Jounce Therapeutics Appoints Dmitri Wiederschain, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNCE), a clinical-stage company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer immunotherapies and predictive biomarkers, today announced the appointment of Dmitri Wiederschain, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer.
“The addition of Dmitri to the Jounce team comes at an exciting juncture in our company development,” said Richard Murray, Ph.D., chief executive officer and president of Jounce Therapeutics. “Dmitri brings a broad knowledge of contemporary immuno-oncology approaches, tumor immunology and cancer biology. His expertise with preclinical target discovery and first-in-human research will provide us with invaluable contributions in our work towards delivering the right immunotherapies to the right patients.”
“Jounce’s scientific approach to interrogating the tumor microenvironment is what drew me to the company. With a career deeply rooted in cancer biology and immuno-oncology drug discovery, I believe that Jounce is strongly positioned to make a meaningful impact on today’s therapeutic landscape,” said Dmitri Wiederschain, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Jounce Therapeutics. “With an exciting discovery pipeline and engine, I am looking forward to collaborating closely with the team to continue to advance not only our two proof of concept studies, but also new discovery programs.”
Dr. Wiederschain brings more than 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience as a scientific leader and drug developer. Dr. Wiederschain joins Jounce from Sanofi, where he held roles of increasing responsibility over the course of 11 years and helped build a pipeline encompassing a diverse array of immuno-oncology approaches. Most recently, he was vice president and global head of immuno-oncology research where he oversaw projects from conception to IND stage, built productive partnerships and research collaborations and advanced 10 development candidates into the clinic while leading a large international team of scientists in both the U.S. and France. Prior to joining Sanofi, Dr. Wiederschain was an investigator and laboratory head of discovery biology, and prior to that a presidential post-doctoral fellow in oncology at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. He has also co-authored 45 publications in peer-reviewed journals to date. Dr. Wiederschain holds a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences and an A.L.B. in Natural Sciences from Harvard University.
In connection with Dr. Wiederschain’s appointment, the compensation committee of Jounce’s Board of Directors has approved the grant of a non-qualified stock option award to purchase an aggregate of 225,000 shares of Jounce’s common stock to him. The grant date of the stock option will be May 1, 2021, and the stock option will have an exercise price equal to the closing price of Jounce’s common stock on May 1, 2021. The stock option was granted outside of Jounce’s 2017 Stock Option and Incentive Plan as an inducement material to Dr. Wiederschain’s acceptance of employment with Jounce in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The stock option has a 10-year term and vests over four years, with 25% of the award vesting on the first anniversary of his employment, and as to an additional 1/12th of the shares quarterly thereafter, subject to Dr. Wiederschain’s continued employment through applicable vesting dates (subject to the terms and conditions of the stock option agreement covering the grant).
About Jounce Therapeutics
Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company dedicated to transforming the treatment of cancer by developing therapies that enable the immune system to attack tumors and provide long-lasting benefits to patients through a biomarker-driven approach. Jounce currently has multiple development stage programs ongoing while simultaneously advancing additional early-stage assets from its robust discovery engine based on its Translational Science Platform. Jounce’s highest priority program, JTX-8064, is a LILRB2 (ILT4) receptor antagonist shown to reprogram immune-suppressive tumor associated macrophages to an anti-tumor state in preclinical studies. A Phase 1 clinical trial, named INNATE, for JTX-8064 as a monotherapy and in combination with JTX-4014, Jounce’s internal PD-1 inhibitor, or pembrolizumab is currently enrolling patients with advanced solid tumors. Jounce’s most advanced product candidate, vopratelimab, is a monoclonal antibody that binds to and activates ICOS, and is currently being studied in the SELECT Phase 2 trial. JTX-4014 is a PD-1 inhibitor intended for combination use in the INNATE and SELECT trials and with Jounce’s broader pipeline. Additionally, Jounce exclusively licensed worldwide rights to JTX-1811, a monoclonal antibody targeting CCR8 and designed to selectively deplete T regulatory cells in the tumor microenvironment, to Gilead Sciences, Inc.
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