EpiAxis Therapeutics has appointed Professor Pamela Munster, a highly regarded medical oncologist in the field of metastatic breast cancer and epigenetics; Keir J Loiacono, an oncology focused business development executive and intellectual property specialist; and Dr David Fuller, a pharmaceutical physician with extensive preclinical and clinical drug development expertise in oncology, to its board, effective immediately.
The appointments follow recent advances by EpiAxis in its preclinical and commercial development. EpiAxis is a pioneering Australian domiciled pharmaceutical discovery company that is rapidly advancing its epigenetic assets that target the nuclear bound fraction of the enzyme lysine-specific demethylase 1(LSD1) as a next generation treatment for metastatic disease, with breast cancer being its lead indication. This work arose from discoveries made by founding scientist Professor Sudha Rao.
Professor Munster MD is a medical oncologist in the Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Professor Munster is also director of the Early Phase Clinical Trial Unit, Co-leader of the Center for BRCA Research and Leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at UCSF’s Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Loiacono is currently General Counsel and Vice President for Corporate Development at OncoSec. Previously, Loiacono was lead in-house counsel and director of intellectual property at Advaxis Inc.
Dr David Fuller MBBS is Senior Vice President for clinical development at Syneos Health Clinical Solutions’ oncology business unit. Previously, Dr Fuller was Chief Medical Officer for Arana Therapeutics and Vice President for Clinical Research at Genzyme.
Nick McNaughton, Chair of EpiAxis said: “This marks a notable milestone for the company in our quest for a new treatment to address metastatic disease. Our new directors are leaders in their field and upgrade the company’s capability and global coverage. We very much look forward to advancing our journey with the benefit of our new directors with their proven skill sets”.
EpiAxis has a deep understanding of the structural activity relationships of drugs, which more effectively inhibit the phosphorylated variant of LSD1 by targeting a unique nuclear-pocket in the molecule than other catalytic agents. This inhibition of LSD1 modulates the immune-oncology axis, thereby controlling the proliferation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and cancer stem cells. It also stops and reverses the epithelial to mesenchymal transition of the metastatic process.
The appointment of these new directors was facilitated by the Sage Group, as part of their remit to achieve a partnership with an aligned pharmaceutical or research-intensive biotechnology company. EpiAxis envisions a partnership that will provide the partner with special epigenetic knowledge and expertise related to LSD1 and novel mechanisms of inhibition, as well as the EpiAxis drug candidates. These will be offered in return for worldwide rights to products advanced by the partner’s clinical, regulatory, and commercialization capabilities.
EpiAxis has long lasting and issued patents protecting its discoveries and its pipeline, including the landmark use of all LSD1 inhibitors for the treatment of metastatic disease in a combination setting with chemotherapy, immuno-therapy, hormonal therapy, radiation therapy or surgery. Other applications capture the use of LSD1 inhibitors for viral infections.
Dr. Jeremy Chrisp, CEO and executive director of EpiAxis, said: “Our intellectual property position, which includes our first-in-class inhibitors, offers a highly attractive suite of assets that underline
our belief that we can become the leader in the epigenetic control of metastatic cancer. Our new look board is well equipped for the journey ahead.”