Advisory Board to help guide development and clinical testing of biosynthetic convalescent plasma as a potential COVID-19 treatment and prevention of disease
Exton, PA, September 16, 2020 – Immunome, a biotechnology company harnessing the human B cell response to develop potentially first-in-class investigational therapeutics for oncology and infectious diseases, announced today the appointments of Michael Diamond, MD, PhD, Jeffrey Henderson, MD, PhD, Shmuel Shoham, MD, and Susan Weiss, PhD, to its newly created COVID-19 Advisory Board.
Immunome was recently awarded up to $13.3M from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to use its proprietary technology to develop a novel biosynthetic convalescent plasma (BCP), derived from COVID-19 super responders, as a new potential approach to combat the pandemic. Through this effort, Immunome intends to identify a combination of antibodies that are broadly active against the virus and enable multiple viral clearance mechanisms and to synthetically manufacture for non-clinical and clinical development.
“This new advisory board will provide fundamental guidance on our efforts to develop a biosynthetic convalescent plasma product candidate to treat COVID-19 patients,” said Purnanand Sarma, PhD, president and CEO of Immunome. “I am pleased to welcome these talented researchers and look forward to working together to leverage our proprietary technology to identify and develop antibodies that are potently active against this deadly virus.”
Dr. Michael Diamond is the Herbert S. Gasser Professor of Medicine and a Professor of Molecular Microbiology and of Pathology and Immunology at the Washington University School of Medicine. He is also an Associate Director for the Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs. He is recognized internationally for his research involving Zika, West Nile, chikungunya, SARS-CoV-2 and related emerging RNA viruses.
Dr. Jeffrey Henderson is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Molecular Microbiology at Washington University at St. Louis. Dr. Henderson’s research uses interdisciplinary approaches to better understand infection pathogenesis in patients and to devise improved therapeutic and preventive strategies.
Dr. Shmuel Shoham is an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Shoham has over 20 years of experience in the management of patients with invasive infections, and is the author or co-author of over 100 original articles, book chapters and topic reviews. He is a nationally recognized expert in infectious diseases of immunocompromised patients and his research explores diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infections in such patients.
Dr. Henderson and Dr. Shoham are also among the members of the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project (CCPP19), a group of physicians and scientists from 57 institutions in 46 states who have self-organized for the purpose of investigating the potential use of convalescent plasma in the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Susan Weiss is a Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a Co-Director at the Penn Center for Research on Coronaviruses and Other Emerging Pathogens. Weiss’ forty years of coronavirus research has encompassed a number of emerging pathogens including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and SARS-CoV-2 as well as the human cold viruses OC43 and 229E and the model coronavirus murine hepatitis virus.
Immunome is developing potentially first-in-class investigational therapies by unlocking the disease-educated B cell response from patients. Its proprietary Discovery Engine identifies antibody-target pairs by interrogating the patient response with depth, breadth, and speed. Using this rich source of antibody-target pairs, Immunome is developing new product candidates and exploring vast, untapped biology in high unmet need areas, such as cancer and infectious diseases. For more information about the company, visit immunome.com.
Purnanand Sarma, PhD
President and CEO
Shai Biran, PhD