Liège, Belgium and Grenoble, France, June 25, 2020 – PDC*line Pharma, a clinical stage biotech company developing a new class of potent and scalable active immunotherapies for cancers, today announces that Dr. Mondher Mahjoubi has been named as an independent board member and chairman of the board of directors.
With more than 25 years of leadership experience and expertise in the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr. Majhoubi will play a critical role in helping guide PDC*line Pharma to become a leader in immuno-oncology vaccines.
Currently, Dr. Mahjoubi is the chief executive officer and chairman of the executive board at Innate Pharma. Prior to joining Innate, Dr. Mahjoubi led AstraZeneca’s oncology therapy area franchise, playing an instrumental role in driving its oncology strategy. He also served as the senior vice president of global product strategy at Genentech; before that, he held marketing and medical affairs roles at Roche, Mayne Pharma, Sanofi-Aventis and Rhone Poulenc Rorer.
Dr. Mahjoubi is a medical oncologist trained at the Institut Gustave Roussy (Paris-Villejuif). He holds an M.D. from the University of Tunis and certifications in medical oncology from the University of Tunis and University of Paris Sud, as well as in clinical research and methodology from the University of Lariboisiere-Saint Louis.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Mahjoubi to our board of directors during this exciting stage in our company’s growth,” said Eric Halioua, CEO of PDC*line Pharma. “Mondher’s extensive leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical sector, coupled with his in-depth oncology and medical affairs expertise, will be a tremendous asset as we work to build a world-class biotech company in the field of immuno-oncology.”
“With decades of leadership experience in those key areas that are so important to our future strategy, including oncology drug development and portfolio strategy, we are extremely pleased that Mondher is taking the responsible role of chairman of the board,” said François Fontaine, board member of PDC*line Pharma and investment manager at SFPI-FPIM.
“I’m passionate about advancing great science. The PDC*line Pharma team has developed an innovative oncology platform with potential for treating a wide range of cancers,” said Dr. Mondher Mahjoubi. “I look forward to working with the team and helping the organization position itself for long-term success.”
About PDC*line Pharma’s technology
PDC*line’s biological features provide unique advantages:
- A professional antigen-presenting cell line, much more potent than conventional dendritic cells in priming and expanding antitumor-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells (conventional tumor antigens and neoantigens)
- While allogeneic, PDC*line is not rejected by the host immune system and can be injected several times to boost the immune response
- Easily produced on a large scale, with a fully mastered and simple manufacturing process (use of bioreactors with a synthetic medium without growth, differentiation or activation factors)
- Easy to use: after thawing, the same off-the-shelf product is used to treat the whole target population with a cancer type expressing the target antigens
- Very versatile: tumor antigens can be provided by peptide loading, mRNA transfection or retrovirus transduction of PDC*line and the target population can be extended beyond HLA-A2 (currently used as it is expressed by 50% of the Caucasian population) by using other HLAs, either already expressed by PDC*line or added by genetic modification. Moreover, new candidates can be validated for new cancer indications in a few weeks, with ex vivo testing using human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC)
- Synergizes with anti-PD-1 to activate antitumor CD8 T cells
About PDC*line Pharma
Founded in 2014 as a spin-off of the French Blood Bank (EFS), PDC*line Pharma is a Belgian-French clinical-stage biotech company that develops an innovative class of active immunotherapies for cancers, based on a GMP-grade allogeneic therapeutic cell line of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC*line). PDC*line is much more potent than conventional dendritic cell-based vaccines in priming and boosting antitumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T-cells, including T-cells specific for neoantigens, and is synergistic with checkpoint inhibitors. The technology can potentially be applied to any type of cancer. Following a first-in-human phase I feasibility study in melanoma, PDC*line Pharma focuses on the development of PDC*lung01, a candidate for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) currently in phase I/II trials, and PDC*neo with neoantigens in preclinical development. The company has a staff of 23, with an experienced management team. In March 2019, PDC*line Pharma granted an exclusive license to the LG Chem Life Sciences company in South Korea and an exclusive option in other Asian countries, for the development and commercialization of the PDC*lung01 cancer vaccine for lung cancer. The total deal is worth $123M, plus tiered royalties on net sales in Asia.