Industry veteran brings extensive clinical development experience in immunology, immuno-oncology, and rare diseases to leadership team
Newton, Massachusetts, June 21, 2022– Abcuro, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer through precise modulation of cytotoxic T and NK cells, today announced the appointment of H. Jeffrey Wilkins, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Wilkins brings deep experience in advancing clinical programs with a focus in immunology, rare diseases, and immuno-oncology.
“Jeff’s impressive track record and extensive experience in immunology, immuno-oncology, and rare disease clinical development make him an ideal fit for Abcuro at this pivotal time in our evolution,” said John Edwards, Executive Chairman of Abcuro. “We are excited to welcome Jeff to our leadership team and look forward to working closely with him as we advance ABC008 into a late-stage clinical trial in inclusion body myositis (IBM) and initiate a clinical trial in T cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia (T-LGLL) this year.”
“I am eager to bring my clinical development expertise to a talented Abcuro team at such an important time. I am impressed with ABC008’s ability to selectively deplete highly cytotoxic T cells, an immune cell population driving tissue damage in several autoimmune disorders, most prominently in IBM,” said Dr. Wilkins. “I look forward to the opportunity to guide the clinical advancement of ABC008 across multiple indications and to progress ABC015 towards the clinic – both of which represent novel approaches to address important medical needs.”
Dr. Wilkins brings more than twenty years of clinical research experience to Abcuro, most recently serving as Chief Medical Officer of Avalo Therapeutics, where he was responsible for clinical development for programs in immuno-oncology, immunology and orphan disease. Previously, he held the position of Chief Medical Officer at Lycera, and Ceptaris Therapeutics, where he led clinical programs from IND Phase I trials to regulatory approval (including Valchlor®). Prior to this, Dr. Wilkins was Vice President, Worldwide Clinical Research, Inflammation/Oncology at Cephalon, Inc., where he was responsible for clinical development, medical affairs, and business development efforts in both therapeutic areas. He joined Cephalon via its acquisition of Ception Therapeutics, and as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development, headed a successful program in eosinophilic asthma. Dr. Wilkins entered the pharmaceutical industry with GlaxoSmithKline, where he rose to become Vice President of Discovery Medicine for GSK’s Center of Excellence in External Drug Discovery. Dr. Wilkins received his M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine and his B.S. from Bucknell University.
ABC008 is a first-in-class anti-KLRG1 antibody capable of selectively depleting highly cytotoxic T cells, while sparing regulatory and central memory T cells. ABC008 has been designed to treat diseases mediated by highly cytotoxic T cells, including the autoimmune muscle disease inclusion body myositis (IBM), T cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia (T-LGLL), and other mature T cell malignancies. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation to ABC008 for the treatment of IBM.
Abcuro is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing first-in-class immunotherapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer through precise modulation of highly cytotoxic T and NK cells. The company’s lead program is ABC008, which is currently in clinical trials for inclusion body myositis (IBM). ABC008 is also advancing into clinical trials for additional autoimmune disease indications. The company is also developing ABC015 to selectively activate highly cytotoxic T and NK cells for treating cancer. For more information, visit us on LinkedIn and at abcuro.com.