IO Biotech Strengthens Leadership Team with Appointment of Dr. Muhammad Al-Hajj as Chief Scientific Officer
Copenhagen, Denmark – May 25, 2021: IO Biotech, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, immune-modulating anti-cancer therapies based on its proprietary T-win® technology, announced today the appointment of Muhammad Al-Hajj, PhD as Chief Scientific Officer. He will report to the CEO and be based in the Washington DC metro area, United States, where the company will establish a R&D site.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Al-Hajj is joining IO Biotech at such an exciting time in the development of our company,” said Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, and founder of IO Biotech. “He is a well-respected scientific leader with deep expertise and a proven track record in the field of immuno-oncology with expertise in translational medicine and biomarker discovery. Dr. Al-Hajj will play a pivotal role in harnessing the power of our T-win technology platform to build on our lead programs and developments that we hope will bring significant benefit to patients in need.”
Muhammad brings more than 18 years of pharmaceutical industry R&D experience. He most recently served as Sr Vice President, Translational Sciences at Autolus, a clinical stage publicly-traded company developing next generation CAR-T cell therapeutics. Prior to that he was the VP of Drug Discovery and Translational Medicine at the Sanford Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California, an NIH-designated cancer center, where he led the institute’s drug discovery portfolio and its early development. Earlier, he was Sr Director of Biology and Trans Med at GlaxoSmithKline where he led Oncology R&D teams developing therapeutics from target ID through mid-stage clinical development utilizing multiple modalities and in various cancer biology and immunotherapy areas. Muhammad was also a group leader in Oncology R&D at MedImmune (AstraZeneca) where he led programs and a team developing antibody therapeutics. He started his industry career as a lab head at Novartis oncology (NIBR) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He holds a PhD in molecular genetics, and completed postdoctoral training in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology at the University Of Michigan Cancer Center.
Dr. Al-Hajj added, “I believe IO Biotech’s immunotherapy approach, designed to leverage a dual mode of action to target and eliminate both cancer and immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment, is unique and has significant potential and applicability. The company has made great progress in translating this approach into a robust immunotherapy pipeline against clinically validated targets culminating recently into a breakthrough designation of their lead clinical molecule. I’m excited to join and work closely with the team and continue building on the momentum to deliver high impact immunotherapies to patients.”
About IO Biotech
IO Biotech is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery and development of novel and highly differentiated immune-oncology therapeutics based on its proprietary technology platform, T-win®, which enables the activation of T cells that specifically target the immuno-suppressive tumor microenvironment. IO Biotech is advancing its lead immuno-oncology candidates, IO102 and IO103 targeting IDO and PD-L1, respectively, in clinical studies and several pipeline candidates through preclinical development. IO Biotech is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. For further information, please visit www.iobiotech.com.