Vor Biopharma Promotes Tirtha Chakraborty to Chief Scientific Officer
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – November 19, 2020 – Vor Biopharma, an oncology company pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cells (eHSCs) combined with targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer, today announced the promotion of Tirtha Chakraborty, PhD, to Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Chakraborty brings significant expertise in hematology and genetic engineering to the company’s top science position.
“This year has been one of significant progress for Vor, as we have formed strategic collaborations intended to strengthen our genome editing capabilities, added veteran biotech leaders to our board of directors and expanded our executive team,” said Robert Ang, MBBS, MBA, Vor’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The appointment of Tirtha as our first CSO is another important milestone for our company. Having led efforts to expand our technology platform and advance our science towards the clinic, Tirtha earned this promotion and is poised to continue to make transformative contributions as our CSO.”
Dr. Chakraborty joined Vor in October 2019 from Sana Biotechnology, where he served as the Vice President of Cell Therapy Research. Prior to Sana, Dr. Chakraborty was the Executive Director and Head of Hematology at CRISPR Therapeutics, where his team’s work on hemoglobin disorders paved the way for the first clinical trial for the CRISPR industry. Before CRISPR, Dr. Chakraborty led synthetic mRNA platform technology research at Moderna Therapeutics. He was trained as an RNA biologist and an immunologist during his postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Chakraborty received his PhD from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India.
“I believe that our work to engineer hematopoietic stem cell therapies may provide much needed benefits to patients with blood cancers, starting with acute myeloid leukemia and potentially addressing many other cancer types,” Dr. Chakraborty said. “I am honored to contribute to a promising cell therapy company that has the potential to develop transformative treatments for cancer patients in need.”
VOR33 is Vor’s lead product candidate, consisting of eHSCs that we have engineered to lack the protein CD33, and is designed to replace the standard of care in transplant settings for patients suffering from AML and potentially other hematologic malignancies. Once the VOR33 cells have engrafted, we believe that patients can be treated with anti-CD33 therapies, such as Mylotarg® or, if approved by the FDA, Vor’s in-licensed CD33 chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy candidate, with limited on-target toxicity, leading to durable anti-tumor activity and potential cures. In preclinical studies, we have observed that the removal of CD33 provided robust protection of VOR33 eHSCs from the cytotoxic effects of CD33-directed therapies, yet had no deleterious effects on the differentiation or function of hematopoietic cells.
About Vor Biopharma
Vor Biopharma is a clinical-stage cell therapy company that aims to transform the lives of cancer patients by pioneering eHSC therapies to create next-generation, treatment-resistant transplants that unlock the potential of targeted therapies. By removing biologically redundant proteins from eHSCs, we design these cells and their progeny to be treatment-resistant to complementary targeted therapies, thereby enabling these therapies to selectively destroy cancerous cells while sparing healthy cells.
Our platform could be used to potentially change the treatment paradigm of both hematopoietic stem cell transplants and targeted therapies, such as ADCs, bispecific antibodies and CAR-T cell treatments, including Vor’s in-licensed CD33 CAR-T.