South San Francisco, Calif. — November 21, 2019 – PACT Pharma announced today that Uneek Mehra joined the company as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Mehra has more than twenty years of global finance experience. He joins from Proteus Digital Health, where he served as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Mehra has deep experience across pharmaceuticals, technology and financial services, through senior roles at Novartis, IBM and Citibank.
“We are proud of the progress we’ve already made to ignite a patient’s immune response directly against their unique tumor mutation signature. As we enter the clinic and the next phase of the company, we will bring the same rigor to building a scalable business,” said PACT’s Chief Executive Officer Alex Franzusoff, Ph.D. “Uneek brings tremendous experience to lead this effort and PACT will benefit from his knowledge of partnerships, commercialization and finance. His time at Novartis – where he scaled up operations at the country, division and global level across multiple therapeutic areas including cell therapy — will be particularly helpful.”
At Proteus Digital Health, which pioneered the development and approval of the world’s first Digital Medicine in partnership with Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, he led the Finance, IT, People and Facilities teams and played a key role in scaling the organization growth across several functions. At Novartis, one of the world’s largest global pharmaceutical companies, he had responsibilities in corporate finance, commercial finance, corporate business development and treasury across the US, Switzerland and China.
“PACT Pharma is on a path to deliver the next generation of cell therapies targeted towards solid tumors, a huge unmet need and I am proud to join the team,” said Mehra. “I am personally excited by the scientific innovation already achieved at PACT and I am eager to apply my global finance and business execution experience to make sure patients benefit from the therapies in development.”
PACT Pharma is leading the industry towards developing transformational personalized neoTCR-T cell therapies for the eradication of solid tumors.The company is now enrolling patients in its first-in-human Phase 1 clinical studies at several key academic centers in California. The company recently announced the appointment of Tim Moore as President and Chief Technical Officer. Mr. Moore has over three decades of leadership experience in biopharmaceutical manufacturing and operations. He most recently served as Executive Vice President, Technical Operations of Kite, a Gilead Company since March of 2016.
ABOUT PACT –
PACT Pharma is an independent, privately funded company, based in South San Francisco, California, developing transformational personalized neoTCR-T cell therapies for the eradication of solid tumors and is now enrolling patients in its first-in-human Phase 1 clinical studies at several key academic centers of the CIRM-funded Alpha Clinic network, in California.
PACT Pharma’s accomplished co-founders, David Baltimore (Nobel Laureate), Antoni Ribas, Jim Heath, Terry Rosen and Juan Jaen, established the company in 2016 and launched the company in early 2017. The PACT team raised $31 million in 2016 and secured another $95 million in financing in May 2018 led by GV (formerly Google Ventures), including Canaan, Casdin Capital, Droia, Foresite Capital, Invus, Pontifax and Wu Capital, including investment from AbbVie Ventures and Taiho Ventures.
PACT Pharma’s technology is designed to individually program tumor-exclusive targeting into each patient’s own immune system cells to eradicate their own cancer. The process, which is currently in Phase 1 clinical testing, involves taking a biopsy of a person’s cancer tissue to assess the tumor-exclusive mutations with predictive algorithms, then to biologically verify the optimal targets by capturing T cells from blood that already recognize the mutations. Using the T cell receptor information from the captured T cells, together with proprietary, cutting edge, (non-viral) precision genome engineering technologies, fresh patient T cells are edited in one step to craft tumor-specific neoTCR-P1 cells. These private designer T cells have been shown to immediately kill mutation-expressing tumors in pre-clinical studies, and to create a deep reservoir of ‘ready-to-go’ neoTCR-P1 cells with the potential for long term persistence to prevent future cancer recurrence. The last step is infusing the ‘living drug’ of personalized tumor-eradicating T cells back into the patient.
CONTACT: William Nevius, wnevius(at)canaan.com