Immuno-Oncology Investing & Partnering Forum's Emerging Company Showcase Presenters

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Combined Therapeutics Inc. (CTx) is a pre-clinical-stage biotech in the game-changing segment of cancer research that is immunotherapy. The company is converging nanomedicine and biotechnology to enhance the tumoral cells and the tumoral microenvironment targeting. Combined Therapeutics Inc. (or CTx) is an immuno-oncology spin-out of the highly successful and entrepreneurial Langer-Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The first word of our name “Combined” emanates from the fact that we combine our technology with existing immuno-oncology products for a breakthrough in immunotherapy and better patients healthcare.

Presenter: Romain Micol, President, CEO, Co-Founder, Combined Therapeutics

Micol_RomainEntrepreneur and affiliated to six famous universities (MIT in US, LSE in UK, Paris VI, Paris V, Paris Dauphine in France and Global LBS in UK). After having set-up the first reference center for primary immunodeficiency in France in 2005, Romain joined Institut Mérieux group in 2008. He holds several positions across the group: ABlinc (USA), Shantha Biotechnics (India), Transgene (China and France).


Mitchell Woods Pharmaceuticals is a privately owned company created to develop a family of first-in-class anticancer agents for the treatment of poorly served cancers, including pancreatic, liver and brain tumors, in targeted chemotherapy protocols and as sensitizing agents in immuno-oncology. Dr. Irving W. Wainer, the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, developed the compounds during his tenure as a Senior Investigator at the NIH. The core technology has been advanced to date using a capital efficient business model to complete pre-IND requirements up to GLP toxicity testing. The company is seeking funding to complete an IND submission and to support Phase I studies

Presenter: Irving Wainer, CSO, Mitchell Woods Pharmaceuticals

Wainer_IrvingProfessor Irving W Wainer is Chief Scientific Office for Mitchell Woods Pharmaceuticals. He received his PhD degree in chemistry from Cornell University and did postdoctoral studies in molecular biology (University of Oregon) and clinical pharmacology (Thomas Jefferson Medical School). He was an Associated Member at St. Jude’s Children's Research Hospital, and held full professorships at McGill University Department of Oncology and Georgetown University Medical School, Department of Pharmacology. While at McGill University, Professor Wainer and two colleagues developed and patented technology that formed the basis for the formation of Replicor Inc. Replicor Inc. is currently in the final stages of testing agents for the treatment of hepatitis B and hepatitis delta. From 2001 to 2014, Professor Wainer was a Senior Investigator and Chief of the Bioanalytical and Drug Discovery Laboratory in the National Institute on Aging/NIH. It was during this period that his laboratory discovered a family of naphthylfenoterols, bi-functional receptor targeted agents that are active in a broad range of tumors. In 2014, Professor Wainer retired from the NIA/NIH and joined Mitchell Woods Pharmaceuticals, which has exclusively licensed the use of naphthylfenoterols in cancer chemotherapy and immuno-oncology. Professor Wainer has published 390 scientific papers, 10 books, holds 11 patents. His awards include: the A.J.P. Martin Medal, Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Doctor Honoris Causa degrees awarded by the Medical University of Gdansk and University of Liege. Professor Wainer’s laboratory is currently engaged in the development of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of oncologic diseases.


OX2 Therapeutics was established in 2016 to make a transformative impact in the treatment of primary brain tumors. OX2 Therapeutics had exclusive clinical and commercial license granted from the University of Minnesota. The founders have completed two human clinical trials at the University of Minnesota. OX2 demonstrated efficacy using a spontaneous high-grade glioma model resulting in a 38% 2-year survival. A $2M series A raise led to the development a human peptide generating a positive pre-IND meeting in May of 2018 with plans on enrolling 18 adult patients with glioblastoma multiforme and 18 pediatrics patient with glioblastoma, medulloblastoma and ependymoma.

Presenter: Michael Olin, PhD, CSO, OX2 Therapeutics

Olin_MichaelAs a member of Pediatrics at the Masonic Cancer Center, I have dedicated my efforts to developing immunotherapy for brain tumors. We, among others, have utilized tumor cells as vaccine components, demonstrating promising results with minimal toxicity. However, progression to a productive immune response necessitates passing a number of immunological checkpoints that act as barriers to effective immunotherapy because of “self” antigen recognition. The FDA-approved monoclonal antibodies ipilimumab, pembrolizumab and nivolumab, which inhibit the cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4), programmed death 1 (PD-1) and programmed death 1 ligand (PD-L1) checkpoints, respectively, can be used to partially overcome this limitation. Both CTLA-4 and PD-1 act directly on T cells, whereas a third immunological checkpoint acts directly on antigen-presenting cells, inducing T-cell tolerance. This checkpoint arises from the engagement of CD200 with its receptor (CD200R). CD200 is expressed in a variety of human tumors including melanoma and glioblastoma. However, it is the soluble form of CD200 that correlates with poor patient outcomes. CD200 has been well characterized as immunosuppressive in multiple graft rejection models, but prior to our work, its role in tumor-induced immune suppression had not been clearly defined. We reported that the concentration of CD200 significantly increased in glioma patients’ sera as their tumors progressed, correlating with an increase in the lineage-negative myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) population. We also made the surprising discovery that CD200 is up-regulated on the endothelial cells of tumor associated vasculature, forming an effective immunologic blood-brain barrier in malignant human brain tumor tissue, but not in the adjacent, apparently unaffected normal brain tissue.

We are focusing our research on the development of a competitive CD200 inhibitor with the goal of overcoming CD200-induced immune suppression. The CD200 checkpoint is a paired receptor system negatively regulating the immune system through the inhibitory receptor. In contrast, our studies demonstrated that targeting the activation receptor surmounts the inhibitory signal induced by the inhibitory receptor. We have demonstrated in two murine and a breast carcinoma murine model a significant survival with the addition of the CD200 inhibitor. In addition, we treated dogs diagnosed with high-grade glioma at the veterinary hospital with an overall survival of 26% at 850 days post vaccination. We now derived a humanized peptide inhibitor under manufacture in GMP facility for an upcoming Phase I trial.


Riptide Bioscience has developed engineered immunomodulatory peptides which modulate the activity of tumor-associated macrophages, the most common cell type in many solid organ cancers and a key element of the tumor microenvironment. Working through this mechanism, Riptide’s lead candidates have shown to be complementary with chemotherapy and checkpoint-inhibitor immunotherapy, resulting in the highest efficacy ever demonstrated in the kRAS-p16 pancreatic cancer model of the National Cancer Institute – as well as striking efficacy in animal models of breast, colon, and prostate cancer (primary and metastatic).

Presenter: Charles Garvin, CEO, Riptide Bioscience, Inc.

Garvin_CharlesMr. Garvin, a seasoned CEO and technology investor, has a BA and JD from Harvard University, and did PhD study at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He has been Chairman, CEO, or controlling shareholder at a number of tech and biotech companies during a 35-year career. Mr. Garvin served as an officer and member of the Board of Directors at the Boston Consulting Group, a leading strategy consulting organization, and was one of the original principals of the Beta Group, a seed capital firm which has incubated several successful medical technology companies. Subsequently Mr. Garvin has served as Chairman or represented controlling interests in companies of up to $350 million in revenues, including TVC Communications, Riviera Trading, EK Holdings and Basic Industries. He is currently a Director of Tosk, Inc. (cancer chemotherapies), Talon Biometrics (molecular diagnostics) and Senior Advisor to SanBio (stem cell therapies).