CHICAGO, IL and FORT WORTH, TX, October 18, 2022 – Actuate Therapeutics, Inc., a Chicago-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company advancing lead drug elraglusib (a novel GSK-3 inhibitor), today announced the addition of eminent cancer research leaders Roger B. Cohen, MD, Lee M. Ellis, MD, and John L. Marshall, MD to their Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Roger Cohen is Professor of Medicine in the Hematology-Oncology Division at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed internal medicine and hematology training at Mount Sinai Hospital (NY) followed by research fellowships at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and National Institutes of Health and a medical oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. He was a medical officer at the FDA Center for Biologics from 1989-1994 where he was Deputy Director, Division of Monoclonal Antibodies. Prior to his arrival at Penn, Dr. Cohen was Director of the Clinical Trials Office at the University of Virginia Cancer Center in Charlottesville and then Director of the Phase 1 Program at the Fox Chase Cancer Center where he also served as interim Medical Oncology Department Chair for more than 2 years. Dr. Cohen just completed a 12-year term as Associate Director Clinical Research for Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. He continues to be an active clinical investigator with research interests that focus on evaluation of novel therapies, including monoclonal antibodies, immune therapies, and small molecule cell-signaling pathway inhibitors. He primarily sees patients with lung and head and neck cancer.
Dr. Lee Ellis is the Ruben Distinguished Chair in Gastroenterology Cancer Research and a professor in the Departments of Surgical Oncology, and Molecular and Cellular Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC). He recently completed serving as a member of the ASCO Board of Directors and he was an inaugural co-chair of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) National Clinical Trials Network Core Correlative Sciences Committee serving in the role until May, 2022. Dr. Ellis is Vice Chair for Translational Research for SWOG, a position he has held since 2015. He serves on the ECOG Data Monitoring Committee, a position he has held since 2005. In 2015, Ellis was named the Society of Surgical Oncology John Wayne Clinical Cancer Research Lecturer, and he received the Flance-Karl Award from the American Surgical Association in 2017 for his “seminal contributions in understanding colorectal cancer biology.” Recently, Dr. Ellis was named as the 2022 recipient of the AACR Daniel D. Von Hoff Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education and Training in Cancer Research. He currently serves on several data safety monitoring committees and is a deputy editor for JAMA Oncology.
Dr. John Marshall received his training at Duke University, the University of Louisville, and Georgetown University. Dr. Marshall is an internationally recognized expert in new drug development for GI cancer, with expertise in phase I, II, and III trial design, and has served as Principal Investigator for more than one hundred clinical trials throughout his career. While he has an interest in many areas of cancer research, his primary focus is on the use of precision medicine in treating cancer. Dr. Marshall has become an outspoken advocate for GI cancer patients and the importance of clinical research participation. In 2009, he established the Otto J. Ruesch Center for the Cure of GI Cancers, an organization solely focused on improving the lives of GI cancer patients through innovative research, personalized medicine, and focused advocacy. In 2015, Dr. Marshall both established and directed the Precision Oncology Alliance, a national alliance established to study the impact of molecular profiling on cancer research, value and outcomes. He currently is serving as the Oncology CMO for Indivumed, creating a global precision medicine research network. In 2020, he and his wife published “Off Our Chests, A Candid Tour Through the World of Cancer”. In 2022, he became the inaugural Physician Executive Director of the MedStar Washington DC Integrated Hematology Oncology Division.
Drs. Cohen, Ellis and Marshall join world-class cancer research experts Daniel Billadeau, PhD and Patricia LoRusso, DO on Actuate’s SAB:
Dr. Daniel Billadeau is Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology, and Deputy Director for Basic Science in the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Billadeau obtained his graduate degree from the University of Minnesota and did his postdoctoral training in molecular immunology/biochemistry before beginning his independent research career in the Division of Oncology Research at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Billadeau’s research efforts have focused on identifying molecular targets in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). His group was the first to demonstrate that glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK-3b) is overexpressed and localized to the nucleus in PDAC where it regulates tumor cell survival and chemoresistance. His group is actively engaged in understanding the role of GSK-3b in tumor development in vivo and is working toward defining mechanisms of resistance to elraglusib.
Dr. Patricia LoRusso is Associate Director of Developmental Therapeutics, Yale Cancer Center. Dr. LoRusso has been a practicing academic medical oncologist performing clinical/translational research in early phase clinical trials for over 30 years. She has had continuous NIH/NCI peer review funding for 28 years, having held a U-grant for early phase clinical trials through the NCI Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) for 26 years. She has also collaborated on numerous other grants and have been an investigator in P01 and P30 funding mechanisms. Understanding the need for team science, she has participated in P50 mechanisms and has been awarded team science grants through such organizations as Stand Up to Cancer (Co-Leader: Melanoma Dream Team), the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Komen Foundation (Co-leader, KG111063: Targeting Stem Cells in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) in Different Racial Populations). Dr. LoRusso has also been involved in many service disciplines at the NCI. In addition, Dr. LoRusso has served in leadership positions of several other organizations, including the Board of Directors and numerous scientific and education committees of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the education and scientific committees of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and the steering committee for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Accelerating Anticancer Agent Development and Validation Workshop. She has worked closely with Cancer Research United Kingdom (CRUK), a UK Welcome Trust – the second largest funding agency for cancer research. She is currently serving a 3-year term as the chair of their New Agents Committee (NAC). Working closely over the past 3 decades with patients suffering from advanced malignancies, Dr. LoRusso has become an advocate, not only for cancer researchers and clinicians, but more importantly for the patients and their caregivers. Having experienced at a young age the death of her own parents from cancer, she understands the urgent need for new cancer discoveries and the potential for longevity and quality of life.
The Actuate SAB was established to shepherd the development and advancement of Actuate’s best-in-class GSK-3β inhibitors into and through clinical trials in patients with advanced cancer. With elraglusib (9-ING-41), Actuate’s lead program, advancing into Phase 2 and registration path clinical trials, the Advisory Board will play a larger role in advising on target diseases for prioritization and clinical trial design.
“We are honored and pleased to collaborate with an Advisory Board that possesses such a high caliber of research and development expertise and accomplishment. The engagement of our talented and experienced scientific advisors in the design and execution of our clinical development plans will maximize the potential impact of elraglusib for the benefit of our patients” said Andrew P. Mazar, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer of Actuate Therapeutics. “Each of the SAB members is a well-known thought leader in the development of new oncology therapeutics, and we appreciate the expertise they bring to our team.”
“The members of our SAB are among the premier oncology researchers and clinicians in the world” said Daniel Schmitt, President & CEO of Actuate Therapeutics. “We view their interest in Actuate Therapeutics’ programs as strong validation of the importance and potential impact our compounds could play in the treatment of advanced cancer.”
About Actuate Therapeutics, Inc. Actuate is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for high impact cancers and inflammatory diseases. Actuate’s lead drug, elraglusib (a novel GSK-3 inhibitor), targets molecular pathways in cancer that are involved in promoting tumor growth and resistance to conventional cancer drugs such as chemotherapy. Elraglusib is also emerging as a mediator of anti-tumor immunity through the inhibition of multiple immune checkpoints and the regulation of immune cell function. For additional information, please visit the Company’s website at http://www.actuatetherapeutics.com