Barcelona, Spain, January 16, 2017 – Aelix Therapeutics, a drug development company specialized in the discovery and development of immunotherapies against HIV infection, has appointed Dr Philippe Monteyne as an independent member of its board of directors.
Philippe Monteyne MD, PhD is a partner at Fund+ in Belgium. He has also been a visiting professor of neurosciences at UCL, Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium and vice president of R&D at Sanofi France. Prior to that, Philippe was senior vice president, head of development, and CMO at GSK Rare Diseases. Between 1998 and 2010, he held various executive positions at GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, the vaccine division of GSK, including head of global vaccine development. Dr Monteyne’s extensive knowledge of the life sciences market will help Aelix with the development of its lead candidate, the HTI immunogen.
The design of the HTI immunogen is based on the observation that T-cell responses to certain HIV regions are enriched in individuals with a non-progressor clinical phenotype. It brings these regions together as a vaccine immunogen. Clinical trial supplies of the HTI vaccine have been prepared and the company is currently engaged in regulatory discussions to finalise the design of the first in man phase 1/2 study.
“Philippe has a wealth of experience in pharmaceutical vaccine development, combined with a global network of contacts in the research and pharmaceutical community as well as in the venture capital community,” said Cristina Quiles, who joined Aelix Therapeutics as CEO in 2016. “We are delighted to have attracted someone with his experience to our board.”
“Aelix is working towards a ‘functional cure for HIV’. The scientific team has generated promising preclinical data with its HTI immunogen. Our task now is to drive the company’s clinical development program,” said Dr. Monteyne. “The board members and management team have an outstanding reputation. I am very pleased to join this excellent team.”
About the HTI immunogen
The HTI immunogen was developed by Dr. Christian Brander, CSO of Aelix Therapeutics. It is based on the observation that T-cell responses to certain HIV regions are enriched in individuals with a non-progressor clinical phenotype. The HTI immunogen brings these regions together as a vaccine immunogen.
The HTI sequence design is driven by functional immune data from close to 1,000 individuals from four different cohorts on three continents (Mothe et al. 2011). It does not rely on assumptions as to the importance of sequence conservation, density of HLA binding motifs or gene expression levels. The predictive power of HTI directed T-cell responses on virus control in vivo has been validated in unrelated cohorts and through sub-studies in samples from earlier vaccine trials (STEP).
Preclinical data shows that immunization with HTI in mice and macaques elicits strong and broad T-cell responses associated with HIV-1 control (Mothe et al. 2015).
About Aelix Therapeutics
Aelix Therapeutics is a biotechnology company based in Barcelona, Spain. It is focused on the development of a therapeutic HIV vaccine to be used as part of a cure/eradication strategy. Aelix Therapeutics is a spin-off of HIVACAT, a Catalan public-private consortium conducting cutting-edge research in this field. The company was incorporated in November 2015 and completed a €11.5M ($12.5M) Series A funding shortly thereafter.