Life Science Company News
Amunix Expands its Board of Directors with the Appointment of Industry Veteran, Ciara Kennedy, Ph.D., M.B.A.
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Amunix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Amunix”), an immuno-oncology company leveraging its proprietary, clinically validated Pro-XTEN technology platform to discover and develop transformative T cell engagers and cytokine therapies for patients with cancer, today announced the appointment of Ciara Kennedy, Ph.D., M.B.A. to its board of directors. Dr. Kennedy brings to Amunix a wealth of strategic and operational experience across multiple therapeutic areas and stages of development in the biopharmaceutical industry.
“We are excited to welcome Ciara, a leader in the biotech industry, to Amunix,” said Angie You, chief executive officer of Amunix. “Ciara’s strategic, transactional and operational expertise will be invaluable as we plan to initiate a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for our lead program AMX-818, a masked HER2-targeted T cell engager, in early 2022 and transition into a clinical stage company. In addition, her visionary leadership will contribute to our strategic focus of building out our pipeline of masked T cell engagers and cytokines.”
Dr. Kennedy added, “I am delighted to join Amunix’s board and am excited about the potential of its proprietary Pro-XTEN technology to harness the untapped potential of T-cell engagers and cytokines. I look forward to working closely with the experienced team as the company matures and grows its pipeline of promising therapeutics that has the potential to change the landscape of potent options for solid tumors.”
Most recently, Dr. Kennedy was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage company developing innovative drug therapies for debilitating and life-threatening diseases in patients with compromised immune systems, where she led the company through a successful acquisition by Pfizer Inc. Prior to Amplyx, she was chief operating officer of Lumena Pharmaceuticals Inc. where she oversaw operations including clinical development and helped lead its successful acquisition by Shire plc. Earlier in her career, Dr. Kennedy also held various roles at Cypress Bioscience, Inc. and Biogen Idec Ltd.. Dr. Kennedy has a strong track record of building companies through to later stages of clinical development with a unique breadth of experience across business development, finance, program management, and clinical/regulatory strategy.
In addition to Amunix, Dr. Kennedy is on the boards of Otonomy, Inc. and Aristea Therapeutics, Inc. She holds a Ph.D. from Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland and an M.B.A. from the Rady School of Management University of California, San Diego and B.S. from University of Cork, Ireland.
About Amunix’s Pro-XTEN Technology
Amunix’s Pro-XTEN technology aims to mitigate the toxicity of T cell engagers (“TCEs”) and cytokines by creating drugs that are preferentially activated in the tumor microenvironment, thus driving tumor cell killing while minimizing on-target, off-tumor toxicity that can damage healthy tissues and/or cause cytokine release syndrome. Amunix’s Pro-XTEN technology leverages the intrinsically high protease activity in the tumor microenvironment to preferentially unmask and activate our drugs in the tumor microenvironment. The two proprietary components of this technology are as follows: 1) an XTEN Mask, a polypeptide that serves a dual purpose of acting as a universal spatial shield mask and providing half-life extension, and 2) a protease-cleavable linker which enables preferential unmasking and drug activation in the tumor microenvironment.
About Amunix Pharmaceuticals
Amunix Pharmaceuticals, based in South San Francisco, California, is an immuno-oncology company leveraging its proprietary, clinically validated Pro-XTEN technology platform to discover and develop transformative T cell engagers and cytokine therapies for patients with cancer. Amunix aims to expand the therapeutic index of TCEs and cytokines, which have demonstrated anti-tumor clinical activity, but have not realized their potential due to dose-limiting on-target, off-tumor toxicity. Amunix addresses this challenge by using its universal, protease-releasable masking technology, or Pro-XTEN, to create next generation, conditionally active T cell engagers, or XPATs®, and cytokines, or XPACs™, that are preferentially activated in tumors as compared to healthy tissues. Amunix’s most advanced product candidate, AMX-818, is a masked HER2-targeted TCE for the treatment of HER2-expressing solid tumors, which is currently in IND-enabling studies. Along with other T cell engager programs, Amunix is also applying its proprietary masking technology to its first masked, protease-activated cytokine program, IL12-XPAC™, which is in discovery stage.
For additional information about the company, please visit www.amunix.com.
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