InteRNA Appoints Established Oncology Innovator Andrea van Elsas, PhD, to its Supervisory Board
Utrecht, The Netherlands, October 12, 2021 – InteRNA Technologies, a clinical-stage biotech company developing microRNA (miRNA)-based therapeutics with a focus on cancer, announced today the appointment of Andrea van Elsas, PhD, as a new member of the Company’s Supervisory Board. Dr. van Elsas transitions from the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board where he served as a member since February 2019. He will succeed Mark Vaeck, PhD, who has stepped down from his position on the Supervisory Board. Click here for PDF.
“Andrea has been at the forefront of the discovery and development of transformative therapies in the immuno-oncology space and his deep industry know-how has already been invaluable to us over the last two years,” said Dr. Roel Schaapveld, CEO of InteRNA. “As a member of our Supervisory Board, we will further benefit from his extensive experience as we continue to enroll patients in our ongoing Phase I/Ib study, evaluating our lead candidate, INT-1B3, as well as push forward other therapeutic candidates in our preclinical pipeline. On behalf of the full InteRNA team, I also would like to greatly thank Mark for his mentorship, sharing his knowledge and providing significant contributions to our Company over the past eight years.”
“Over the past two years, it has been great to see how Roel and his team advanced the first lead candidate, INT-1B3, from preclinical proof-of-concept to its clinical evaluation,” added Dr. Andrea van Elsas, member of InteRNA’s Supervisory Board. “Its unique Mode of Action positions INT-1B3 as a novel agent affecting multiple aspects of cancer biology with the potential to induce tumor rejection and long-term immunity involving CD8+ effector T cells. My transition to the Company’s Supervisory Board comes at an exciting time, as the Company expects to announce topline clinical results on INT-1B3 from the dose escalation part of the Phase I/Ib study early next year.”
Dr. van Elsas is an immuno-oncology expert with over 20 years of experience in advancing highly innovative oncology assets and serves as venture partner with Third Rock Ventures. Previously, he served as Chief Scientific Officer at Aduro Biotech following the acquisition of BioNovion, a company he co-founded in 2011. From 1999 to 2011, he held various positions at Organon, which was acquired by Schering-Plough and later by Merck, in Oss, The Netherlands and Cambridge, Massachusetts. At Merck, he directed the immuno-oncology portfolio and led the anti-PD1 program that later became known as pembrolizumab (Keytruda®). As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Van Elsas worked in the lab of 2018 Nobel Laureate Jim Allison at the University of California, Berkeley and is a co-inventor on the original anti-CTLA-4 patents that formed the basis for the development of ipilimumab (Yervoy®), the first checkpoint inhibitor approved in 2011 by the FDA for the treatment of melanoma.
INT-1B3’s unique mechanism of action addresses multiple hallmarks of cancer simultaneously. It directly targets tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment by specific modulation of multiple signaling pathway components across the PTEN tumor suppressor pathway and the oncogenic PI3K/Akt and Ras/MAPK pathways resulting in inhibition of proliferation and migration and induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The triggering of the immunogenic tumor cell death (ICD) process as well as downregulation of the adenosine-A2A receptor pathway through inhibition of CD39/CD73 leads to a decrease in immunosuppressive FoxP3/Lag3 regulatory T cells and monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (mMDSCs), and maturation of dendritic cells. As a result, the immune system is activated, and long-term immunity is triggered by recruitment of CD8+ effector T cells leading to decreased metastasis development and improved animal survival compared to anti-PD1 treatment.
About InteRNA Technologies
InteRNA is a Dutch clinical-stage biotech company developing a pipeline of proprietary microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics targeting key processes in initiation and progression of human diseases, with a focus on cancer. Selected through InteRNA’s leading miRNA discovery and functional validation platform and enabled with a 3rd-generation drug delivery formulation, these miRNA compounds can mount a coordinated anti-cancer attack by engaging multiple signal transduction targets simultaneously. With this approach, we address the high need for novel therapeutics with improved efficacy and less prone to drug-acquired resistance that will benefit cancer patients.
Dr. Roel Schaapveld, CEO
Phone: +31 (0)30 760 7621
Dr. Stephanie May
Phone: +49 171 185 56 82