ImaginAb Appoints James Allison, Padmanee Sharma and Ramy Ibrahim to Scientific Advisory Board
July 9, 2018
LOS ANGELES, CA, July 9, 2018 – ImaginAb Inc., an immuno-oncology imaging company, today announced the appointment of James Allison, Padmanee Sharma and Ramy Ibrahim to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of foremost global key opinion leaders in the development of anticancer therapies.
“We are excited to welcome Jim, Pam and Ramy to our Scientific Advisory Board,” said Martyn Coombs, CEO of ImaginAb. “Jim’s original work was the basis for the whole immuno-oncology field, and Jim, Pam and Ramy are right at the center of the exciting and rapid developments in immuno-oncology.”
These additions build on the recent appointments of Antoni Ribas, Dan Von Hoff and David Mankoff. The SAB will work closely with ImaginAb’s management team to advance the development of ImaginAb’s CD8 T Cell ImmunoPET, an imaging agent that has the potential to expedite the development of next-generation therapeutics.
“I look forward to being a part of ImaginAb’s SAB,” said Dr. Allison. “ImaginAb’s plan, which is to visualize T cells directly in patients in order to determine whether patients will respond to immune checkpoint therapy, will be an important step forward for biomarker development in the field of cancer immunotherapy.”
“I’m excited to work with the ImaginAb team as they develop novel strategies to image the immune response in patients,” said Dr. Sharma. “These types of advances will help us to improve patient selection and development of immunotherapies.”
“I look forward to joining ImaginAb’s SAB as their platform is very aligned with the Parker Institute’s mission to improve the quality of life of cancer patients undergoing immunotherapy,” said Dr. Ibrahim. “Data from their Phase 1 study is very encouraging and using a non-invasive technology to replace the need of biopsies holds great promise for patients.”
James Allison: Dr. James Allison is the Chair of the Department of Immunology, the Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and the Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has spent a distinguished career studying the regulation of T cell responses and developing strategies for cancer immunotherapy. Among his most notable discoveries are the determination of the T cell receptor structure and that CD28 is the major costimulatory molecule that allows full activation of naïve T cells and prevents anergy in T cell clones. His lab resolved a major controversy by demonstrating that CTLA-4 inhibits T-cell activation by opposing CD28-mediated costimulation and that blockade of CTLA-4 could enhance T cell responses, leading to tumor rejection in animal models. This finding paved the wave for the emerging field of immune checkpoint blockade therapy for cancer. Work in his lab led to the development of ipilimumab, an antibody to human CTLA-4 and the first immune checkpoint blockade therapy approved by the FDA. Among many honors, he is a member of the National Academies of Science and Medicine and received the Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research award in 2015. His current work seeks to improve immune checkpoint blockade therapies currently used by our clinicians and identify new targets to unleash the immune system in order to eradicate cancer.
Padmanee Sharma: Dr. Padmanee Sharma is a trained medical oncologist and immunologist whose research work is focused on investigating mechanisms and pathways within the immune system that are responsible for tumor rejection and clinical benefit. She is the Principal Investigator of multiple immunotherapy clinical trials and conducts translational laboratory studies related to these trials. Her studies enable development of novel immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of cancer patients. She is a Professor in the departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology, and the Scientific Director for the Immunotherapy Platform at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. She is also the Co-Director of Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She received the Emil Frei III Award for Excellence in Translational Research in 2016 and was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) in 2018.
Ramy Ibrahim: Dr. Ramy Ibrahim currently serves as vice president and chief medical officer at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. He is a recognized leader of clinical development in immunotherapy and helped develop some of the first breakthrough treatments in the field during his tenure at Bristol-Myers Squibb and MedImmune/AstraZeneca. As a member of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Immuno-oncology program, he served on the Yervoy (ipilimumab) clinical team supporting the program from early phase II through multiple global launches of the first FDA-approved immune checkpoint inhibitor. In addition, he played a key role in early development for nivolumab (PD-1), PD-L1 and CD137 antibody. At AstraZeneca, Dr. Ibrahim was the vice president of clinical development for Immuno-oncology, leading the team developing multiple immunotherapies. Molecules developed under his leadership included durvalumab (anti-PD-L1 antibody) and tremelimumab (anti-CTLA-4 antibody) both with single drug and combination therapies with a focus on registrational studies in multiple indications including lung cancer, bladder cancer and head and neck cancer.
ImaginAb Inc. is an immuno-oncology company focused on providing actionable insight into patient selection and treatment progress for cancer immunotherapy, enabling precision medicine. ImaginAb engineers antibody fragments called minibodies that maintain the exquisite specificity of full-length antibodies while remaining inert in the body. Used with widely available PET scan technology, these novel minibodies illuminate high-value molecular targets, providing physicians with a whole-body picture of immune activity. ImaginAb is also advancing a best-in-class imaging agent to improve prostate cancer management and patient outcomes, as well as developing a pipeline for other targets in oncology. ImaginAb’s products have the potential to improve patient care and lower healthcare costs.
For more information about ImaginAb’s pipeline and technology, visit www.imaginab.com.