REGiMMUNE is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on creating innovative immunotherapies for rare diseases and cancer by leveraging underexploited biological opportunities. We specifically target well-characterized biological pathways with compelling scientific data supporting their importance in regulating the immune response against disease. To target new pathways, we are building a robust and highly efficient discovery capability to create and optimize highly differentiated biologic product candidates.
Our focus is on a critical cell subset with potent immunmodulating activities, Regulatory T cells (Tregs). Decades of scientific research have demonstrated that Tregs act to control immune responses, which may be beneficial to harness this activity for alleviating autoimmune disease manifestation and for facilitating transplantation tolerance. Our approach for controlling the expansion of Tregs takes advantage of a natural pathway with a synthetic small molecule formulated with liposome technology to treat GvHD. Our lead molecule, RGI-2001, has been well tolerated by patients in phase 1 clinical studies with demonstrated target engagement and measurable pharmacological activity in-vivo to expand Tregs. More recently with Tregs, emerging data in the immuno-oncology field has pointed towards a potent subset of these cells mediating acquired resistance to checkpoint inhibitors and limiting patient responders to bispecific T cell engaging biologics. We are developing antibody therapeutic approaches that will specifically target Tregs and reduce their undesired function in the tumor microenvironment. As the immuno-oncology market evolves toward the use of combination therapies, a key element of our strategy is to build a tailored portfolio of product candidates that target a wide range of complementing immune mechanisms. Consistent with this strategy, we are developing additional antibody drug candidates that may become the foundation for the next generation of combination therapies for immuno-oncology.
Chief Executive Officer; Member of the Board of Directors
Mr. Kenzo Kosuda currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of REGiMMUNE since 2016 and as a member of Board of Directors since 2013. He previously served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer from 2013 to 2018. In this role, he was responsible for finance, investor relations, operations, strategy and corporate development. He has over twenty years of extensive experience in financial area throughout his experience at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, PwC as professional consultant, and his own accounting firm to help emerging companies. Prior to join REGiMMUNE, he served as Chief Financial Officer at Sparx Asset Management where he led the first IPO of an asset management company in Japan. He has a B.A. degree in Economics from the Keio University in Japan and is a Chartered Accountant.
Omar Duramad, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer
Dr. Omar Duramad currently serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of REGiMMUNE. He has over 15 years of industry experience in Immunology research and early drug development for both small molecule and antibody therapeutics. Prior to REGiMMUNE, he was the founder & CEO of Abmuno Therapeutics, a company focused on discovering and developing innovative monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Notably, he led the early development of a checkpoint therapeutic antibody to TIGIT, which was out-licensed to Arcus Biosciences for clinical development. Prior to Abmuno, he held a variety of positions with increasing responsibility at IGM Biosciences and Neothera Biosciences, leading immunology research & preclinical teams focused on oncology and autoimmune disease indications. As a researcher at Dynavax Technologies, he was part of the Drug Discovery group that identified novel Toll-like Receptor inhibitors for diseases such as lupus, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Additionally, Dr. Duramad previously advised multiple clients including Loxo Oncology, Sirenas MD, Holoclara, and Bryologyx, each a biopharmaceutical company and iQ Biosciences, a contract research organization, regarding early development programs or therapeutic platform development. Dr. Duramad has received several awards such as the Schissler Foundation Fellowship in Cancer Research, American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship for Outstanding Scholarship, and the Vivian L. Smith Award for Outstanding Immunologist. He has been an invited speaker at prestigious conferences such as Keystone Symposia, American Society of Hematology, and American Transplant Congress. Dr. Duramad obtained his B.S. in Biochemistry & Cell Biology from University of California, San Diego and Ph.D. in Immunology & Cancer Biology from the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Ping Zhong, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
Ping Zhong, Ph.D., started his career in the biotech industry over 25 years ago. Since then he has experienced startup biotech, med-size biopharma, conglomerate pharmaceutical, and international academic institutions. He first joined industry in Silicon Valley following his postdoctoral training at Stanford University, heavily involved in assay development and drug screening using small molecule libraries and peptide/protein libraries at Neurex Corp. and Elan Pharmaceutical. Through peptide/protein engineering, he transformed himself into an antibody engineering scientist. His research activities for the past 20 years have been highly focused on antibody engineering in the pursuit of antibody candidate molecules for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. He was a founder of Abmaxis Inc, served as founding board member, COO, and VP of Biology, in which he was one of the key members to invent a platform to integrate surface display technology with structural biology technology to discover lead molecules of various therapeutic areas, including anti-angiogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious antibodies, etc. In the process, he was the co-inventor of various novel surface display systems that became part of the antibody technology platform. Following the merger between Merck and Abmaxis, Dr. Zhong continued his leadership in antibody technology and antibody drug development in Merck Research Laboratories. He led the efforts to develop Totally Synthetic Human Antibody Libraries and projects on early discovery, lead optimization, functional characterization, and animal studies of the Merck antibody drug pipeline. He then migrated to Southeast Asia, joined the Singapore Immunology Network of A*STAR (Agency of Science, Technology and Research, Singapore) in the wave of institutional efforts to commercialize academic science of Singapore public R&D. While positioned to build the platform and tools critical to early discovery, he continued his research in discovery of therapeutic antibody leads and their re-engineering, bispecific molecules, and protein scaffolds for next generation biologics, especially for targeting immune checkpoints. He was a winner of the Singapore National Research Foundation’s grant on developing smaller size antibody-like molecules for better tissue penetration; his research was also supported by the pharmaceutical industry for developing these molecules for in vivo, monitoring the dynamics of immune checkpoints. Dr. Zhong received his Ph.D. of Molecular Pharmacology at Georgetown University.
Leonard Presta, Ph.D.
Dr. Leonard Presta, with more than 20 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, is one of the most internationally respected scientists in the fields of antibody and protein engineering. Most recently, Len served as a Distinguished Fellow at Merck & Co., Inc. where he was responsible for the protein engineering of all internal therapeutic antibodies. Len also held positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech, Inc., including Director of the Antibody Technology Group where he was directly responsible for or led the protein engineering of notable antibody therapeutics including Herceptin®, Perjeta® Raptiva®, Xolair®, Avastin®, and Lucentis®. Len is an inventor on more than 130 U.S. patents and has served on the editorial boards of notable journals including the Journal of Biological Chemistry, PROTEINS, and MABS. Len received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Texas A&M University in the computational modeling of protein-ligand interactions.