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Dr. Carolin Barth Joins MiroBio as CEO to Lead Precision Immunology Company Focused on Checkpoint Agonist Antibodies
Former Novartis executive to lead emerging biotech with a novel precision approach to autoimmune disease, supported by recent senior appointments MiroBio is exclusively focused on checkpoint agonists produced by its…
Dr. Carolin Barth Joins MiroBio as CEO to Lead Precision Immunology Company Focused on Checkpoint Agonist Antibodies
- Former Novartis executive to lead emerging biotech with a novel precision approach to autoimmune disease, supported by recent senior appointments
- MiroBio is exclusively focused on checkpoint agonists produced by its unique discovery engine that comprehensively maps inhibitory checkpoint signaling pathways
- Clinical initiation with BTLA agonist program anticipated in 2022 with a rich checkpoint agonist pipeline in earlier stages of development
Oxford, U.K. – 21 September 2021 – MiroBio, a biotechnology company advancing a new class of precision therapies designed to address the immune imbalance that drives autoimmune disease, today announced the appointment of Carolin Barth, M.D., as chief executive officer. Dr. Barth will lead MiroBio through the next major stage of its growth as its lead program, MB272, transitions into clinical development. Dr. Barth’s appointment follows other recent senior appointments to support operational expansion including Julian Hirst, formerly of Immunocore, as chief financial officer and Lynne Murray, Ph.D., formerly of AstraZeneca, as senior vice president of research & development.
MiroBio is uniquely focused on a new area of precision immunology using checkpoint agonist antibodies. Each of MiroBio’s candidates is designed to selectively activate a specific immune checkpoint pathway, with the goal of restoring immune homeostasis. Checkpoint receptor pathways are powerful regulators of immune reactivity. Currently approved checkpoint inhibitor therapies use receptor antagonism to ‘take the brakes off’ the immune system to fight cancer. By contrast, MiroBio’s therapies are designed to specifically activate inhibitory checkpoint pathways through receptor agonism. This approach is intended to dampen the immune overactivity that drives immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and restore a balanced immune state. MiroBio’s most advanced program, MB272, targets the immune receptor BTLA and is readying for Phase 1 initiation in early 2022. A PD-1 agonist program, MB151, is also in preclinical development, followed by a growing pipeline of checkpoint agonist antibodies in earlier-stage development.
“It is the ideal time for Carolin to assume leadership of MiroBio,” said Eliot Charles, Ph.D, executive chairman of MiroBio. “The Company is approaching the clinic with an exciting pipeline that represents the most substantial portfolio in an important new class of autoimmune therapies. MiroBio has built its proprietary drug discovery and development engine to comprehensively evaluate the more than 70 inhibitory checkpoints for new drug programs. Carolin’s strategic mindset and wealth of experience in the successful development and commercialization of several ground-breaking therapies, particularly in the areas of immunology and autoimmune disease, will be invaluable as MiroBio seeks to deliver these promising new medicines to patients. Together with MiroBio’s other recent hires, I am confident that the team is exceptionally well-suited to drive the Company’s next stages of growth and longer-term success.”
Dr. Barth most recently served at Novartis as global head of commercial and pipeline strategy, cell and gene. She held roles at Novartis of increasing responsibility over 17 years, including serving as global program head for several development programs and commercial launch leader in the areas of dermatology, rheumatology and chronic myeloid leukemia. As global head, dermatology she played an instrumental role in the development and commercialization of transformational antibody therapies such as COSENTYX and XOLAIR.
“I am very excited to join MiroBio – a company that stands out for its deep expertise, focus, and bold vision for delivering a new, better class of therapies for autoimmune disease. With its agonist antibody design expertise and unique approach to understanding both checkpoint pathway function and its potential in a wide variety of disease settings, I believe MiroBio can deliver several best-in-class new medicines that offer patients more efficacious and safer treatment options,” said Dr. Barth. “I look forward to working with the MiroBio team to continue building the entrepreneurial and patient-centric culture that will help us succeed through a critical phase of growth and development.”
MiroBio’s drug discovery engine combines proprietary discovery and development technologies with strategic mapping of the inhibitory signalling landscape across immune cell types and diseases. It builds on 15 years of deep foundational research at the University of Oxford and is designed to deliver best-in-class agonistic antibodies in addition to an unmatched understanding of inhibitory checkpoint pathways. MiroBio antibodies are uniquely designed to robustly agonize a specific immune checkpoint receptor. MiroBio’s pathway database is informed by a growing global collaborator network that allows the Company to catalogue diseased inhibitory receptor states which will inform the future selection of patient populations for clinical trial enrichment and highly targeted indications.
Dr. Barth’s appointment follows the recent appointments of other senior strategic leaders to oversee the financial and R&D functions of MiroBio. CFO Julian Hirst previously served as corporate finance director and head of investor relations at Immunocore where he played an instrumental role in raising over $930 million in three private rounds, a venture debt financing and an IPO. He previously spent over 20 years in investment banking including leading the European technology corporate finance team at UBS where he was a managing director. SVP of R&D Dr. Lynne Murray joined MiroBio from AstraZeneca where she was head of regeneration, early respiratory and immunology. Dr. Murray’s earlier roles at AstraZeneca were in the partnering & strategy department and as head of fibrosis biology at MedImmune, where she established MedImmune/AstraZeneca’s fibrosis pipeline that delivered multiple assets into the clinic. Before that, she served as a director of pharmacology at Promedior and in R&D at antibody developer Centocor.
