WEST PALM BEACH, FL. October 19, 2020- EXUMA Biotech Corporation, a clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering and developing CAR-T products and delivery solutions for liquid and solid tumors, is pleased to announce that Dr. Sid Kerkar, M.D., has joined the company’s senior leadership team as Vice President Oncology, Research & Development effective September 2020.
Dr. Kerkar will report to EXUMA Biotech Chairman and CEO Dr. Gregory Frost, Ph.D., and will be based in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“Dr. Kerkar brings to EXUMA Biotech a breadth of experience as a distinguished oncology research fellow, a biomedical scientist, and leader in the field of T cell biology to support global oncology programs. As our teams seek to advance new therapeutic paradigms, Dr. Kerkar’s expertise will help us deliver on the promise of these potentially groundbreaking cellular therapies for cancer patients,” said Dr. Frost.
Dr. Kerkar joins EXUMA from Eli Lilly and Company, where he served as Associate Vice President Immuno-oncology. Previously, Dr. Kerkar was at Boehringer- Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals from 2017-2019, and from 2016-2017 he was at Bristol Myers Squibb. From 2006-2015, Dr. Kerkar was at the National Institutes of Health where he completed post-doctoral research and clinical fellowships at the National Cancer Institute. His research on the genetic modification of T cells with cytokines to reverse the immuno-suppressive tumor microenvironment advanced from bench to bedside using adoptive T cell therapy. While at the Surgery Branch, Dr. Kerkar provided clinical care to patients on Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg’s cancer immunotherapy protocols.
Dr. Kerkar earned his M.D. from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. He completed general surgery internship at the Detroit Medical Center, and his residency in anatomic pathology at the N.I.H., with a surgical pathology fellowship at the Mayo Clinic.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity and exciting time in adoptive cellular therapies to work with a world class team. Together we are embarking upon a new chapter, as we advance our R & D efforts into potential treatments. With our groundbreaking technologies, we are positioned to deliver safe, effective and accessible therapies to the most critical oncology patients,” said Dr. Kerkar.
Additionally, EXUMA Biotech announced that an abstract titled “Logic-gating HER2 CAR-T to the Tumor Microenvironment Mitigates On-Target, Off-Tumor Toxicity Without Compromising Cytotoxicity Against HER2-Over-Expressing Tumors” is being presented at the AACR Virtual Conference: Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy, October 19-20, 2020. The “logic-gated” HER2 CAR-T is designed to preferentially recognize HER2 in the tumor microenvironment (TME), thereby limiting on-target toxicity of low HER2 levels expressed in normal tissue.
“EXUMA’s scientists developed the logic-gated HER2 CAR-T knowing that patient safety is as crucial as the therapy’s efficacy. We remain encouraged by our pre-clinical results, and look forward to results of first-in-human studies,” said Dr. Kerkar.
Abstracts available on AACR website. (www.aacr.org)
About EXUMA Biotech Corporation
EXUMA Biotech Corp. is a private Delaware corporation formed in November 2015 with operations in West Palm Beach, Florida, the Cayman Islands and Shanghai, China. EXUMA leverages its globally integrated science, development and informatics teams located across multiple time zones to accelerate the design, high-throughput screening, discovery and development of chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) candidates for both solid and liquid tumor malignancies. The company is developing logic gated CAR-T platforms to advance TME-restricted cellular therapies for solid tumors, platforms that will allow for same day, rapid point of care (rPOC) administration for solid or liquid tumors, and highly scalable systems for global therapy deployment, beginning in Asia. Learn more at exumabio.com.