South San Francisco-based PACT Pharma, a provider of personalized cell therapy for solid tumors, has appointed Tim Moore as president and chief technical officer. Previously, Moore worked at Kite where he was executive vice president of technical operations. PACT Pharma’s backers included GV, Canaan, Casdin Capital, Droia, Foresite Capital, Invus, Pontifax, Wu Capital, AbbVie Ventures and Taiho Ventures.
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — PACT Pharma, a leader in the field of personalized cell therapy for solid tumors, today announced the appointment of Tim Moore as President and Chief Technical Officer. Mr. Moore has over three decades of leadership experience in biopharmaceutical manufacturing and operations. He most recently served as Executive Vice President, Technical Operations of Kite, a Gilead Company since March of 2016. While at Kite, Mr. Moore oversaw the process development, manufacturing, quality and supply chain leading to FDA approval and successful launch of one of only two FDA-approved CAR-T therapies — ushering in a new era of individualized cell therapy manufacturing.
“The pace of innovation and development for CAR-T therapies over the past several years has increased dramatically. There are only a handful of people at the center of the action,” said Alex Franzusoff, CEO of PACT Pharma. “Tim, among this select group, has successfully led his team to bring these complex medicines to market, and his experience with CAR-T therapies at Kite will be invaluable as PACT seeks to establish new frontiers defining personalized cell therapies for patients with solid tumors.”
PACT Pharma is developing transformational personalized TCR-T cell therapies for the eradication of solid tumors. In July, the company presented data showing that PACT’s gene-edited neoTCR-T cells killed a patient’s own tumor cells, in non-clinical testing, by specifically targeting the patient’s own tumor mutation targets. Each patient’s cancer has a private signature of mutations, known as neoantigens or neoepitopes, creating an opportunity to develop fully personalized immune therapies with the potential to eradicate tumor cells.
Authenticating these tumor-exclusive targets for each patient with cancer may enable the company to use its proprietary precision genome engineering technologies to efficiently manufacture individualized immune cell therapy products for each patient. Having launched the company in 2017, PACT has begun enrolling patients with solid tumors in its Phase 1 dose escalation study of NeoTCR-P1, an autologous gene-edited, tumor mutation-targeted TCR-T cell product (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03970382).
“As PACT launches clinical studies of personalized targeted immune cell therapy for patients with solid tumors, I am proud to join the team,” said Moore. “These drugs have tremendous potential to improve people’s lives. I am eager for this opportunity to apply my experience of drug development, and to partner with Alex to lead this remarkable, high profile company whose core is scientific, clinical and execution innovation.”
Prior to Kite, Mr. Moore served as the Senior Vice President, Head of Global Technical Operations – Biologics of Genentech, Inc. and as a member of the Genentech Executive Committee since 2010. In this role, Mr. Moore oversaw global leadership for more than 7,500 professionals across 10 internal sites and over 37 contract manufacturing organizations, as well as global manufacturing and end-to-end quality supply performance of more than 20 biological product families.
“The talent in cell therapy development is extremely limited and competitive, and we are thrilled that Tim chose to join PACT,” said Antoni Ribas, a professor of medicine at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Los Angeles and a co-founder of PACT. “He shares our vision for the future of personalized immuno-oncology treatments and PACT will benefit tremendously from his experience.”
ABOUT PACT –
PACT Pharma is an independent, privately funded company, based in South San Francisco, California, developing transformational personalized neoTCR-T cell therapies for the eradication of solid tumors and is now enrolling patients in its first-in-human Phase 1 clinical studies at several key academic centers of the CIRM-funded Alpha Clinic network, in California.
PACT Pharma’s accomplished co-founders, David Baltimore (Nobel Laureate), Antoni Ribas, Jim Heath, Terry Rosen and Juan Jaen, established the company in 2016 and launched the company in early 2017. The PACT team raised $31 million in 2016 and secured another $95 million in financing in May 2018 led by GV (formerly Google Ventures), including Canaan, Casdin Capital, Droia, Foresite Capital, Invus, Pontifax and Wu Capital, including investment from AbbVie Ventures and Taiho Ventures.
PACT Pharma’s technology is designed to individually program tumor-exclusive targeting into each patient’s own immune system cells to eradicate their own cancer. The process, which is currently in Phase 1 clinical testing, involves taking a biopsy of a person’s cancer tissue to assess the tumor-exclusive mutations with predictive algorithms, then to biologically verify the optimal targets by capturing T cells from blood that already recognize the mutations. Using the T cell receptor information from the captured T cells, together with proprietary, cutting edge, (non-viral) precision genome engineering technologies, fresh patient T cells are edited in one step to craft tumor-specific neoTCR-P1 cells. These private designer T cells have been shown to immediately kill mutation-expressing tumors in pre-clinical studies, and to create a deep reservoir of ‘ready-to-go’ neoTCR-P1 cells with the potential for long term persistence to prevent future cancer recurrence. The last step is infusing the ‘living drug’ of personalized tumor-eradicating T cells back into the patient.