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"Tim's diverse skill set, which includes significant licensing and M&A transactions, will be invaluable as we pursue our business and corporate development initiatives," said Dr. Christine Bunt, chief executive officer of Verseau. "His proven leadership in business development at both small and large biotechnology companies coupled with his capital markets experience will be of great benefit to Verseau as we continue to advance our recently announced first program targeting PSGL-1 as well as a number of additional programs from our robust pipeline of first-in-class macrophage targeted therapies."
"While recent advances in immunotherapy have provided new therapeutic options for patients, there remains a significant need for novel therapies," said Tim Smith, chief business officer of Verseau. "Verseau's innovative approach to targeting macrophages has the potential to significantly impact the field of immuno-oncology. I am eager to join the experienced and passionate team at Verseau and look forward to contributing to the company's growth and partnership strategy."
Mr. Smith has nearly 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry. Prior to joining Verseau, Mr. Smith served as a consultant for several biotechnology companies. Prior, he held senior business development leadership roles at Dova Pharmaceuticals, IDEAYA Biosciences and Cleave Biosciences. Before joining Cleave, Mr. Smith was executive director, business development at Celgene Corporation. In this role, he led numerous M&A, in-licensing and strategic equity investment transactions, including the acquisition of Receptos and the strategic collaboration with Jounce Therapeutics. He spent the majority of his early career in equity research covering the biotechnology sector at RBC Capital Markets, Lazard Capital Markets and Citi Research. He began his career as a research technician at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine. Mr. Smith holds a B.S. in biology from the University of Texas at Arlington, an MBA in finance from Fordham University and an M.A. in biotechnology from Columbia University.
PSGL-1 (P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1) is an adhesion molecule that is involved in immune cell trafficking in response to tissue injury or inflammation. Verseau discovered that modulation of PSGL-1 can lead to macrophage reprogramming. Proprietary PSGL-1 monoclonal antibodies induce tumor microenvironment activation, T-cell activation and naïve immune cell recruitment amounting to a coordinated immune attack on tumors. In patient-derived primary tumors, PSGL-1 antibodies demonstrate a greater inflammatory response compared to current immunotherapies in both PD-1 responsive and non-responsive tumors. Given the prominent role of PSGL-1 in many tumor types, Verseau has selected PSGL-1 as the lead macrophage checkpoint modulator (MCM) program for clinical development.
Verseau is creating a new class of therapeutics, macrophage checkpoint modulators, to benefit patients with cancer, immune and inflammatory diseases. With its proprietary all-human translational platform, Verseau is identifying novel targets and developing therapies that shift macrophages between immune activators and silencers in disease. Our data suggests that we can at least double the patient population benefitting from immunotherapy. Verseau's initial focus is building a pipeline of first-in-class therapies that modulate macrophages to trigger a coordinated immune attack on cancer. Verseau has validated more than two dozen targets amenable to different therapeutic modalities, including monoclonal antibodies. Please visit https://www.verseautx.com/ for additional information.
Source: Verseau Therapeutics, Inc.
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