Jim Vasselli, M.D., Joins Aulos Bioscience as Chief Medical Officer
LARKSPUR, CALIFORNIA, June 14, 2021/PRNewswire/ — Aulos Bioscience, a biotechnology company developing highly differentiated interleukin-2 (IL-2)-binding monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics against solid tumors, has appointed Jim Vasselli, M.D. as the company’s chief medical officer, effective today. In this new role, Dr. Vasselli will lead the design for the AU-007 clinical development plan including regulatory strategy, protocol development, operational execution of clinical trials, and management of relationships with key opinion leaders and trial investigators. In addition, he will be a member of the Aulos executive team with responsibility for aligning clinical strategy with the company’s overall clinical development plans.
“Jim is a fantastic addition to the Aulos leadership team,” said Aulos Bioscience chief executive officer Aron Knickerbocker. “His deep expertise and successful record in cancer clinical trial design and conduct, his strategic vision, and his ability to synthesize scientific, regulatory, and patient perspectives will provide strong support as we advance our lead candidate AU-007 into the clinic later this year.”
Dr. Vasselli brings to Aulos extensive knowledge and proficiency gained through more than 25 years leading oncology research and development projects across a broad array of tumor types and therapeutic modalities. Most recently, as senior vice president of Clinical Development at Maverick Therapeutics (acquired by Takeda in April 2021), he progressed a conditionally active CD3 x EGFR bispecific molecule from preclinical studies to a first-in-human clinical trial. Prior to that, Dr. Vasselli served as vice president of Clinical Research for MacroGenics, developing clinical strategy and overseeing execution of phase 1 and 2 studies for multiple immuno-oncology assets including CD3-engaging bispecifics, monoclonal antibodies, and ADC compounds. He also spent nine years at AstraZeneca / MedImmune leading early clinical development of the anti-PD-L1 drug durvalumab and pivotal trials of the kinase inhibitor vandetanib. Dr. Vasselli began his career in academic research with 10 years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), in a surgical oncology fellowship evaluating IL-2 in patients with kidney cancer and melanoma and as a Basic Science Research Fellow in the NCI Urology branch. He holds a B.A. in engineering from Lafayette College and an M.D. from New York Medical College; he completed a general surgical residency at Morristown Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Vasselli commented, “I’m excited to join the innovative team at Aulos. Having administered high-dose IL-2 to cancer patients early in my career, I have seen its potential to deliver substantial efficacy – and also its potential toxicity and very narrow therapeutic index. I am impressed by Aulos’ elegant approach, which seeks to widen IL-2’s therapeutic index to both enhance its immune-stimulating and anti-tumor properties and reduce its suppressive effects and toxicity, and which avoids the technical complexities of other approaches in this competitive field. I look forward to working with my new colleagues to move AU-007 into human trials, in which we aim to reveal the full potential of IL-2 to improve the lives of people with cancer.”
About Aulos Bioscience
Aulos Bioscience, an ATP company, is dedicated to revolutionizing patient care in cancer with highly differentiated immuno-oncology therapeutics. Aulos is initially developing unique IL-2 targeting antibodies that it believes have the potential to become best-in-class treatments for solid tumors. The company’s lead candidate is AU-007, a computationally designed, fully human antibody that is highly selective to the CD25-binding portion of IL-2. With a mechanism of action unlike any other IL-2 therapeutic in development, AU-007 reinforces anti-tumor immune effects at the site of endogenous IL-2 release by preventing the negative feedback to T regulatory cells, biasing towards immune activation over suppression. For more information, visit www.aulosbio.com.