LAVA Therapeutics Expands Management Team with Three Key Appointments
UTRECHT, The Netherlands and PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LAVA Therapeutics N.V. (Nasdaq: LVTX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing its proprietary Gammabody™ platform of bispecific gamma delta T cell engagers (bsTCEs) to transform the treatment of cancer, today announced the expansion of its management team with the appointments of Jessica Truscello as vice president of clinical operations, Sumeet Ambarkhane, M.D. as executive medical director and Wouter van Hunnik as vice president of human resources.
“I am excited to welcome Jessica, Sumeet and Wouter to the LAVA family. As we have transitioned to a clinical stage organization, we need to grow the team to ensure continued performance excellence,” said Stephen Hurly, president and chief executive officer, LAVA Therapeutics. “Jessica brings more than 20 years of oncology clinical expertise, Sumeet has been instrumental in shaping the development of approved hematological medicines and Wouter is an expert in helping shape organizations as they grow. One mark of a strong organization is its ability to attract additional highly experienced individuals. These are important hires for LAVA’s long-term success.”
Jessica Truscello, Vice President of Clinical Operations
Jessica Truscello brings more than 22 years of clinical trial management and clinical operations experience to LAVA Therapeutics. Most recently, she was a vice president, head of clinical operations at Immunocore, a late-stage biotechnology company developing T cell receptor bispecific immunotherapies to treat cancer, infectious and autoimmune diseases. During her six years at the company, Jessica supported first-in-human programs through pivotal and late-stage programs and the successful development of their clinical compliance program. Prior to Immunocore, Jessica was a director, clinical operations program lead and clinical program manager at Pfizer where she was responsible for clinical and operational execution, program strategy and partnership collaborations. Prior to that, Jessica served as a clinical trial leader at Wyeth. Jessica earned a bachelor of science degree in comprehensive science from Villanova University in Pennsylvania.
Sumeet Ambarkhane, M.D., Executive Medical Director
Sumeet Ambarkhane, M.D. is a clinical development physician with expertise in oncology, hemato-oncology and immunology, spanning more than 17 years. Sumeet has proven, high impact leadership skills and in-depth experience in medical monitoring, clinical program management, global regulatory submissions, translational – biomarker research and drug safety. Prior to joining LAVA, Sumeet was a senior global program medical director at MorphoSys where he led medical and clinical strategy for its hemato-oncology clinical development programs, including tafasitamab (Monjuvi®) which was granted accelerated and conditional approval respectively, by FDA and EMA. Before MorphoSys, Sumeet spent seven years at UCB, Inc., assuming roles of increasing responsibility for the company’s immunology and neurology portfolio. He worked in functions such as strategic project leadership, research and development (R&D) and medical affairs and led cross-functional development teams to manage and advance R&D pipeline projects at UCB. Sumeet earned a bachelor of medicine, bachelor of surgery and medical doctorate degrees in medicine and clinical pharmacology from Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College, King Edward Memorial Hospital, University of Mumbai in India.
Wouter van Hunnik, Vice President, Head of Human Resources
Wouter is a proven leader with more than 15 years of experience in building excellence and taking innovative approaches to human resources (HR) recruitment, culture shaping and capability building. During his more than 11-year tenure at Philips, Wouter served as vice president, head of HR solutions transformation; vice president, head of HR integrated supply chain; senior director, global HR business partner for the quality and regulatory divisions; director, global HR program manager, markets & acting program manager, organizational design and senior HR manager for the MRI business unit. Before joining Philips, Wouter served as a senior consultant at Boer & Croon Consulting. Wouter earned a master of science degree in international business administration with a focus on strategy and organization from Maastricht University in The Netherlands.
About LAVA Therapeutics
LAVA Therapeutics N.V. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company utilizing its proprietary Gammabody™ platform to develop a portfolio of bispecific gamma delta T cell engagers (gamma delta bsTCEs) for the potential treatment of solid tumors and hematological malignancies. The company’s innovative approach utilizes bispecific antibodies engineered to selectively kill cancer cells via the triggering of Vγ9Vδ2 T cell antitumor effector functions upon cross-linking to tumor associated antigens. A Phase 1/2a clinical study evaluating LAVA-051 in patients with certain hematological malignancies is currently enrolling (NCT04887259). The company currently anticipates data from the Phase 1 dose escalation phase of the study in the first half of 2022 with top line clinical data from the Phase 2a expansion cohorts expected in the second half of 2022. The company plans to initiate a Phase 1/2a clinical study to evaluate LAVA-1207 in patients with prostate cancer in the fourth quarter of 2021. For more information, please visit www.lavatherapeutics.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
LAVA’s Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including in respect of the company’s anticipated growth and clinical developments plans, including the timing of clinical trials. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “will,” “may,” “expect,” “should,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate,” “potential” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on LAVA’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release and are subject to various risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about the preclinical data, clinical development and scope of clinical trials, and the potential use of our product candidates to treat various tumor targets. Many factors, risks and uncertainties may cause differences between current expectations and actual results including, among other things, the timing and results of our research and development programs and preclinical and clinical trials, our ability to obtain regulatory approval for and commercialize our product candidates, our ability to leverage our initial programs to develop additional product candidates using our Gammabody™ platform, and the failure of LAVA’s collaborators to support or advance collaborations or our product candidates. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic may disrupt our business and that of the third parties on which we depend, including delaying or otherwise disrupting our clinical trials and preclinical studies, manufacturing and supply chain, or impairing employee productivity. LAVA assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, even as new information becomes available.
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