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IO Biotech Strengthens Leadership Team with Appointment of Keith Vendola as Chief Financial Officer

Copenhagen, Denmark – July 5, 2021: IO Biotech, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, immune-modulating anti-cancer therapies based on its proprietary T-win® technology, announced today the appointment of Keith Vendola, M.D., M.B.A., as chief financial officer (“CFO”).  Dr. Vendola will report to the chief executive officer (“CEO”) and be based in the United States.

“I am delighted to welcome Keith Vendola as our new CFO,” said Mai-Britt Zocca, Ph.D., CEO and founder of IO Biotech. “Keith has demonstrated the ability to successfully bring companies through financial growth and international expansion. Additionally, his unique background blending strategic finance leadership, science, and medicine make him an ideal fit as our CFO as we enter the next phase of development for IO Biotech.”

Dr. Vendola has more than 20 years of experience in healthcare corporate finance as an executive, adviser, and investment banker working on over 50 financing and strategic transactions. He joins IO Biotech from Rezolute, Inc., where he served as CFO, leading the company through a financial transformation and Nasdaq listing. Prior, he served as chief of staff to the CEO and vice president of competitive strategy at Coherus BioSciences, where he acted as the company’s main liaison to Wall Street and held responsibilities spanning execution of multiple financings, corporate partnering, strategy, and oversight of investor relations.  Prior, he served in senior roles at Eiger BioPharmaceuticals and Threshold Pharmaceuticals (now Molecular Templates). Earlier in his career, Keith served as an investment banker within the healthcare groups of Banc of America Securities (now BofA Securities) and Chase (now JPMorgan Chase).  

Dr. Vendola received his M.B.A. in finance from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, M.D. from Dartmouth Medical School, and B.A. in psychology from the College of the Holy Cross, where he graduated with honors. He completed an executive education program at Harvard Business School focused on strategic negotiations as well as a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, where he was an author on multiple papers.

“This is a great time to join Mai-Britt and the team at IO Biotech,” added Dr. Vendola. “I am passionate about advancing the sciences and working with companies to make true impacts on the lives of patients. IO Biotech is emerging as an innovative and leading immunotherapy company. I look forward to partnering with the team and helping the company advance its vision of developing important therapeutics for the benefit of cancer patients.”

About IO Biotech
IO Biotech is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, immune-modulating cancer therapies based on its T-win technology platform.  T-win platform is a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy designed to activate naturally occurring T cells to target immunosuppressive mechanisms.  IO Biotech is advancing in clinical studies its lead immuno-oncology candidate, IO102-IO103, targeting IDO and PD-L1, and through clinical and preclinical development its other pipeline candidates.  IO Biotech is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. For further information, please visit www.iobiotech.com.

Contacts
Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD, CEO and founder of IO Biotech       E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media Inquiries
Amy Conrad, Juniper Point                                                     E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Phone: 858-914-1962

Media Inquiries
Jennifer Williams, Cook Williams Communications, Inc.    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

IO Biotech Strengthens Leadership Team with Appointment of Dr. Muhammad Al-Hajj as Chief Scientific Officer

Copenhagen, Denmark – May 25, 2021: IO Biotech, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, immune-modulating anti-cancer therapies based on its proprietary T-win® technology, announced today the appointment of Muhammad Al-Hajj, PhD as Chief Scientific Officer.  He will report to the CEO and be based in the Washington DC metro area, United States, where the company will establish a R&D site.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Al-Hajj is joining IO Biotech at such an exciting time in the development of our company,” said Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, and founder of IO Biotech.  “He is a well-respected scientific leader with deep expertise and a proven track record in the field of immuno-oncology with expertise in translational medicine and biomarker discovery.  Dr. Al-Hajj will play a pivotal role in harnessing the power of our T-win technology platform to build on our lead programs and developments that we hope will bring significant benefit to patients in need.”

Muhammad brings more than 18 years of pharmaceutical industry R&D experience. He most recently served as Sr Vice President, Translational Sciences at Autolus, a clinical stage publicly-traded company developing next generation CAR-T cell therapeutics. Prior to that he was the VP of Drug Discovery and Translational Medicine at the Sanford Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California, an NIH-designated cancer center, where he led the institute’s drug discovery portfolio and its early development.  Earlier, he was Sr Director of Biology and Trans Med at GlaxoSmithKline where he led Oncology R&D teams developing therapeutics from target ID through mid-stage clinical development utilizing multiple modalities and in various cancer biology and immunotherapy areas. Muhammad was also a group leader in Oncology R&D at MedImmune (AstraZeneca) where he led programs and a team developing antibody therapeutics. He started his industry career as a lab head at Novartis oncology (NIBR) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He holds a PhD in molecular genetics, and completed postdoctoral training in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology at the University Of Michigan Cancer Center.

Dr. Al-Hajj added, “I believe IO Biotech’s immunotherapy approach, designed to leverage a dual mode of action to target and eliminate both cancer and immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment, is unique and has significant potential and applicability. The company has made great progress in translating this approach into a robust immunotherapy pipeline against clinically validated targets culminating recently into a breakthrough designation of their lead clinical molecule.  I’m excited to join and work closely with the team and continue building on the momentum to deliver high impact immunotherapies to patients.”

