Enhancing preclinical predictivity in I-O: what is going wrong between preclinical in vitro/in vivo and clinical settings?

Published: 5 August 2021
Expert Roundtable Video
Peter Ellmark,
David Gilham,
Martin Steegmaier,
Mihriban Tuna,
Markus Zettl

Peter Ellmark

Chief Scientific Officer, Alligator Bioscience

Peter Ellmark joined Alligator Bioscience in 2008 and is Chief scientific officer since 2021. He holds a PhD and an associate professorship in Immunotechnology at Lund University and has more than 20 years’ experience of developing antibodies for immunotherapy of cancer. Dr. Ellmark´s research interest is focused on developing mono- and bispecific antibodies, in particular CD40 targeting therapies, for tumor directed immunotherapy of cancer.

David Gilham

Chief Scientific Officer, Celyad Oncology

David Gilham, PhD, serves the Company as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Gilham obtained his PhD from the University of Dundee, UK under the supervision of Professor Roland Wolf OBE working on cytochrome P4502D6 and Parkinson’s disease. In 1996, Dr. Gilham was recruited to work with Professor Robert Hawkins at the University of Bristol, UK to work on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells as a part of the Chimeric Eurocell European Programme lead by Prof Zelig Eshhar. In 1998, the group moved to the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Manchester. The group maintained a strong translational focus delivering several clinical trials of CAR T (including the first such trial to be initiated in the UK) while developing a strong basic research core activity including the ATTACK European Programme that drew together colleagues working in T cell therapy across Europe. Along with achieving academic independence and promotion to Senior Fellow, Dr. Gilham took over the leadership of the laboratory group in 2009. The group moved to the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester based within the Manchester Cancer Research Centre in 2015 and Dr. Gilham was appointed Reader in 2016. In September 2016, Dr. Gilham moved to the role of Vice President at Celyad Oncology to continue working upon immune based therapies for cancer and was appointed Chief Scientific Officer in May 2020.

Martin Steegmaier

Head of Research, MorphoSys

Martin received his Bachelor of Science from the Northern Arizona University. He earned his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Basel, Switzerland studying molecular mechanism of inflammation at the Max-Planck- Institute for Immunology in Freiburg, Germany. In addition, Martin received an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School (UK). Before joining the pharmaceutical industry, he spent 4 years as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Richard Scheller at Stanford University Medical School elucidating the biochemical mechanisms underlying neurotransmitter secretion. In 2000, Martin joined Boehringer Ingelheim’s Oncology Drug Discovery Department and held positions with increasing responsibility advancing first-in-class oncology projects into the clinic. Martin joined Roche in 2006 in Basel and held various positions in Pharma Partnering and in the Oncology disease area. In 2012, Martin became the Head of Discovery for the Large Molecule Research organization at the Roche Innovation Center Munich site with the responsibility to generate and profile novel therapeutic antibodies for different disease areas. In addition, his team was responsible for designing and discovering novel biotherapeutic formats including Roche’s proprietary bispecific antibody formats CrossMab and DutaMab, innovative immune checkpoint modulators, and the brain shuttle technology to combat brain disorders. In March 2020, Martin became Head of Research at MorphoSys, a fully integrated commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Planegg Munich, Germany (FSE & NASDAQ: MOR). MorphoSys is applying new cutting-edge technologies with the aim of generating differentiated, more efficacious and safer antibody-based therapeutics in the area of immuno- oncology and autoimmunity.

Mihriban Tuna

Chief Scientific Officer, Adaptate Biotherapeutics

Mihriban has over 15 years’ experience in biologics drug discovery and development across biotech and pharma. She joined Adaptate from F-star where she was Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery, overseeing all internal and collaborative bispecific antibody programmes from concept through to candidate selection. Previously she held key scientific roles within antibody generation and technology development at Domantis and later in Biopharm R&D at GSK. She holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Sussex and is currently studying for an executive MBA at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge.

Markus Zettl

Senior Director, Immuno-Oncology at Pieris Pharmaceuticals

Before joining Pieris Pharmaceuticals as Senior Director Immuno-Oncology overseeing pre-clinical development of Pieris´s innovative pipeline projects, Dr. Zettl was Project Leader at Boehringer-Ingelheim from 2011, leading antibody programs in the field of Immuno- Oncology from early preclinical into clinical phases. During his PhD and postdoctoral studies, he worked in a variety of areas of cancer biology at the EMBL in Heidelberg Germany and at the MRC-LMB in Cambridge UK. Research topics covered molecular mechanisms of how oncolytic viruses exploit the host cytoskeleton and the impact of metallo-protease (TACE) activation on cytokine and growth factor signaling with implications for cancer and inflammatory disorders. Dr. Zettl authored numerous high impact publications and patents in the field of Immuno-Oncology.

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