ABOUT

We are developing first-in-class immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases and cancer through precise elimination or modulation of cytotoxic T and NK cells via KLRG1. We believe this strategy will result in therapeutics with reduced toxicity compared to existing therapeutic approaches for T cell modulation.  

  • In the context of certain autoimmune diseases: KLRG1 is present on highly differentiated cytotoxic T cells that are the key mediators of tissue damage
    • ABC008 is an anti-KLRG1 cell depleter which selectively removes pathogenic cytotoxic T cells
  • In the context of cancer: KLRG1 is an immune checkpoint receptor expressed predominantly on late-differentiated effector and effector memory cytotoxic CD8+ T and NK cells
    • ABC015 is an anti-KLRG1 cell activator which reactivates inhibited cytotoxic T and NK cells

Abcuro’s foundational IP was developed by Dr. Steven A Greenberg and licensed from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Leadership Team

Stefano Gulla, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer
Stefano Gullà is a founder and CSO of Abcuro. Stefano is a drug discovery veteran with experience developing first-in-class therapeutics for autoimmunity and immuno-oncology in both large pharma and biotech setting. While at Pfizer, Stefano led discovery of biologics from idea to clinical development in the areas of autoimmune diseases and cancer. Later at Agenus, he managed a portfolio of immuno-oncology assets at various stages of development. Stefano is an MIT trained protein engineer with a passion for developing innovative ideas into new therapies.

Evan Thompson, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer
Evan Thompson is a founder and COO of Abcuro. Prior to Abcuro, he founded and led a nucleic acid therapeutic company in Paris and has consulted with both companies and investors in the healthcare and industrial biotechnology space. Previously, he was an analyst at RA Capital Management, evaluating public and private market investments in health care, focusing on gene and cell therapy, oncology, and infectious and rare diseases. He received a Ph.D. in Biology from Johns Hopkins University and postdoctoral training in computational biology at NCBI and synthetic biology at MIT.

Steven A Greenberg, MD, MS

Chair, Medical Advisory Board
Steven A Greenberg, M.D., M.S. is a founder of Abcuro and is the Chair of the Medical Advisory Board. Steven is a clinical neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. His clinical and laboratory research focus involves translational medicine, inventing diagnostics including blood tests for dermatomyositis and inclusion body myositis, and therapeutics, including co-inventing a therapeutic monoclonal antibody for dermatomyositis currently in phase 2 studies. He has authored over 100 publications and served as Principal Investigator for multiple clinical trials, and is the founder of the non-profit research organization, the Inclusion Body Myositis Foundation. Steven received an A.B. degree in Mathematics from Princeton University, an M.S. degree in Medical Informatics from MIT, and an M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School through the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology Program.

John Edwards

Executive Chair
John Edwards brings over 30 years of experience in discovery, development, and global commercialization of biopharmaceuticals. He was involved in the development or commercialization of 10 FDA approved biologics and has had successful exits at 8 of the 10 biotech companies he helped to build, which include Tilos, Siamab, Exonics, Adnexus, F-star, and Genetics Institute. He built a hematology therapeutic business that reached over $1B in annual revenue for Wyeth/Genetics Institute and was responsible for leading the development of the fastest biologic to progress from phase I to FDA approval. John started his career in R&D as one of the first employees at Genzyme. He received his M.B.A. from Boston University and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

David Neafus

Chief Financial Officer
David Neafus is CFO of Abcuro and has over 25 years of experience in Life Sciences and Technology industries. His expertise includes scaling companies for growth, equity and debt raises, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, strategic analysis and turnarounds. He has helped clients raise over $1 Billion in equity/ debt/ partnerships/grants and with liquidity events totaling $4 billion and has implemented outsourced accounting/ finance function for dozens of clients. David earned his B.A. from University of Minnesota with an M.B.A from Bentley University.

Richard Polisson, M.D., MHSc

Chief Medical Officer
Richard Polisson is CMO of Abcuro. Most recently he was Senior Vice President and Head of Translational Medicine at Sanofi-Genzyme Research and Development Center. He has 30 years of experience in clinical and translational research, beginning initially at the National Cancer Institute/NIH, and subsequently in academia at Duke and MGH/HMS. Richard received his B.S. from Yale University and his M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine.

Board of directors

John Edwards

Executive Chair
John Edwards brings over 30 years of experience in discovery, development, and global commercialization of biopharmaceuticals. He was involved in the development or commercialization of 10 FDA approved biologics and has had successful exits at 8 of the 10 biotech companies he helped to build, which include Tilos, Siamab, Exonics, Adnexus, F-star, and Genetics Institute. He built a hematology therapeutic business that reached over $1B in annual revenue for Wyeth/Genetics Institute and was responsible for leading the development of the fastest biologic to progress from phase I to FDA approval. John started his career in R&D as one of the first employees at Genzyme. He received his M.B.A. from Boston University and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Jay Knowles

Partner, Mass General Brigham Ventures
Jay Knowles joined Mass General Brigham Ventures in 2014 as a Partner. Previously, Jay was CEO of X-BODY Biosciences (acquired by Juno). Prior to X-BODY, he was at Novartis in charge of the Platforms team for Strategic Alliances, responsible for global technology and drug discovery collaborations. Jay was also President of Novalar, Vice President of Business Development at Novacea, and Director, R&D Planning at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. He earned his MBA in Finance from Wharton Business School, an M.Sc. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley, and a BA with Distinction in Chemistry from Carleton College. He represents Partners on the boards of Apres, Keros (KROS), ROME, Swan, and Triplet. Previous recent investments include Akouos (AKUS), Denali (DNLI), Editas (EDIT), Tilos (acquired by Merck), and Translate (TBIO).

Yajun Xu, Ph.D.

President, Hongsen
Yajun Xu is currently president of Hongsen Investment Group. She also serves as Sr. Advisor for Shangbay Capital, co-founder of Epimab Inc., and board member and advisor on numerous biotech companies in U.S. and China. Previously, she was Sr. Vice President of corporate development at Shangpharma, Executive Vice President of biology and pre-clinical service at Chempartner in Shanghai, China. Prior to Joining Shangpharma, Yajun was director of inflammation at Millennium pharma Inc. and senior scientist at BASF Bioresearch Corp. (now AbbVie Bioresearch Corp.). She received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Brandeis University and postdoctoral training at Harvard School of Public Health.

investors

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Mass General Brigham Ventures

Mass General Brigham Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on commercializing technologies emerging from the Mass General Brigham research community. The fund invests in companies based on technologies created by principal investigators at Mass General Brigham’s flagship hospitals, including Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Mclean Hospital and Mass. Eye and Ear. The fund provides access to groundbreaking technologies with the goal of developing inventions and innovations for the benefit of patients worldwide.
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Hongsen Investment Fund

We are a strong and experienced management team, with over 100 years of collective experience in investing, biotech and healthcare, business operations and capital market experience. Hongsen Investment focuses on growing biotech companies with a strong team, proven technology, and sound business model, along with companies that have clear arbitrage and exit plans. Strong relationships and networks with global top–notch research institutions and private equity firms are what broaden our path to cutting-edge technologies and industry-transforming projects.