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NexImmune Strengthens Scientific Leadership by Appointing Jerome Zeldis as EVP R&D and Jeffrey Weber as Chief Scientific Advisor

By January 5, 2021No Comments
  • Zeldis formerly served as Celgene CMO and CEO of Celgene Global Health
  • Weber is a renowned melanoma specialist and leading immunotherapy translational and clinical scientist
  • Both will help NexImmune advance current early-stage clinical trials and will guide Company’s translational efforts to develop new immunotherapy products

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NexImmune, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a novel approach to immunotherapy designed to employ the body’s own T cells to generate a specific, potent and durable immune response that mimics natural biology, today announced the hiring of veteran biopharmaceutical industry leader Jerome (Jerry) Zeldis, MD, PhD, as Executive Vice President of Research & Development and the appointment of leading immunotherapy expert Jeffrey Weber, MD, PhD, as Chief Scientific Advisor and Scientific Advisory Board Chair.

“We are very honored to have someone of Dr. Zeldis’ caliber lead our scientific research and clinical development teams. It’s also rewarding to welcome a world-leading immunotherapy expert like Dr. Weber as our first Chief Scientific Advisor,” stated Scott Carmer, NexImmune Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “Both Jerry and Jeff have proven and successful track records in the design and execution of early and late-stage clinical trials that have evaluated novel immune therapies. In addition, their collective research insights will greatly enhance existing efforts to translate the scientific potential of our AIM technology into therapies designed to address significant unmet patient needs.”

Dr. Zeldis, who formerly served as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Head of Clinical Research, Medical Affairs, and Drug Safety, at Celgene, and CEO of Celgene Global Health, helped guide Celgene’s expansion into one of the biotechnology industry’s most successful companies. At NexImmune, he will oversee all aspects of research and development. He brings extensive life sciences experience to the Company, gained primarily through his nearly 20-year career at Celgene where he built the medical infrastructure as the company evolved. Later as CMO and President of Clinical Research, Medical Affairs, Drug Safety, Quality, and Regulatory at Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc, he helped to advance its unique immuno-oncology programs. 

Dr. Weber, who serves as deputy director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health, and co-director of its Melanoma Research Program, becomes the Company’s first Chief Scientific Advisor, and will also assume the role of Scientific Advisory Board Chair. In this capacity, he will assist and advise the Company’s Research and Review Committee, which is responsible for all pre-clinical and translational research in support of its proprietary AIM technology platform. 

Dr. Weber works at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health where his primary focus is treating patients with melanoma and other cutaneous malignancies. Through his distinguished career, he has helped to pioneer development of checkpoint blockade immunotherapy strategies in melanoma, led studies into targeted therapies in melanoma, advanced understanding of potential toxicities from emerging immunotherapies, and explored novel immune therapy concepts.

“I look forward to working with Scott and his team at NexImmune to help advance and expand the Company’s research and development pipeline with the ultimate goal of developing next-generation immunotherapies for patients suffering from immune-mediated conditions related to cancers and autoimmune/inflammatory diseases,” Dr. Zeldis commented.

“It is my privilege to advise NexImmune as it seeks to develop novel treatments for melanoma and other cancers,” stated Dr. Weber. “With our collective experience and commitment to improving the treatment landscape for patients, I believe we can develop and establish therapies for cancer that will make a meaningful difference to human health in the near future.”

About NexImmune
NexImmune is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a novel approach to immunotherapy designed to employ the body’s own T cells to generate a specific, potent, and durable immune response that mimics natural biology. The backbone of NexImmune’s approach is its proprietary Artificial Immune Modulation (AIMTM) nanoparticle technology platform. The AIM technology enables NexImmune to construct nanoparticles that function as synthetic dendritic cells capable of directing a specific T cell-mediated immune response. By mimicking natural T cell biology, NexImmune’s T cell product candidates are designed to combine the attributes of cellular precision, potency, and persistence with reduced potential for undesired toxicities.

NexImmune’s two lead programs, NEXI-001 and NEXI-002, are in Phase 1/2 clinical trials for the treatment of relapsed AML after allogeneic stem cell transplantation and multiple myeloma refractory to >3 prior lines of therapy, respectively. NexImmune is also developing new AIM nanoparticle constructs and modalities for potential clinical evaluation in oncology and in disease areas outside of oncology, including autoimmune disorders and infectious disease.

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