- … through an innovative nucleic acid platform which directs and enhances immunotherapies
Combined Therapeutics, Inc. was founded in 2016 as a spin out from MIT working at the interface of molecular biology and nanotechnology. Our mission is to direct and enhance immunotherapies by safely delivering nucleic acid-based therapeutics to patients. To do this, we are developing a unique nucleic acid platform formulated in a lipid nanoparticle which is engineered to concentrate the immunotherapy’s activity in specific cell types while sparing other tissue. Together with our partners, we are dedicated to using our nucleic acid based therapeutics to provide patients with safer, more efficacious virotherapy treatments.
Board of Directors
Cofounder, Board Director
Dr. Anderson is an MIT professor and an expert in Nano-based Drugs and Cancer Immunology. His work has led to the first methods for rapid synthesis, formulation, analysis, and biological evaluation of large libraries of biomaterials for use in medical devices, cell therapy, and drug delivery. In particular, the advanced drug delivery systems he has developed provide new methods for nanoparticle drug delivery.
Cofounder, Board Director
Dr. Langer is an MIT Institute professor (the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member) and an expert in biotechnology and engineering. He has over 1,440 issued and pending patents worldwide. He served as Chairman of the FDA’s SCIENCE BOARD (it’s highest advisory board) from 1999-2002. In 2015, Dr. Langer received the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the world’s largest engineering prize. He has also received the Charles Stark Draper Prize (sometimes referred to as the engineering Nobel Prize).
Mr. Matussiere has worked until 2017 and for more than twenty years as an investment banker for Société Générale, Citigroup and BNP Paribas, primarily out of London. His focus was on the sales and marketing of structured products, mainly in the credit space. Since 2017, Pierre has become an active Angel investor and fundraiser -through his FCA regulated company M Finance- focusing on sectors such as hospitality, leasing of transport equipment, Healthtech, residential and commercial properties and Biotech. Pierre graduated in 1995 from HEC in Paris.
President and Cofounder CEO, Board Director
Dr. Micol has been President and co-founder CEO of Combined Therapeutics since 2016. Previously, he held several positions across the Institut Mérieux group: ABlinc (USA), Shantha Biotechnics (India), Transgene (China and France). Dr. Micol is an entrepreneur with affiliations to six famous universities (MIT in US, LSE in UK, Paris VI, Paris V, Paris Dauphine in France and Global LBS in UK). Additionally he helped to set up the first reference center for primary immunodeficiency in France in 2005.
Dr. VanCott is the Chief Technology & Strategy Officer for Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy, a CDMO manufacturing viral vectors for gene and cell therapies based in the US and Europe. He is responsible for strategically enhancing and augmenting CMC services to meet the market demand of increasingly complex cell and gene therapy products. He also leads the product development and internal R&D teams. Prior to this, he was the CEO for 10 years at another Maryland-based CMO/CRO (ABL) where he was responsible for the strategic international growth of the company. He has been involved in virus and biologic product development for over 25 years. He has a PhD in physical chemistry and started his career as a Captain in the US Army stationed at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) studying and developing HIV vaccines for international deployment from initial construction through preclinical development and GMP manufacturing to clinical trials.
Romain Micol MD, MPH, PhD, MBA
President and CEO (cofounder)
Raffy Kazandjian, MBA
CTx SAS Managing Director
Valérie Duval, PhD
Lauren Speciner, PhD
Teddy Jégu, PhD
Kim Foster, MLS(ASCP)CM
Paul Waldron, PhD
Advisors / Consultants
Thomas VanCott, PhD
Mark Tracy, PhD
Devenand Crease, PhD
Sarah Cooleybeck, J.D.
EXISTING Science LANDSCAPE
- Primary liver cancer is the 5th most common cancer worldwide
- Secondary liver cancer is even more common and results from metastasis of other cancers (colorectal, breast, lung cancer)
- Despite multiple treatment options, the survival rate for patients with primary liver cancer is low (five-year survival rate ~10-20%) and it is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide
- Therefore, there is a high unmet medical need for better treatment options
What are nucleic acid therapies?
- Utilizes existing cell machinery to make therapeutic proteins that can treat disease
- Can be modified to produce therapeutic proteins only in the target cells, such as tumoral cells, and spare healthy tissue.
- Nucleic acids therapies are a very versatile platform as they can code for any protein of interest and are transient; broken down quickly after their job is done.
What is virotherapy?
- Immunotherapy is a cutting-edge treatment in which the patient’s immune system is modulated and directed to target diseased cells, such as cancer cells.
- Virotherapy is a type of immunotherapy that uses biotechnology to turn viruses into therapeutic agents to treat disease; such as using oncolytic viruses to treat cancer.
- Oncolytic viruses are an ideal option for treating solid tumors due to their ability to naturally replicate in the tumor cells and their ability to induce an antitumor effect by triggering an immune response against the cancer.
- Low response rate in patients – Immunotherapies rely on immune cells being present and activated at the site of the tumor, but immunosuppression is key to normal liver function.
- Off target effects lead to safety concerns – A high (IV) dose of oncolytic viruses is necessary to infect tumoral cells which can lead to off target effects or unintended infections.
Our technology solution
The CTx Advantage
Combined Therapeutics (CTx) solves these challenges with their unique nucleic acid platform (DMPCTx). Our platform is formulated into a lipid nanoparticle which delivers the payload directly to the liver. It is also engineered to express protein in the diseased cells only. The priming factor allows the virus to better infect the cancer cells, thus concentrating the virotherapies’ activity, while also directing and activating immune cells in the tumor microenvironment, leading to enhanced efficacy with fewer off-target effects (see below). This allows greater flexibility as our platform can PRIME prior to giving the virotherapy to enhance tumor cell infectivity, BOOST after the treatment to increase viral replication, and MAINTAIN the immune response against tumoral cells. With this strategy, Combined Therapeutics will enable a more efficacious, safer next generation of virotherapy to patients.
Paul Waldron joins Combined Therapeutics as Patent Assistant.
Teddy Jégu joins Combined Therapeutics as Project Manager.
Kim Foster joins Combined Therapeutics as Research Associate.