CAMBRIDGE, Mass .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Aura Biosciences, a clinical-stage oncology company developing a new class of drug-conjugated viral therapies (VDCs) for multiple oncology indications, today announced the formation of a new Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) focused on urologic oncology. The new SAB will work closely with Aura’s management team to advance the company’s new VDC technology for the treatment of muscle non-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).
The new SAB will be made up of seven members: John T. Schiller, PhD, Deputy Chief and Head of Neoplastic Diseases Section, National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cellular Oncology Laboratory, National Institutes of Health (NIH); Piyush K. Agarwal, MD, director, bladder cancer control program, University of Chicago; Trinity J. Bivalacqua, MD, PhD, director, urologic oncology, Johns Hopkins Medicine; Isaac Kim, MD, PhD, MBA, chief, urologic oncology, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Seth P. Lerner, MD, Beth and Dave Swaim Chair in Urologic Oncology, Baylor College of Medicine; and Andrea B. Apolo, MD, Chief, Bladder Cancer Section, Genitourinary Malignant Tumors Branch, NCI, NIH. This newly formed SAB builds on Aura’s existing SAB, focused on ocular oncology, which has helped make the Company’s lead development candidate, belzupacap sarotalocan (AU-011), a ready-to-use asset. phase 3 for the treatment of choroidal melanoma.
“The creation of this Scientific Advisory Board is an important step for our continued growth as a leading innovative oncology company, âsaid Cadmus Rich, MD, MBA Chief Medical Officer and Head of R&D at Aura Biosciences. “We are both delighted and fortunate to have assembled such an esteemed group of eminent oncology advisors as we advance our VDC platform for the treatment of bladder cancer. These new SAB members bring complementary areas of urologic oncology, drug development and strategic expertise and will be invaluable as we reach the next phase of Aura’s growth. ”
“On behalf of all members of the new SAB, we look forward to working with Aura’s leadership team to leverage our complementary expertise and knowledge to support a common vision for Aura and drive innovation. for bladder cancer patients, âsaid Dr Agarwal.
Here are more details about the members of Aura SAB:
John T. Schiller, PhD – Dr. Schiller is Deputy Chief and Section Head of Neoplastic Diseases, Cellular Oncology Laboratory, National Cancer Institute, NIH, and Distinguished Investigator at NIH. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the molecular biology of the papillomavirus and the development of HPV vaccines, including the Lasker DeBakey Award in 2017, the Joseph Public Health Award from the American Society for Microbiology in 2014, and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2014. Dr. Schiller graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Molecular Biology and received a PhD. from the Department of Microbiology at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Piyush K. Agarwal, MD – Dr Agarwal is a highly respected urological surgeon who specializes in the multidisciplinary management of bladder cancer as the Director of the Bladder Cancer Program and the Urologic Oncology Fellowship. He is also an expert on all urological cancers and was the former head of the bladder cancer section at the Cancer Research Center of the National Cancer Institute. He has conducted several investigator-initiated clinical trials and served on the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Oncology Drug Advisory Committee. Dr Agarwal received his medical degree from Weill Cornell College of Medicine in New York, completed his residency in urology at the University Hospital Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland and his scholarship in urologic oncology at MD Anderson Medical Center in Houston.
Andrea Apolo, MD – Dr. Apolo is an internationally renowned expert in bladder cancer research who is a Lasker Clinical Research Fellow in the Genitourinary Malignant Tumors Branch of the NCI Cancer Research Center, NIH. She is head of the bladder cancer section and director of the multidisciplinary clinic for bladder cancer and genitourinary tumors. She holds a medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, completed her residency in internal medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center and a fellowship in medical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, all At New York.
Trinity J. Bivalacqua, MD, PhD – Dr Bivalacqua is Professor of Urology and Oncology R. Christian B. Evensen and Director of Urological Oncology at the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute. As a member of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Bivalacqua is involved in multidisciplinary approaches for the treatment of a variety of genitourinary cancers. He is particularly interested in prostate and bladder cancers. His research laboratory focuses on the tumor immune microenvironment and BCG resistance mechanisms, namely T cell signaling and macrophage polarization. He holds graduate and medical degrees from Tulane University, completed his training in general surgery and urology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship from the American Urological Association (AUA ) Foundation of the AUA Care Foundation in Linthicum.
Isaac Kim, MD, Ph.D., MBA – Dr Kim is a Board Certified Urologist who is the Head and Associate Professor of the Division of Urology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Head of the Section of Urologic Oncology and Director of the Cancer Center prostate cancer at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. He leads a thriving clinical practice and has established a strong research program focused on the biology of castration-resistant prostate cancer. He holds a doctorate and MD from Northwestern University, completed a residency in urology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, a fellowship in urologic oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, and a clinical fellowship. in endourology, laparoscopy and robotics at the University of California, Irvine.
Seth P. Lerner, MD – Dr Lerner is Professor of Urology and Beth and Dave Swalm Chair in Urologic Oncology, Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine. He is Director of Urologic Oncology and the Multidisciplinary Bladder Cancer Program and Vice President of Faculty Affairs in Urology. His clinical practice, training and research activities are devoted to urological oncology and in particular to urothelial cancer of the lower and upper tract. He holds a MD from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and was awarded a two-year fellowship at the University of Southern California in urologic oncology and reconstructive surgery in Los Angeles.
About Aura Biosciences
Aura Biosciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage oncology company developing a new technology platform based on virus-like drug conjugates (VDCs) to selectively target and destroy cancer cells while activating the immune system to create a long-lasting anti-tumor immunity. The VDC technology platform is based on the findings of distinguished NIH researcher Dr. John Schiller of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The company aims to develop this technology in multiple cancer indications with an initial focus on ocular oncology, a group of rare diseases for which there are no approved drugs. Aura’s flagship product candidate belzupacap sarotalocan (AU-011) is currently in phase 2 development for the first-line treatment of choroidal melanoma, a potentially fatal form of eye cancer in which standard radioactive treatments leave patients with major vision loss and co-morbidities. Aura has demonstrated the efficacy and safety of AU-011 in a phase 1b / 2 trial, including high rates of tumor control and vision preservation. Future applications of the pipeline for Aura’s technology include additional indications in ocular oncology such as choroidal metastases and solid tumor indications such as non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Aura is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. For more information visit www.aurabiosciences.com or follow us on Twitter.