TCR2 Therapeutics Inc. today announced the appointment of Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD, the Yetta Deitch Novotny Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (U Penn), and Chief of the Section of Cellular Therapy and Transplant at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to its Advisory Board. Dr. Grupp is a world-renowned pediatric oncologist and cancer researcher who delivered chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy to the first pediatric patient in the world and paved the clinical development path for engineered T cell therapies, most notably Novartis's recently approved Kymriah® (tisagenlecleucel).
"Dr. Stephan Grupp has helped to revolutionize T cell immunotherapy and we are thrilled to welcome him to TCR2's Advisory Board," said Mitchell (Mitch) Finer, PhD, Chairman of TCR2's Advisory Board and Member of the company's Board of Directors. "His outstanding contribution and deep experience in developing cell-based and molecularly-targeted therapies to treat leukemia and solid tumors will be invaluable to TCR2 as it gets ready to initiate clinical studies of its lead program TC-210 in 2018."
In addition to Drs. Finer and Grupp, TCR2's Advisory Board members include several other leaders in T cell biology and cell therapy:
- Marcela Maus, MD, PhD – Leading researcher on CAR T and cancer immunotherapy
Director of Cellular Immunotherapy, Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
- Kai Wucherpfennig, MD, PhD – Prominent T cell biologist and cancer immunologistVirology Director of Center for Cancer Immunotherapy Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor and Chairman, Department of Cancer Immunology, Boston, MA
- Wolfgang Schamel, PhD – Leading researcher on T cell receptor signaling
Professor and Chairman, Institute of Biology III (Molecular Immunology) and Centre for Biological Signaling Studies (BIOSS), University of Freiburg, Germany
- David Ryan, MD – Oncology clinical development expert
Chief of Hematology/Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
"Solid tumors have been a challenge in the CAR T field, and TCR2 and its TRuC™ programs are approaching this challenge in innovative ways. I look forward to working with Dr. Finer and my fellow Advisory Board members on these new approaches," said Dr. Grupp.
Having conducted many preclinical studies for CAR T cell therapy and initiated the first pediatric CAR T cell trial for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at CHOP in 2012, Dr. Grupp then led the first multicenter global study of Kymriah®, which became the first CAR T therapy to receive approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition to his groundbreaking work in the field of CAR T cell therapy, Dr. Grupp has pioneered new strategies for stem cell transplantation. He helped to develop and lead clinical trials that resulted in FDA approval of a new treatment for veno-occlusive disease, a deadly complication of stem cell transplantation.
An attending physician and oncology researcher at CHOP since 1996, Dr. Grupp is a Professor of Pediatrics at U Penn's Perelman School of Medicine where he joined as a faculty member also in 1996. He completed his clinical training in pediatrics and pediatric hematology/oncology at Boston Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, performing post-doctoral research in immunology at Harvard. Dr. Grupp earned his MD and a PhD in Immunology from the University of Cincinnati.
About TCR2 Therapeutics
TCR2 Therapeutics is an immuno-oncology company that has pioneered a novel class of T cell therapies for solid tumors that utilize the full signaling power of complete T cell receptors (TCR). TCR2has developed a unique proprietary TRuC™ platform which can reprogram the natural TCR complex to elicit rapid killing of cancer cells with persistence and low cytokine release. The company has demonstrated superior activity against several tumor targets in preclinical models compared to CAR T cells and will advance its lead program TC-210 into the clinic in 2018. TCR2 was founded in 2015 by Dr. Patrick Baeuerle and backed with a $44.5M Series A financing led by MPM Capital and F2 Ventures. It has since assembled a world-class team of immunotherapy experts and entrepreneurs located in the heart of Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA. For more information, please visit www.tcr2.com.