CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Torque Therapeutics, a clinical stage, product-platform company developing proprietary, first-in-class Deep Primed™ adoptive cell transfer therapeutics with uniquely broad potential to treat patients with a wide range of hematologic and solid malignancies, announced the appointment of John Cox as Chief Executive Officer.
Douglas Cole, Lead Director of Torque and Managing Partner at Flagship Pioneering, said, “I am thrilled that John has taken on the role of CEO of Torque. His accomplishments delivering value to shareholders are among the most significant in the biotechnology industry. Over the course of his career, he has demonstrated his ability to advance and commercialize products, build teams, and guide and drive organizations. He is a true leader. I am excited to work with John as he leads development of Torque’s growing pipeline of clinical and preclinical proprietary products, continues to build on Torque’s robust Deep Primed™ T Cell platform, and expands the Torque capital base.”
Mr. Cox was most recently Chief Executive Officer of Bioverativ. He led the Bioverativ spin-out from Biogen in 2016 and the sale of Bioverativ to Sanofi for $11.6B in 2018. He previously served in roles of increasing seniority at Biogen, ultimately as Executive Vice President of Pharmaceutical Operations and Technology overseeing global manufacturing facilities, supply chain operations, technical development, quality and engineering, and development and commercialization of Biogen’s biosimilars business.
“I am delighted to take leadership of Torque Therapeutics,” Mr. Cox said. “After the sale of Bioverativ, I assessed many opportunities to run a company that could really change patients’ lives. I believe Torque represents one of the most compelling approaches to do that.”
Cox went on, “Torque is poised to move the field of adoptive cell transfer from niche use in small groups of late-stage patients with particular hematologic malignancies to broad use across multiple groups of early- and late-stage patients with a broad range of range of hematologic and solid malignancies. Torque’s Deep Primed™ product-platform is the only approach that has been developed that combines the ability to address the inherent variability of each patient’s malignancy, safely harness the critical power of cytokines and other immune agonists, and cost-effectively manufacture therapeutic products. With a clinical trial of its first clinical candidate already underway, trials of its second and third clinical candidates slated to begin in the next two quarters, and additional product candidates advancing in the expanding pipeline, Torque has enormous potential to create value in the near term and beyond.”
Cox became Executive Chairman of Torque in January, 2019. During his tenure as Executive Chairman, Torque successfully transitioned from a pre-clinical to a clinical stage company, advanced multiple product candidates in its pipeline, expanded its team with key hires in business development and finance, received Fast Track designation for its lead TRQ-1501 product, and announced a collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific to manufacture Torque’s Deep Primed™ T Cell immunotherapies, as well as a clinical trial collaboration with Merck to evaluate its lead TRQ-1501 product in combination with Keytruda.
About Deep Primed™ T Cell Immunotherapies
Torque is developing a new class of Deep-Primed™ cellular immunotherapy designed to overcome the key challenges limiting broad use of cellular therapy in oncology, including the ability to target tumors that express multiple heterogeneous antigens, the ability to overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that shuts down T cell function, and the need for cost-effective outpatient treatment with a high margin of safety. Deep-Priming is a unique technology platform that harnesses natural T cell biology and the power of cytokine activation to prime and boost a full immune response in the tumor microenvironment. Deep-Primed™ T cells are designed to:
Activate a Deep Immune Response Against Solid Tumors & Hematologic Cancers: Natural T cell receptors are primed to target multiple tumor antigens and retain their natural ability to integrate with the full immune system to direct a deep and comprehensive immune response against cancer.
Prime and Boost Broad Immune Cell Engagement to Overcome Immunosuppression in the Tumor Microenvironment: Deep-Primed™ T cells carry surface-anchored cytokines and immunomodulators to jump-start the engagement and coordination of the full network of immune cells to direct immune power in the tumor microenvironment, without significant systemic exposure.
Torque’s first clinical program, TRQ-1501 (Deep IL-15 Primed T cells), has received FDA Fast Track designation for the treatment of relapsed or refractory solid tumors and lymphomas and is currently in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for this indication.
About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category life sciences companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has applied a unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in over $30 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship is backed by more than $3.3 billion of aggregate capital commitments, of which over $1.7 billion has been deployed toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $10 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 37 transformative companies, including: Axcella Health (NASDAQ: AXLA), Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ: EVLO), Foghorn Therapeutics, Indigo Agriculture, Kaleido Biosciences (NASDAQ: KLDO), Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA), Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RUBY), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), and Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SYRS). To learn more about Flagship Pioneering, please visit our website: www.FlagshipPioneering.com.