WindMIL Therapeutics Appoints Dr. Kimberly Noonan as Chief Science & Technology Officer
PHILADELPHIA and BALTIMORE, May 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — WindMIL Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company developing marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs®) for cancer immunotherapy, today announced the appointment of Co-Founder Kimberly Noonan, PhD, MPH, to Executive Vice President, Chief Science & Technology Officer. In this role, Dr. Noonan’s leadership will expand to include WindMIL’s efforts in manufacturing and manufacturing science and technology (MS&T).
“As we continue to build momentum developing MILs as a novel class of autologous cell therapies for cancer immunotherapy, we are delighted to broaden Dr. Noonan’s role at WindMIL,” said Don Hayden, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WindMIL Therapeutics. “Her unrivaled passion to help patients with cancer and commitment to further build our understanding of the unique biology of MILs continues to motivate the entire team as we explore the potential of MILs as a safe, effective treatment for a variety of cancers.”
A recognized expert on bone marrow immunology, Dr. Noonan has made several important discoveries in the field including the initial discovery of MILs in 2004 along with Ivan Borrello, MD. Together with a small team, Drs. Borrello and Noonan translated this laboratory finding into a clinical trial, the first-ever adoptive T cell therapy at Johns Hopkins University.
In addition to leading research activity at WindMIL, Dr. Noonan’s expanded role includes:
- Leading the company’s work in gene-modified MILs (GM-MILs™) via further development of internal capability and accessing external engineering and constructs. This includes overseeing the company’s pre-clinical collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and its Center for Cellular Immunotherapies comparing novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-engineered MILs (CAR-MILs™) to CAR-T therapy.
- Steering translational research efforts including the integration of WindMIL’s data on MILs biology with emerging clinical and associated manufacturing data.
- Leading clinical-stage MILs manufacturing using WindMIL’s proprietary, third generation, MILsGen™ process. This patient-friendly, reliable and scalable process is producing MILs for WindMIL’s active Phase 2 clinical trial for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who have relapsed on, or are refractory to, a PD-1 containing regimen.
- Expanding WindMIL’s manufacturing capacity to enable both broadening of the clinical-stage portfolio and eventual commercial production.
“It’s an exciting time at WindMIL, with the ongoing enrollment of our Phase 2 NSCLC clinical trial and data from our pre-clinical CAR-MILs research with Penn now reading out,” said Dr. Noonan. “I’m honored to broaden my work with the team as we continue to advance MILs programs into the clinic with the goal of creating life-saving therapies for patients with cancer.”
About Marrow-Infiltrating Lymphocytes (MILs®)
Naturally antigen-specific and highly cytotoxic, marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs®) are the foundation for a suite of adoptive cell therapies – both gene-modified and non gene-modified – under development by WindMIL Therapeutics. MILs are manufactured through a proprietary process to activate, transform and expand T cells found in each patient’s bone marrow. Distinguishing features of MILs include their memory phenotype, higher CD8:CD4 ratio and ability to persist long term when compared to peripheral blood lymphocytes. Given these attributes, MILs are uniquely suited for use in adoptive cell therapy for patients with cancer. CAR-MILs™ represent one opportunity in gene-modified MILs and are under development as an alternative, potentially clinically superior cell source to peripheral blood T cells for CAR-T therapy. WindMIL is also studying the use of non gene-modified MILs in a Phase 2 clinical trial to treat patients with non-small cell lung cancer (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04069936) and has data supporting expansion into multiple other solid tumors. To date, more than 100 patients have received treatment with MILs and ongoing studies continue to build upon the favorable safety profile and promising efficacy seen in early development.
About WindMIL Therapeutics
WindMIL Therapeutics is a clinical-stage company developing a novel class of autologous cell therapies based on marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs®) for cancer immunotherapy. As the leader in bone marrow-derived T cell therapies, WindMIL translates novel insights in bone marrow immunology into life-saving cancer immunotherapeutics for patients. The company’s proprietary process to activate, transform and expand T cells offers unique immunotherapeutic advantages, including inherent tumor-specificity, high cytotoxic potential and long persistence. For more information, please visit: https://windmiltx.com.
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