• News

IO Biotech Announces Clinical Collaboration with MSD to Evaluate IO102-IO103 with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) as First-Line Treatment in Metastatic Melanoma Patients in a Phase 3 Trial

- IO Biotech to initiate a Phase 3 combination trial of IO102-IO103 and KEYTRUDA, which is designed to be potentially registrational for IO102-IO103

Copenhagen, Denmark – September 14, 2021: IO Biotech, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, immune-modulating cancer therapies based on its T-win® technology platform, announced today that it has entered into a clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA (known as MSD outside the US and Canada), through a subsidiary. The purpose of the collaboration is to evaluate IO Biotech’s lead candidate, IO102-IO103, in combination with KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), MSD’s anti-PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) therapy, in patients with previously untreated, unresectable or metastatic (advanced) melanoma.  IO102-IO103 is an investigational cancer vaccine designed to target the immunosuppressive mechanisms mediated by key immunosuppressive proteins such as Indoleamine 2,3-dehydrogenase (IDO) and PD-L1.

“We are pleased to collaborate with MSD to study the potential of our IDO and PD-L1 derived immune-modulating therapy in combination with KEYTRUDA as part of our broad, late-stage development program,” said Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD, CEO and founder of IO Biotech.  “Although therapies are available to treat metastatic melanoma, the clinical outcomes for patients with advanced disease remain poor and novel therapeutic options are desperately needed.  We look forward to expanding our data set on IO102-IO103 with KEYTRUDA combination results, which we believe will support the potential approval of IO102-IO103 as a first-line therapy for melanoma and other difficult-treat-cancers.”

The planned Phase 3 trial will be an open label, randomized clinical trial that will evaluate the combination of IO102-IO103 with MSD’s anti-PD-1 therapy, KEYTRUDA, versus KEYTRUDA alone in patients with previously untreated, unresectable or metastatic (advanced) melanoma.  Biomarker studies will also be conducted.  Under the terms of the agreement, IO Biotech will sponsor the Phase 3 trial and MSD will supply KEYTRUDA.

In a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of 30 patients with metastatic melanoma, IO102-IO103, in combination with anti PD1 mAb, demonstrated an ability to induce meaningful tumor regression and establish durable antitumor response while achieving a manageable tolerability profile for patients. In this trial, we observed a confirmed overall response rate (ORR) of 73% and a complete response (CR) rate of 47%. Based on the results from this trial, IO102-IO103, in combination with pembrolizumab, was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation (BTD) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of unresectable/metastatic melanoma.  

About IO102-IO103/KEYNOTE-D18
An open label, randomized Phase 3 clinical trial of IO102-IO103 in combination with pembrolizumab versus pembrolizumab alone in patients with previously untreated, unresectable or metastatic (advanced) melanoma.

Biomarker studies will be conducted in parallel to the above.

The clinical trials will be sponsored by IO Biotech. IO Biotech maintains global commercial rights to IO102-IO103.

About IO Biotech
IO Biotech is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, immune-modulating cancer therapies based on its T-win® technology platform.  The 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

Company Contact:
Mai-Britt Zocca, Ph.D.
CEO and founder of IO Biotech
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Investor Inquiries:
Amy Conrad
Juniper Point
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+1 858-914-1962

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

KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA. 

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.