Press Releases 05.29.2019
Kintai Therapeutics Announces Formation of World-Class Scientific Advisory Board
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- May 29, 2019 -- Kintai Therapeutics, a Flagship Pioneering company developing precision therapeutics based on enteric signaling networks, today announced the formation of the Kintai Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with leading experts across immunology, inflammation, microbiology, oncology and neurology. The SAB will collaborate with the leadership team at Kintai to help support and advance the company’s portfolio of Precision Enteric MedicinesTM, which are small molecule product candidates that leverage the enteric signaling network’s role in pathology and disease.
“We are proud to have attracted a team of renowned scientists to our Scientific Advisory Board,” said Paul-Peter Tak, MD, PhD, FMedSci, president and chief executive officer of Kintai. “The deep expertise and experience of our SAB will be invaluable as we maximize the broad opportunities of our discovery engine and pipeline of over 10 disease programs moving towards the clinic. It is precisely through our multidimensional scientific approach and the strategy of leveraging our collective intelligence that we have been able to amass a deep pipeline in less than three years since being founded. We apply exceptional science to bring breakthrough medicines to patients; peer review and collaboration are essential in this process. The establishment of the world-class Kintai SAB will enable us to tap into the brightest minds in the field to help patients in need.”
Professor Luke O’Neill, PhD, chair of BioChemistry at Trinity College Dublin and member of Kintai’s Board of Directors, added, “The science being pursued by Kintai is truly remarkable with a number of programs underway which have huge potential to provide wholly new approaches to benefit patients with diseases which badly need new treatments. All of the members of the SAB are world leaders in their field and their diversity and scientific excellence will be a key resource for Kintai as it moves towards the clinic.”
Scientific Advisory Board Members
Isaac Chiu, PhD
Dr. Isaac Chiu is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Immunology. Dr. Chiu specializes in neuroimmunology, pain and neurodegeneration. His laboratory has discovered mechanisms by which sensory neurons detect bacteria in pain and how neurons regulate the immune system. He is currently working on defining critical microbes that regulate chronic pain and neuro-immune interactions at different barrier tissues including the gut, skin, and respiratory tract. Dr. Chiu obtained his PhD in immunology at Harvard Medical School, working in Dr. Mike Carroll's lab and then as a research fellow in Dr. Tom Maniatis’s lab on the role of microglia and T cells in the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He then received his postdoctoral training in the neurobiology of pain in Dr. Clifford Woolf’s laboratory at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Wendy S. Garrett, MD, PhD
Dr. Wendy Garrett is a professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard, co-director of the Harvard Chan Center for the Microbiome in Public Health, and a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Garret's research focuses on the interplay between the gastrointestinal immune system and the gut microbiota in health, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. Dr. Garrett has identified both specific species, pathways, and metabolites produced by the microbiota that influence health and disease states.
Vijay Kuchroo, DVM, PhD
Dr. Vijay Kuchroo is the Samuel L. Wasserstrom professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, senior scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, co-director of the Center for Infection and Immunity, Brigham Research Institutes, an associate member of the Broad Institute and a participant in a Klarman Cell Observatory project that focuses on T cell differentiation. He is the director of the Evergrande Center for Immunologic Diseases at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His major research interests include autoimmune diseases, particularly the role of co-stimulation, the genetic basis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis, and cell surface molecules and regulatory factors that regulate induction of T cell tolerance and dysfunction.
Gerald T. Nepom, MD, PhD
Dr. Gerald Nepom is the director of the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, and former director and founder of the Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle, WA. His primary research interests focus on characterization of the human CD4 T cell response in autoimmunity, with an emphasis on type 1 diabetes (T1D), as well as the translation of immunological intervention strategies into innovative clinical trials. His laboratory is credited with several advances in human autoimmunity, including initial descriptions of HLA class II disease associations, structure, and function, and the development of human class II tetramers for direct T cell detection and analysis. Dr. Nepom also serves as an advisor for many academic and nonprofit organizations involved in biomedical research and is past president of FOCIS, the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies. He has published over 350 scientific papers and received recognition through several awards, including the University of Washington School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award and the David Rumbough Award for Scientific Excellence from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Luke O’Neill, PhD
Dr. Luke O’Neill is the chair of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin where he leads the Inflammation Research Group. He has a PhD in pharmacology from the University of London and carried out post-doctoral research at Cambridge U.K. His research is in the area of the molecular basis to inflammation with a particular focus on innate immunity, toll-like receptors, inflammasomes and metabolic reprogramming in macrophage activation. In 2018, he was named by Clarivates/Thompson Reuters as one of the world’s most influential scientists, being in the top 1% in immunology. Dr. O’Neill has won numerous awards for his research, including the European Federation of Immunology Societies medal, the International Cytokine and Interferon Society Milstein Award, The Royal Dublin Society Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence, The Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life sciences. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2016. Dr. O’Neill has also recently published a best-selling popular science book Humanology: a scientist’s guide to our amazing existence.
Fiona Powrie, FRS, FMedSci, DPhil
Dr. Fiona Powrie is the director of the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, a basic and translational inflammatory sciences center at the University of Oxford. She received a PhD in immunology from the University of Oxford and then moved to the DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto. She returned to the University of Oxford in 1996 as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, and she was the Sidney Truelove Professor of Gastroenterology and Head of the Translational Gastroenterology Unit from 2009-2014. Dr. Powrie’s research has identified the functional role of regulatory T cells in intestinal homeostasis and established the cytokine IL-23 as a therapeutic target in chronic intestinal inflammation. Her current interests include the characterization of the interaction between the intestinal microbiome and the host immune system and how this mutualistic relationship breaks down in inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and cancer. Dr. Powrie received the Ita Askonas Award from the European Federation of Immunological Societies for her contribution to immunology in Europe and the Louis Jeantet Prize for Medicine in 2012. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011, EMBO in 2013 and the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2014. Dr. Powrie joined the Wellcome Trust’s Board of Governors in 2018.
Founded in 2016 by Flagship Labs, the innovation foundry of Flagship Pioneering, Kintai Therapeutics is uniquely focused on unlocking the power of the enteric signaling network and its signals throughout the body to fight disease and restore the health of patients. The company’s Precision Enteric Medicine™ (PEM™) discovery and therapeutic platform is based on a deep understanding of the interconnected biology of the microbiome, gut immune system, and enteric nervous system. Kintai has pioneered a new frontier in gut science, resulting in a unique understanding of a wealth of new genes, metabolites, and signaling molecules, leveraging these insights to rapidly translate into a highly actionable pipeline. The company’s expertise in chemistry, human biology, experimental medicine, and artificial intelligence represents a biology discovery and therapeutic development engine to rapidly identify and deliver new medicines. Kintai’s multidisciplinary approach has delivered a pipeline of 10+ programs across multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, neurology, and immunology.
Based in Cambridge, Mass., Kintai believes that its core strengths lie in the hearts and minds of its talented employees who keep patients at the center of everything we do. To learn more, please visit the company’s website at www.kintaitx.com.
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