June 12, 2014
TapImmune Inc. is pleased to announce that Dr. Keith Knutson, PhD (www.vgtifl.org/keith-knutson-phd) has been appointed to chair the company’s scientific advisory board. Dr. Knutson is Director of the Cancer Vaccines and Immune Therapies Program at the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida, a nonprofit biomedical research institute in Port St. Lucie, FL (VGTI Florida). TapImmune has licensed cancer vaccine technologies originating from Dr. Knutson’s former laboratory at the Mayo Clinic, which are currently completing Phase I clinical trials in breast and ovarian cancer. The start of Phase II clinical studies in planned for the end of 2014. Glynn Wilson, TapImmune CEO said, “We are delighted to have someone with Keith’s vision and scientific knowledge to lead our scientific advisory board. As a recognized leader in immunotherapy of breast and ovarian cancer, it is a great to have his input into the Company’s clinical development programs. Under Dr. Knutson’s leadership, TapImmune will continue to build a world-class scientific advisory board to review and advance all scientific programs.”
“I have been impressed by the comprehensive approach to immunotherapy at TapImmune which looks at both T-cell stimulation and antigen presentation,” said Dr. Knutson. “I look forward to leading this advisory board and recruiting additional scientific input that will serve to provide the best scientific approaches for the Company.”
Before joining VGTI Florida, Dr. Knutson was the Director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. He retains adjunct faculty positions at the Mayo Clinic and Florida Atlantic University. Until recently, he was a standing member of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Breast Cancer Research Program Integration Panel and is a current member of the Tumor Microenvironment Study Section at the National Institutes of Health. He was previously the Co-Director of the Mayo Clinic Immune Monitoring Core which engaged in providing a variety of different immune monitoring and phenotyping services for research purposes across a variety of scientific disciplines including tumor immunology, rheumatoid arthritis, and infectious diseases.
Dr. Knutson’s current interests and research focuses on the immunology and immunotherapy of breast and ovarian cancers. Interests are in both the basic immunobiology and clinical translation, including clinical trials. His laboratory conducts research on cancer vaccines focusing on augmenting T cell immunity using peptide and virus-based vaccines. His research is also aimed at understanding how tumors evade the immune system and immune therapies as well as identifying immunologic biomarkers or proteins that could be useful in identifying breast cancer patients who are unlikely to respond to certain therapies. Dr. Knutson graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle at the top of his class in Microbiology and earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Physiology from the University of Georgia. Following postdoctoral training, Dr. Knutson was awarded the Howard Temin Award from the National Cancer Institute and he has published over 120 articles in prestigious journals such as Nature Medicine, Cancer Research, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. His laboratory is funded by several grants from the Department of Defense, The National Cancer Institute, The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, and various other foundations.
About TapImmune Inc.
TapImmune Inc. is an immunotherapy company specializing in the development of innovative vaccine technologies for the treatment of cancer and infectious disease. The Company’s vaccine compositions, peptide or nucleic acid-based, comprise one or multiple naturally processed epitopes (NPEs) designed to comprehensively stimulate a patients’ killer T-cells, helper T-cells and to restore or further augment antigen presentation by the modulation of TAP (Transporter associated with Antigen Processing). The Company believes that its vaccine compositions may be used as stand-alone medications or in combination with current treatment modalities. Please visit the Company’s website at www.tapimmune.com for details.