Dr. Wagtmann, Ph.D, a globally recognized scientist with 20+ years of biotech and pharma industry experience joins Dragonfly's team to accelerate development of its novel Natural Killer
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 26, 2017 /CNW/ -- Dragonfly Therapeutics, Inc. ("Dragonfly"), today announced Dr. Nicolai Wagtmann has become its Chief Scientific Officer ("CSO"). Dr. Wagtmann will head the company's scientific team and the development and commercialization of novel Natural Killer (NK) cell-based immunotherapies, using the company's proprietary TriNKET™ technology platform.
Dr. Wagtmann joins Dragonfly's scientific co founders, Dr. Tyler Jacks, Head of MIT's Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and Dr. David Raulet, Schekman Chair in Cancer Biology at UC Berkeley, in leading the company's scientific programs and working with Dragonfly's Scientific Advisory Board members, who include:
- Dr. Harold Eliot Varmus, M.D., American Nobel Prize-winning scientist and the 14th Director of the National Cancer Institute;
- Dr. Ronald Levy M.D., professor at Stanford University and renowned medical doctor specializing in lymphoma;
- Professor K. Dane Wittrup, Ph.D., professor at MIT, pioneer in protein engineering technologies and expert in the science of targeting cancer with antibodies;
- Dr. Patrick Hwu, M.D., leading tumor immunologist and Chair of the Department of Medical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center;
- Dr. K. Christopher Garcia, Ph.D., professor at Stanford University and expert in the structural, mechanistic, and functional aspects of receptor-ligand interactions; and
- Dr. Adelheid Cerwenka, professor at Heidelberg University, head of Innate Immunity at the German Cancer Research Center, and expert in targeting cancer with NK cells.
Dr. Wagtmann joins Dragonfly from Innate Pharma (PAR: IPA), where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer and led the company's biopharmaceutical research and development of NK cell-based therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer.
Dr. Wagtmann previously spent 14 years in discovery and development at Novo Nordisk A/S, where he served as Vice President and Head of Cancer and Immunobiology. During this time, he built and developed a broad portfolio of first-in-class therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases, including several targeting NK cell receptors. Dr. Wagtmann has taken nine drug candidates deep into the clinic.
Dr. Wagtmann also held academic appointments at the Center for Immunology in France and at the National Institutes of Health in the United States, where he discovered the human inhibitory Killer Ig-like Receptors (KIR) in NK cells and additional checkpoint receptors that regulate cells of the innate immune system. He received his Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Copenhagen.
"We are delighted to welcome Nicolai to a crucial role in Dragonfly's strong scientific team," said Bill Haney, co-founder and CEO of Dragonfly Therapeutics. "He's a gifted scientist who brings Dragonfly extraordinary depth of experience in Natural Killer cell-based therapies, a talent for leading teams through the development of breakthrough immunotherapies and a rich background in collaborating effectively with world leading Pharmaceutical companies. He's passionately dedicated to Dragonfly's mission of eliminating cancer in patients – perhaps the biggest potential scientific opportunity, of our generation."
Dragonfly Therapeutics is committed to discovering, developing and commercializing therapies that use its novel TriNKET™ technology to harness the body's innate immune system to bring breakthrough cancer treatments to patients.
For more information visit: www.dragonflytx.com,
SOURCE Dragonfly Therapeutics, Inc.