Carina Biotech has welcomed to its team two new staff members – Professor Shaun McColl and Dr José Iglesias MD.
These two experts in immunology, T cell biology, oncology and clinical trial design join Carina as we prepare to take our lead CAR-T cell candidate into the clinic in 2022.
Professor Shaun McColl comes to Carina in a full-time capacity as Vice President, Chemokine Receptor Platform after recently leaving a long and successful academic career at the University of Adelaide.
Professor McColl is an immunologist with expertise in T cell differentiation and chemokine receptor-mediated T cell migration. Work in his laboratory at the University of Adelaide has centred around understanding the biology of chemokines (signalling molecules that attract cells to sites of infection/inflammation) including their role in cancer (solid tumour growth and metastasis).
Professor McColl says: “I am pleased to be joining Carina at such an exciting phase of its development. The team Carina has put together is outstanding and I am looking forward to working with them to create new immunotherapies that will provide relief for people suffering from cancer.”
Also joining the Carina team from his base in Canada is Dr José Iglesias MD as Chief Medical Advisor. Dr Iglesias has 30+ years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has designed and led all phases of oncology clinical trials. Past positions include Associate Director of Clinical Research (Eli Lilly Canada), Oncology Medical Director (AMGEN), Chief Medical Officer (Abraxis Biosciences, Bionomics, Biothera and Senti Biosciences) and VP, Clinical Development (Celgene).
“I am glad to be assisting the Carina team with the clinical development of the LGR5-targeting CAR-T cells. Aiming at colorectal cancer with this cellular immunotherapy may hold promise for the treatment of this disease,” Dr Iglesias said.
Dr Iglesias is working with Carina to prepare for our first interactions with the US Federal Drug Administration anticipated later this year.
About our LGR5-targeted CAR-T cell candidate LGR5 is a cancer stem cell marker found on a number of cancers including colorectal cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer. Our scientists have created a CAR-T cell targeted at LGR5 that has returned highly promising results in pre-clinical studies including complete tumour regression and no tumour recurrence. By targeting cancer stem cells in this way we can reduce a tumour’s ability to generate new cells, potentially resulting in durable tumour elimination – something that has so far eluded doctors in treating advanced colorectal cancer among others. We are working towards taking our LGR5 CAR-T candidate into a Phase I/IIa clinical trial with the US FDA for patients with advanced colorectal cancer in the next 12-18 months.