BOSTON, MA and MONTREAL, Feb. 2, 2023 – enGene, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering novel non-viral gene therapies for local administration into mucosal tissues enabled by its proprietary DDX platform, today announced that Alex Nichols, PhD, has joined the company as President and Chief Operating Officer.
“I am delighted to welcome Alex to the enGene team,” said Jason Hanson, CEO of enGene. “enGene is entering a new stage of growth as we build on the exciting early results of our LEGEND study for BCG-resistant non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, and Alex’s proven abilities as a leader, innovator, and drug developer will be an enormous asset to enGene as we work to realize the full potential of EG-70 and the DDX platform.”
Most recently, Alex served as President, CEO, and co-founder of Mythic Therapeutics, a clinical-stage product-platform company developing a pipeline of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). In this role, he co-invented the company’s technology platform and lead program, raised more than $130M across several financing rounds, and grew the company into an emerging ADC innovator. Prior to Mythic, he was at Flagship Pioneering, where he was part of the co-founding team of Cogen Therapeutics (now Repertoire Immune Medicines).
Alex obtained his B.A. in Biochemistry from Oberlin College, and PhD in Biophysics from Harvard University.
“I am thrilled to join enGene at such an exciting time in the company’s history” stated Dr. Nichols. “enGene’s non-viral DDX platform fills a major unmet need, with the goal of unlocking safe, potent, and cost-effective gene therapy that can be easily used in community clinics. I believe its EG-70 program will continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients struggling with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer as it continues its best-in-class trajectory. enGene has built a world-class team, and I am excited to join as we further develop its platform and lead program for the benefit of patients worldwide.”
Based on enGene’s DDX platform, EG-70 is a novel non-viral gene therapy encoding two RIG-I agonists to stimulate the innate immune system, and IL-12 to stimulate the adaptive immune system. By stimulating both arms of the immune system, intravesically administered EG-70 yields remarkable tumor regression in preclinical models of bladder cancer, with induction of effective immunological memory and minimal signs of toxicity.
The LEGEND study, both first-in-human and first-in-class, is an open-label, monotherapy, multi-center, dose-escalation trial evaluating safety and tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and efficacy of EG-70 administered by intravesical instillation. To learn more about the first-in-human clinical trial of EG-70 in BCG-unresponsive NMIBC, please visit ClinicalTrials.gov. For additional information about the LEGEND study, please visit thelegendstudy.com.
enGene Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing non-viral gene therapies based on localized delivery of nucleic acid payloads to mucosal tissues. The dually derived chitosan (DDX) platform has a high-degree of payload flexibility including DNA and various forms of RNA with broad tissue and disease applications. In preclinical models, enGene’s DDX technology has been demonstrated to effectively induce expression of therapeutic genes following delivery to the lung, gastrointestinal tract and urinary bladder. Engene has developed scalable GMP-compliant manufacturing of DDX products.
This press release contains certain “forward-looking statements” that reflect the Company’s beliefs and assumptions based on currently available data and information. These forward-looking statements fall within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as: “target,” “believe,” “expect,” “will,” “may,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “would,” “positioned,” “future,” and other similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on enGene’s current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions that by definition involve risks, uncertainties, that are difficult to predict and are subject to factors outside of management’s control and that could cause actual results to differ substantially from statements made including but not limited to: risks associated with the success of preclinical studies, clinical trials, research and development programs, as well as regulatory approval processes. Actual results and outcomes may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. enGene has no approved drugs available for sale marketing at this time and may never have an approved drug. You are cautioned not to rely on enGene’s forward-looking statements, which are only made as of the date hereof. The Company is under no obligation to update these statements.
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