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Former Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) Cellular Therapy Development VP Appointed As Chief Medical Officer of NKcell Focused Cytovia Therapeutics

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.
Cytovia Therapeutics aims to accelerate patient access to transformational cell therapies and immunotherapies, addressing several of the most challenging unmet medical needs in cancer. Cytovia focuses on Natural Killer (NK) cell biology and applies precision engineering to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to develop the safest, most effective, most broadly-available off-the-shelf Natural Killer cell therapy as a first line of defense against cancer. Cytovia’s proprietary multi-specific antibody platform has been customized to engage and activate NK Cells at the tumor site. Both platforms offer optionality to clinicians and can also be used synergistically. Cytovia’s R&D laboratories and GMP manufacturing facility are augmented by scientific partnerships with Cellectis, CytoImmune, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, INSERM, the New York Stem Cell Foundation, STC Biologics, and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF).
 

On Wednesday April 28, Cytovia Therapeutics, Inc., announced that Stanley R. Frankel, MD FACP has been appointed as Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately. Dr. Frankel is a hematologist-oncologist with extensive academic and industry experience in the research, clinical development, and commercialization of immuno-oncology and cellular therapies. He has led clinical development programs for multiple FDA-approved drugs to treat hematologic malignancies including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma.



Dr. Frankel was most recently the Senior Vice President, Cellular Therapy Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) where he was responsible for late development portfolio of cellular therapy assets including Breyanzi® (lisocabtagene maraleucel) and Abecma® (idecabtagene vicleucel). Prior to the BMS acquisition of Celgene, he was Corporate Vice President, Head, Immuno-Oncology & Cellular Therapy, Clinical Research and Development Head, Cell Therapy Clinical Center of Excellence at Celgene. While at Celgene he co-chaired the Hematology-Oncology Development Committee and served on the Hematology-Oncology Franchise Leadership Team. He served on Joint Steering and/or Joint Development Committees for alliances with JW Therapeutics, Jounce Therapeutics, Astra-Zeneca/Medimmune, Juno Therapeutics, and BeiGene. He is an independent member of the Board of Directors of Precision BioSciences.

Dr. Frankel has overseen bispecific antibody preclinical and clinical development in his prior roles as Vice President, Clinical Development at Micromet, and following the Amgen acquisition of Micromet and the bispecific T cell engager platform including Blincyto®, as Executive Director, Medical Sciences and Early Development Oncology Therapeutic Area Head. He had previously served in clinical development roles at Roche, Merck, and Genta.

Dr. Frankel received a B.A. in Applied Sciences, Biomechanics from Harvard College and an M.D. from Northwestern University, and has been a board-certified licensed physician since 1986. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and his fellowship in hematology-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he was Chief Fellow. He has prior academic and clinical appointments at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Georgetown University, and the University of Maryland prior to joining Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons as Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology.


Stanley R. Frankel, MD FACP & CMO pf Cytovia Therapeutics

“I am delighted to join Cytovia to build the future of biotherapeutics harnessing the innate immune system. Cytovia is uniquely positioned to advance allogeneic “off-the-shelf” iPSC-derived NK cell therapies along with a unique set of bispecific NK engager antibodies to the clinic with the goal to offer better therapeutic options for patients with either solid tumors or hematologic malignancies. These technologies individually or in concert will be investigated in at least two disease groups with actionable cancer targets: Glypican-3 (GPC3) will be targeted for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma and CD38 for patients with multiple myeloma,” stated Dr. Frankel.


“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Frankel to the Cytovia leadership team. Stan’s unique and deep expertise in the clinical development of immuno-oncology products, including bispecific antibodies and cell therapy, will be a major asset to drive Cytovia forward with its differentiated pipeline. Cytovia is at a major inflection point as it brings its first-in-class NK Engagers and gene-edited, iPSC-derived NK Cells to clinical stage with a focus on the GPC3 solid tumor and CD38 hematology franchises towards clinical development. Stan’s unique breadth and depth of both academic and industry drug development experience and track record of successfully developing multiple cellular therapies will be essential to rapidly and effectively guide the Cytovia pipeline of therapeutic candidates through clinical development.” stated Dr. Daniel Teper, CEO of Cytovia Therapeutics.





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