SAN DIEGO, Jan. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Calidi Biotherapeutics, Inc., a clinical‐stage biotechnology company at the forefront of oncolytic virus-based immunotherapies for cancer, today announced the founding of a scientific and medical advisory board (SMAB). The SMAB will enable Calidi Biotherapeutics to receive critical input and guidance from key leaders in the Immuno-Oncology field. The founding members of Calidi Biotherapeutics SMAB include Lisa H. Butterfield, Ph.D., Vice President of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Research Center and Immediate Past President of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC); Francesco Marincola, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Refuge Biotech and Past President of SITC; and Santosh Kesari, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Pacific Neuroscience Institute Research Center and Chair of the Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, John Wayne Cancer Institute.
“We are honored to have the support and invaluable advice of Drs. Butterfield, Marincola, and Kesari as we launch our scientific and medical advisory board,” said Allan J. Camaisa, CEO and Chairman of Calidi Biotherapeutics. “All three SMAB members are world-renowned experts in tumor immunology and immunotherapy for cancer. Their contributions in the field of immuno-oncology have been widely recognized, and they will be a tremendous resource for Calidi Biotherapeutics as we conduct clinical trials with our patented oncolytic virus-based platform.”
“The compelling data from our first clinical safety study was presented at the 33rd Annual Meeting of SITC (November of 2018). The feedback from the scientific community has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Boris Minev, MD, President, Medical and Scientific Affairs, Calidi Biotherapeutics. “The members of our newly formed scientific and medical advisory board are key authorities in cancer immunotherapy and their contributions to Calidi Biotherapeutics will be invaluable as we move towards our next phase of clinical development and growth.”
Scientific Advisory Board Members:
Lisa H. Butterfield
Lisa H. Butterfield, Ph.D., is the Vice President of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Research Center, and an Adjunct Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research is focused on the development of cancer vaccines and advanced cellular therapies. Dr. Butterfield was most recently Professor of Medicine, Surgery, Immunology and Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh (2003-2018) and Director of the Hillman Cancer Center Immunologic Monitoring and Cellular Products Laboratory. She holds a Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA, followed by postdoctoral fellowships in Cellular Immunology and Cancer Gene Therapy also at UCLA. She was the President of SITC, 2017-2018 and a member of the SITC Executive Committee (2015-2020). She led the Immunology Reference Lab for the ECOG-ACRIN NCI cooperative group (2006-2018). She investigates immunotherapy for hepatocellular cancer and melanoma, involving peptides, dendritic cells and adeno viruses, and effector responses to tumor antigens. Dr. Butterfield has published over 150 peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews, and book chapters.
Dr. Francesco Marincola is the Chief Scientific Officer of Refuge Biotech and Past President of SITC. Previously he held positions as head of the genetic research institute at Sidra Medical and Research Center as well as Chief of the Infectious Disease and Immunogenetics Section in the Department of Transfusion Medicine at the Clinical Center of the NIH in Bethesda. He was the founder and serves as Editor-in-Chief, for the Journal of Translational Medicine and ASHI Quarterly, senior editor for the Journal of the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, and editor for a variety of academic journals. Dr. Marincola has done extensive research in tumor immunology by developing strategies for studying tumor-host interactions in the context of human genetic polymorphism and cancer heterogeneity. The NIH Immunogenetics laboratory is recognized nationally and internationally for the cutting edge technologies applied to the study of genetic materials at the genomic, transcriptional, epigenetic and mutational level. In particular, Dr. Marincola’s laboratory has developed techniques to continuously study tumors in vivo during the dynamic response to immunotherapy. Dr. Marincola received his MD degree from the University of Milan, and his surgery training at Stanford University. He has published more than 600 original articles, reviews, editorials, and books.
Santosh Kesari, M.D., Ph.D., is a board-certified neurologist and neuro-oncologist. He serves as Director of Neuro-oncology and chair of the Department of Translational Neurosciences and Neurotherapeutics at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center. He is also founder and director of Pacific Neuroscience Institute’s Research Center. A highly accomplished physician and scientist, Dr. Kesari specializes in personalized medicine for patients with malignant brain tumors. He has extensive experience in precision therapeutic strategies targeting brain tumors. Dr. Kesari’s research efforts have focused on oncolytic viruses, signal transduction, immunotherapy, and translational clinical trials. His goal is to advance the development of innovative to eradicate brain tumors. He has published more than 300 original articles, reviews, editorials, books, and clinical communications. Dr. Kesari has received numerous awards and recognition throughout his medical career, and he was named one of America’s Top Doctors by Castle Connolly.
About Calidi Biotherapeutics
Calidi Biotherapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company with proprietary technology that overcomes the challenges to effective delivery of oncolytic viruses. Calidi Biotherapeutics is advancing its cell-based oncolytic virus delivery platform in an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the treatment of prostate cancer, based on previous guidance the company has received from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Calidi’s scientific, clinical and regulatory expert advisors.