmaceutical Group. Most recently, Dr. Graff served as a Research Fellow and Group Leader, Oncology Patient Tailoring at Eli Lilly and Company.
Dr. Graff has extensive experience across the spectrum of drug discovery and development, having led numerous programs from target inception and screen enablement through early and late stage clinical development. His lab was the first to bring forward a therapy targeting the mRNA translational regulator, eIF4E. He also led the efforts to establish the therapeutic mechanism of action for numerous early phase clinical assets --most notably the small molecule kinase inhibitor, enzastaurin, in Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma and glioblastoma. Most recently, he shared responsibility for developing and leading the Translational Oncology efforts within Lilly Oncology.
In addition to numerous project leadership roles, Dr. Graff was also intimately involved in establishing and leading many external partnerships to enable human tissue-based translational research and to accelerate innovative tissue imaging techniques with General Electric.
"Dr. Graff's career defines excellence in research and we are delighted to welcome him to Biothera," said Dan Conners, Biothera Pharmaceutical Group President. "We believe he will make significant contributions to the mechanistic understanding of our cancer immunotherapeutic, Imprime PGG®, which we hope will ultimately benefit patients in the clinic."
"I am thrilled to join the Biothera team," said Dr. Graff. "The focus on a deep understanding of Imprime PGG's therapeutic mechanism of action is truly remarkable. The recent discovery of a potential patient selection marker for Imprime PGG is particularly noteworthy. I look forward to bringing my experience in Translational Oncology to Biothera to accelerate clinical development opportunities."
Dr. Graff is widely recognized as a prolific researcher, having published nearly 60 research articles that have garnered more than 14,000 research citations. He currently serves as a Senior Reviews Editor and Associate Editor for Cancer Research. He is also a grant review panelist for the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and Genome Quebec.
Prior to joining Eli Lilly, Dr. Graff completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, establishing that metastasis suppressor genes could be epigenetically inactivated in human cancers. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, studying oncogenic ras signaling.
Biothera, a privately held U.S. biotechnology company, is developing Imprime PGG®, a late clinical stage biologic that modulates the immune response to cancer. Data from the most recent randomized phase 2 study of Imprime PGG in first line non-squamous NSCLC was featured as a late-breaking abstractin the Immunotherapy of Cancer session at ESMO 2014. In this study, which evaluated the addition of Imprime PGG to bevacizumab and carboplatin/paclitaxel versus bevacizumab and chemotherapy alone, objective response rate was 60.4% versus 43.5%, duration of response was 10.3 months versus 5.6 months and median overall survival was 16.1 months versus 11.6 months. Similarly encouraging data have been observed in both squamous and non-squamous subjects in a second randomized Phase 2 study in first line NSCLC in combination with cetuximab and in studies in high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia and metastatic colorectal cancer. Imprime PGG directly modulates the key effector cells of the innate immune system, neutrophils and monocytes/macrophage, enabling them to recognize and kill antibody-targeted cancer cells. In addition, on-going research points to a secondary, bystander effect of Imprime PGG on both innate and adaptive immune cell types known to exist in the tumor microenvironment, including T-cells, dendritic cells, M-2 macrophages and myeloid derived suppressor cells. Imprime PGG is being evaluated in a phase 3 study in late stage metastatic colorectal cancer and planning is underway for an approvable study in NSCLC.
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SVP Marketing & Communications