ROCKVILLE, Md., March 16, 2021 — Innovative Cellular Therapeutics (ICT), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing a comprehensive platform of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies with a focus on solid tumors, today announced the appointment of Eugene (Gene) Kennedy, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Kennedy is an experienced biopharma executive with a track record of leadership in both industry and academia, and expertise in oncology, immuno-oncology, and clinical development.
“We are thrilled to announce the addition of Gene to the ICT team during this critical time for the company,” said Larry (Lei) Xiao, Ph.D., ICT’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “His extensive experience in overseeing clinical strategy and execution will be extremely beneficial as we advance our programs into the clinic in the United States.”
ICT has achieved compelling clinical response data in China, with an aggregate 60% Overall Response Rate (ORR) and 20% Complete Remission (CR) rate in 10 third-line patients. The seven colorectal cancer patients (57% ORR / 14% CR), and the three thyroid cancer patients (67% ORR / 33% CR), were treated with the Company’s in-house developed proprietary CoupledCAR® solid tumor CAR-T platform technology. ICT remains on track to submit U.S. Investigational New Drug (IND) applications in these two indications in 2021.
“We are confident that our colorectal and thyroid cancer programs have been significantly de-risked. This confidence is based on the outcomes of our recent clinical proof-of-concept trials, which were conducted in patients who had exhausted all available treatment options, across four hospital sites through our Shanghai-based R&D center,” said Dr. Xiao.
Dr. Kennedy is a surgical oncologist who most recently served as Chief Medical Officer of Lumos Pharma (Lumos) and, prior to its merger with Lumos, of NewLink Genetics (NewLink). Before that, he served as NewLink’s Vice President for Clinical and Medical Affairs. In these roles, Dr. Kennedy was responsible for design, implementation, and execution of all Phase 1-3 clinical trials and for overseeing medical affairs and regulatory strategy. Dr. Kennedy has filed multiple INDs for both small molecule and biologic drug candidates.
Prior to joining NewLink, Dr. Kennedy had an academic career as Associate Professor of Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Louisiana State University in New Orleans, and Instructor of Surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.
Dr. Kennedy received a B.A. from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and his M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. He obtained his General Surgical residency and Surgical Oncology fellowship training, along with a post-doctoral fellowship in immuno-oncology, at Johns Hopkins. He also completed additional surgical training at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland School of Medicine Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.
“I am extremely excited about the progress of Innovative Cellular Therapeutics’ colorectal and thyroid cancer programs towards U.S. clinical trials, and about the potential of the company’s CoupledCAR® solid tumor CAR-T platform technology in additional future indications,” said Dr. Kennedy. “The responses achieved in the company’s proof-of-concept trials in third-line colorectal and third-line thyroid cancer patients in China, and the extent to which these responses have already been confirmed in evaluations by top U.S. and Chinese independent third-party reviewing institutions, are remarkable and unprecedented. I am focused on bringing these revolutionary new therapies to cancer patients around the globe.”
About Innovative Cellular Therapeutics
Innovative Cellular Therapeutics (ICT) is a Rockville, Maryland-based clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumors. ICT is in pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its first solid tumor CAR-T programs, based on the Company’s proprietary CoupledCAR® solid tumor CAR-T platform technology. ICT has already achieved promising responses with CoupledCAR® in third-line colorectal and third-line thyroid cancer patients in ongoing clinical proof-of-concept trials being conducted across multiple hospital sites in China, coordinated through the Company’s Shanghai-based R&D center. ICT received its first U.S. Investigational New Drug (IND) application clearance for its ICTCAR014 program in late 2019. ICTCAR014 is based on ICT’s in-house developed proprietary ArmoredCAR® liquid tumor CAR-T platform technology and is a next generation CD19-targeting CAR-T therapy that expresses a dominant negative PD-1 (dnPD-1) protein to block immunosuppression by cancer cells. ICTCAR014 is being developed for patients with relapsed or refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), including PD-L1 positive patients. For more information, please visit www.ictbio.com.
Investor Relations Contacts:
Morten Marott, CFO
Innovative Cellular Therapeutics
Media Relations Contact:
Kate L. Barrette