Marengo Therapeutics Appoints Ke Liu, MD, PhD, and Bruce Chabner, MD, to Key Leadership Roles, Strengthening Marengo's Development Team and Supporting Translation to the Clinic
Further demonstrates confidence in Marengo's novel T cell biology-focused approach to target TCR Vβ for the activation of anti-tumor immune response with its bi-specific STAR platform
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Marengo Therapeutics, Inc., a company pioneering novel therapeutics that directly target the Vβ chain of the T cell receptor (TCR) to activate the right T cell subsets to fight cancer, today announced the appointment of Ke Liu, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Development Officer, as well as Bruce Chabner, M.D., as Senior Strategic Advisor. Dr. Liu will lead Marengo's clinical development and regulatory strategy, while Dr. Chabner will serve in an advisory capacity to the Marengo leadership team. As seasoned veterans of oncology drug development, Dr. Liu and Dr. Chabner will bring their significant expertise to Marengo as the company advances its STAR (Selective T Cell Activation Repertoire) platform to clinical trials in patients.
"I am so honored to welcome Dr. Liu to Marengo as Chief Development Officer and Dr. Chabner as our strategic advisor," said Zhen Su, M.D., MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Marengo. "Ke's clinical and regulatory expertise in oncology and Bruce's instrumental contribution to cancer research have yielded unparalleled breakthroughs in the field. The addition of such well-respected experts in the oncology space further supports progress of Marengo's novel T cell therapeutics into the clinic."
Dr. Liu joins Marengo with over 20 years of experience in the field of oncology, immuno-oncology, and cell and gene therapy; most recently serving as Senior Vice President at Sana Biotechnology. Prior to that, he spent more than 17 years working at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with major leadership responsibilities including: Chief of Oncology Branch in the Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), and the Associate Director for Cell and Gene Therapy at the FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence.
Dr. Liu, a board-certified internist and medical oncologist trained under the mentorship of Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg at National Cancer Institute (NCI), has made major contributions to the field of oncology and led the regulatory evaluations and approvals at the FDA of key first-in-class cancer therapeutics over the past decade, including checkpoint inhibitors, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, T cell receptor (TCR) modified T cells, genome-edited products, neoantigen-based therapies, adoptive T cell therapies, oncolytic viral therapy, dendritic cell therapy, and various novel combinations. Dr. Liu received his M.D. from Henan Medical University in China and his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Cornell University.
"I am thrilled to be joining Marengo at a key inflection point for the company's growth," said Dr. Liu. "I have been passionate about T-cell based therapeutics over the years including leading the regulatory evaluations that led to the approval of the first checkpoint inhibitor and the first CAR-T therapies. Marengo's novel TCR Vβ targeted approach to T cell activation is exciting, and I look forward to advancing the company's programs to the clinic and providing potentially curative treatments to patients."
Dr. Chabner is an Allen Distinguished Investigator, Clinical Director Emeritus for the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has had extensive experience and pioneered key research in the field of cancer drug discovery and development. During his career at the National Cancer Institute, he served as a Senior Investigator in the Laboratory of Chemical Pharmacology, Chief of the Clinical Pharmacology Branch, Director of the Clinical Oncology Program, and Director of the Division of Cancer Treatment.
At the NCI, he maintained an active laboratory program in cancer pharmacology, where he led the development of the breast cancer drug Taxol. His research contributed significantly to the development of high dose chemotherapy regimens, and to standard therapies for lymphoma. Dr. Chabner is a senior editor for The Oncologist and in 2006, he received a presidential appointment to the National Cancer Advisory Board at the NCI.
"Having worked in the field of medical oncology for several decades, I'm eager to build upon the research of Marengo's novel approach to selective T cell activation, which may have far-reaching implications for patients," said Dr. Chabner. "The caliber of the team that Marengo has assembled is a testament to their commitment to the company's programs for the future of oncology."
Dr. Liu and Dr. Chabner join Marengo hot on the heels of other recent senior leadership hires, including Alyssa Marino as Head of Clinical Operations and Jacques Moisan, Ph.D., as Vice President, Head of Immunology. Ms. Marino brings over 20 years of experience in clinical research with a focus in early development oncology trials, providing operational guidance and program leadership for early phase clinical development at companies such as Organogenesis, Sanofi-Genzyme, Novartis, and Merck-Serono. Dr. Moisan joins with 14 years of experience in the biopharma industry overseeing teams driving concept through molecule screening and regulatory filing, most recently joining from EMD Serono where he shaped the immune-oncology pipeline, oversaw multiple IND filings and authored numerous patents and publications. The company plans to continue expanding its team this year to further support and advance the STAR platform towards the clinic.
Marengo Therapeutics, Inc, an ATP company, is pioneering first-in-class therapeutics that activate the right immune response to promote lifelong protection against cancer. With a passionate team of dedicated scientists experienced in immunology and oncology, Marengo's proprietary Selective T Cell Activation Repertoire (STAR) platform leverages an extensive biological understanding of T cell function and receptor signaling to create a world in which everyone's immune system can defeat cancer. To learn more, visit www.marengotx.com.