Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Vor Biopharma, an oncology company, has named Dr. Robert Ang as president and CEO. Ang is the former chief business officer of Neon Therapeutics. Vor Biopharma’s backers include 5AM Ventures, RA Capital Management and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC Inc.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vor Biopharma, an oncology company pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) for the treatment of hematological cancers, today announced the appointment of Robert Ang, MBBS, MBA as its President and Chief Executive Officer. Vor also announced a move into new integrated headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. This expansion follows a recent $42 million Series A financing directed at advancing the Company’s lead eHSC-based candidate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia towards the clinic and further building the pipeline.
Dr. Ang is the former Chief Business Officer of Neon Therapeutics, part of the early team establishing the company prior to its Series A investment and through its initial public offering. Prior to Neon, he served as Senior Vice President of Business Development at Bavarian Nordic, where he was primarily responsible for conducting a $975 million transaction between the company and Bristol-Myers Squibb for PROSTVAC, a Phase 3 immuno-oncology asset. Before joining Bavarian Nordic, Dr. Ang served as Head of both Business Development and Medical Affairs for Cadence Pharmaceuticals (now Mallinckrodt) and worked at Frazier Healthcare Ventures, a leading life sciences venture capital firm. At Frazier, he was involved in several pharmaceutical and biotechnology investments including Cadence Pharmaceuticals, Incline Therapeutics (now The Medicines Company), Alnara Pharmaceuticals (now Eli Lilly) and Collegium Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Ang also has experience in strategy consulting at the Boston Consulting Group and has general surgical training. He holds an MBBS (Doctor of Medicine) from the University of Western Australia and an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School.
“I am privileged to join Vor Biopharma, a company already equipped with leading science from Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee’s lab at Columbia University and strong financial backing from eminent life science investors. Vor’s unique and scientifically elegant eHSC approach places it among the most exciting opportunities in oncology, with the potential to change the treatment paradigm of liquid tumors,” said Dr. Ang. “An excellent team has already been established in Cambridge, Mass., and new headquarters in Kendall Square will catalyze our research and development in gene editing, hematopoietic stem cell biology, process development and translational medicine.”
“Robert has a deep understanding of the oncology landscape and a proven track record in strategic planning and business development,” said Kush Parmar, MD, PhD, Managing Partner at 5AM Ventures and Chairman of Vor’s Board of Directors. “We are thrilled to welcome Robert to Vor at this pivotal moment as we bring the company to a new stage of growth and development while advancing our lead candidate, VOR33, toward the clinic.”
Vor’s lead engineered hematopoietic stem cell (eHSC) product candidate, VOR33, is in development for acute myeloid leukemia (AML). VOR33 is designed to produce healthy blood cells that lack the receptor CD33, thus enabling the targeting of AML cells through the CD33 antigen while avoiding toxicity to the blood and bone marrow. Currently, treating AML with therapy that targets CD33 can be effective but may be limited in dose and duration due to toxicity to the blood and bone marrow. By rendering healthy blood and bone marrow cells ‘invisible’ to CD33-targeted therapies, VOR33 aims to significantly improve the therapeutic window and effectiveness of these AML therapies with potential to broaden clinical benefit to different patient populations.
About Vor Biopharma
Vor Biopharma is pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) to dramatically change the treatment paradigm for hematological cancers. Vor’s eHSCs are designed to generate healthy, fully functional cells with specific advantageous modifications, for example to protect the blood and bone marrow from the toxic effects of antigen-targeted therapies, protecting healthy cells from depletion but leaving tumor cells vulnerable.
Vor’s platform could potentially be used to change the treatment paradigm of both hematopoietic stem cell transplants and antigen-targeted therapies such as antibody drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies and CAR-T cell treatments. A proof-of-concept study for Vor’s lead program has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Vor is based in Cambridge, Mass. and has a broad intellectual property base including in-licenses from Columbia University, where foundational work was conducted by inventor and Vor Scientific Board Chair Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil. Vor was founded by Dr. Mukherjee and PureTech Health and is supported by leading investors including 5AM Ventures and RA Capital Management, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research and Osage University Partners.