About Checkpoint Agonist Antibodies
MiroBio is creating a new class of therapies for autoimmune disease: Checkpoint agonist antibodies. These therapies are designed to precisely restore a balanced immune response and prevent the body from attacking its own cells. Checkpoint pathways are powerful regulators of immune cell function. Each has its own role in specific types of immune cells and differing activity in disease. By selectively activating, or agonizing, the appropriate checkpoint receptor, MiroBio’s therapies can deliver a highly potent inhibitory signal to overactive immune cells without being broadly immunosuppressive.
MiroBio is comprehensively mapping the 70+ inhibitory checkpoint receptor pathways with its proprietary discovery engine, I-ReSToRE, to identify therapeutic opportunities for autoimmune disease. MiroBio’s antibody engineering capabilities and depth of expertise in inhibitory checkpoint signalling pathways are the foundation for its scientific leadership in this vast new area of precision immunology.
About MiroBio (www.mirobio.com)
MiroBio is a biotechnology company advancing a new class of precision therapies designed to address the immune imbalance that drives autoimmune disease. Its proprietary drug discovery engine, I-ReSToRE, comprehensively evaluates inhibitory receptors for therapeutic potential and designs checkpoint agonist antibody candidates that precisely modulate immune signalling to restore health. MiroBio’s pipeline includes several candidates against validated and novel targets with potential in a variety of autoimmune diseases. MiroBio is based in Oxford, U.K.
For more information about MiroBio contact:
Ten Bridge Communications
Oxford start-up developing novel therapeutics based on deep expertise in immune cell regulation Oxford, UK, October 7 2019 – MiroBio, a novel therapeutics company based on insights into the regulation…
MiroBio launches with £27m ($34m) Series A from leading life sciences investors
Oxford start-up developing novel therapeutics based on deep expertise in immune cell regulation
Oxford, UK, October 7 2019 – MiroBio, a novel therapeutics company based on insights into the regulation of receptor signalling in immune cells, has raised £27m ($34m) from a syndicate of international specialist life sciences investors. Oxford Sciences Innovation and Samsara Biocapital co-led the round and have been joined by Advent Life Sciences and SR One. Proceeds from the Series A fundraising will allow the company to advance its lead programmes, strengthen its proprietary platform, expand its discovery efforts, and build out its management team for the next phase of growth. In conjunction with the financing, Srini Akkaraju MD/PhD, Managing General Partner of Samsara Biocapital, Deborah Harland PhD, Partner of SROne, Andrew Mclean MD, Principal of OSI and Shahzad Malik MD, General Partner of Advent Life Sciences, will join the Board of Directors.
MiroBio’s unique platform has its foundations in research and technology from the laboratories of Simon Davis, Professor of Molecular Immunology at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, and Richard Cornall, Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford. The company is developing proprietary antibodies and variants to stimulate specific immune cell signals, allowing MiroBio to harness the natural control mechanisms of the immune system for therapeutic benefit across a range of diseases. Initially, MiroBio will focus on applications in auto-immune disease, and is exploring other applications opportunistically.
Dr Srini Akkaraju, Samsara Biocapital, said, “MiroBio has an innovative approach to regulating immune cell activity. By combining this understanding of receptor signalling with detailed knowledge of disease biology and expertise in drug development, we are building a compelling company which has the potential to create meaningful new medicines in a variety of therapeutic indications.”
“MiroBio has a robust technology and the ambition to bring new medicines to patients in need of improved therapies,” said Dr Eliot Charles, Executive Chairman of MiroBio and Venture Partner at SROne. “To help realize this goal, we have assembled a strong syndicate of leading healthcare investors who have a solid track record of creating successful biotech companies and backing world leading teams like the one we have started to build.”
Professor Simon Davis, University of Oxford, said, “We have been studying key aspects of signalling through immune cell receptors for over 15 years. Working collaboratively with MiroBio and its investors, we now have the opportunity to translate our insights, ideas and technologies into important new medicines that could significantly improve patients’ lives.”
For further information please contact:
Dr Eliot Charles, Executive Chairman
MiroBio was established as a spin-out from the University of Oxford in 2019. It is developing antibody modulators of immune cell receptors, an approach that has potential across a range of diseases, with an initial focus on auto-immune disease. Its platform is based on the work of its founding scientists, Simon Davis, Professor of Molecular Immunology, MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, and Richard Cornall, Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Oxford. Their understanding of how immune receptor signalling takes place at the cell surface has generated a platform of IP and technologies which is being exploited by MiroBio. The company has assembled a team of drug discovery and development experts and is based at the BioEscalator on the University of Oxford’s Old Road clinical campus. It recently raised £27m from an international syndicate of life sciences investors including Advent Life Sciences, Oxford Sciences Innovation, Samsara Biocapital and SR One. For more information please go to www.mirobio.com.