About IO Biotech
IO Biotech is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery and development of novel and highly differentiated immune-oncology therapeutics based on its proprietary technology platform, T-win®, which enables the activation of T cells that specifically target the immuno-suppressive tumor microenvironment.  IO Biotech is advancing its lead immuno-oncology candidates, IO102 and IO103 targeting IDO and PD-L1, respectively, in clinical studies and several pipeline candidates through preclinical development.  IO Biotech is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. For further information, please visit www.iobiotech.com.

Contacts
Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD, CEO and founder of IO Biotech       E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media Inquiries
Amy Conrad, Juniper Point                                                     E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Phone: 858-914-1962

Media Inquiries
Jennifer Williams, Cook Williams Communications, Inc.    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

IO Biotech Completes Oversubscribed EUR 127 Million Series B Financing to Accelerate Clinical Programs in Oncology

Copenhagen, Denmark – January 13, 2021:  IO Biotech, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, immune-modulating anti-cancer therapies based on its proprietary T-win® technology, announced today that it has raised EUR 127 million in Series B financing. The financing round was led by HBM Healthcare Investments, and other new investors joining the round included Vivo Capital, Kurma Partners, Avoro Capital, RA Capital Management, Samsara Biocapital, Idinvest Partners1, PFM Health Sciences, Soleus Capital, Eir Ventures and Serrado Capital, with the participation of existing investors Novo Seeds, Lundbeckfonden Emerge and Sunstone Life Science Ventures. Additionally, Dr. Priyanka Belawat of HBM Partners, Jack B. Nielsen of Vivo Capital and Vanessa Malier of Kurma Partners will join IO Biotech's board of directors as part of the closing of the financing.

On December 15, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted IO Biotech breakthrough therapy designation for a combination of the potential therapies IO102 and IO103 with anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies for patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma. IO Biotech intends to use the net proceeds of the transaction towards the funding of clinical trials for its early and late-stage immuno-oncology programs, including a large randomized trial for IO102 and IO103 with anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies in metastatic melanoma.

“We are excited to have such a strong group of investors backing our company at this stage, and I am proud that this financing round had such high interest and can close oversubscribed," said Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, and founder of IO Biotech. “The funding will enable us to execute on our breakthrough therapy designation grant and advance our lead programs in late-stage clinical development, as we are committed to bringing our treatment to patients as soon as possible.”

“HBM is excited to be joining IO Biotech as a shareholder. IO Biotech offers a unique treatment modality in oncology, harnessing novel immunomodulatory mechanisms through proprietary vaccine candidates. The financing will help the company bring forward its promising clinical and pre-clinical pipeline closer to the patients in medical need,” said Dr. Priyanka Belawat, Investment Advisor at HBM Partners.

“IO Biotech is building a significant immunotherapy pipeline based on compelling scientific and clinical validation. On behalf of existing investors, I warmly welcome the new investors to the company,” said Christian Elling, Managing Partner at Lundbeckfonden Emerge. “Together we can accelerate the development of the company’s unique breakthrough cancer medicines to the benefit of patients and physicians”.

About IO102 and IO103
IO102 and IO103 are IO Biotech’s lead immuno-oncology candidates. Both compounds are based on IO Biotech’s proprietary T-win® technology platform which enables the identification of compounds with a dual mechanism of action targeting and directly killing immunosuppressive cells and tumor cells while indirectly activating other T-effectors, leading to strong anti-tumor responses without adding additional safety concern. Specifically, IO102 and IO103 are first-in-class, immune modulatory vaccines designed to engage and activate IDO and PD-L1 specific human T-cells.

The FDA decision to grant breakthrough therapy designation was based on data from the MM1636 Phase 1/2 clinical trial of 30 patients with metastatic melanoma receiving IO102, IO103 and anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibodies. According to the data recently presented in a late-breaking abstract at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020, the combination of IO102 and IO103 vaccines and nivolumab was shown to be safe with encouraging early efficacy data; an overall response rate (ORR) of 79 percent was reached and 45 percent of patients achieved a complete response (CR), or complete disappearance of their tumors. Vaccine specific T-cells were located in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and at the tumor site.

About IO Biotech
IO Biotech is a clinical stage biotech company developing disruptive immune therapies for the treatment of cancer. The pipeline of first-in-class immune modulating anti-cancer therapies is developed by a unique technology platform, T-win®, enabling the activation of T cells that are specific for immune-suppressive molecules. IO Biotech has a proven track record of progressing preclinical and clinical compounds. The two lead compounds targeting IDO and PD-L1 are in clinical development and several pipeline compounds are in pre-clinical phase. For further information, please visit www.iobiotech.com.

Contacts
Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD, CEO and founder of IO Biotech       E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Media Inquiries
Jennifer Williams, Cook Williams Communications, Inc.    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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