First trial of novel immune tolerance therapies expected this year
LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND, and CAMBRIDGE, MASS., January 16, 2019 – Anokion (“Anokion” or the “Company”), a leading immune tolerance company advancing novel, antigen-specific treatments for autoimmune disease, today announced that Simon Cooper, MBBS., has been appointed to the newly created position of chief medical officer. Dr. Cooper will lead Anokion’s team that is advancing the company’s development pipeline into clinical testing, with the first trial expected to commence by late 2019. Dr. Cooper will join the executive leadership team and will report directly to Anokion President and CEO John Hohneker, M.D.
“We are delighted to have Simon join the leadership team at a time when the company is preparing to initiate its first clinical study this year,” said Dr. Hohneker. “Simon is an accomplished drug development executive with an extensive and successful track record of leading product candidates through development, approval and commercial launch. His experience will be instrumental in helping us bring our novel, immune tolerance therapies to patients suffering from antigen-mediated autoimmune diseases.”
“Anokion’s immune tolerance platform offers a unique, targeted disease therapy without the side effects of broad immunosuppression,” said Dr. Cooper. “The ability to harness the body’s natural tolerance pathways offers an exciting approach with the potential to transform the treatment of autoimmune disease. I look forward to working closely with the leadership team at Anokion, which I believe is well-positioned to unlock the potential of these new therapies and bring real benefits to patients.”
Dr. Cooper brings over 20 years of diverse clinical development experience, including biological drug development in immunology. He has served in multiple senior roles, most recently as asset strategy leader at Abbvie with responsibility for the development of risankizumab, an anti-IL-23 antibody, across multiple indications. Prior to AbbVie, Dr. Cooper was vice president, global project head, immunology and inflammation at Sanofi, where he led the development of Kevzara® sarilumab, an IL-6R antibody approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). He played a key role in its worldwide submission in RA and was a lead in the development of the product’s global launch. Previously, Dr. Cooper was global program medical director at Novartis, executive director, clinical research for Human Genome Sciences (now part of GlaxoSmithKline), and clinical science leader at Roche. In these roles, he was instrumental in the development and approvals for Benlysta® belimumab, Cosentyx® secukinumab and Rituxan® rituximab. He earned his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at University of Newcastle upon Tyne Medical School, before undertaking his higher medical training in Oxford.
Anokion is a leading immune tolerance company advancing novel, antigen-specific treatments for people living with the devastating effects of autoimmune disease. Anokion is strategically progressing its development pipeline based on an industry-leading, novel platform that harnesses the body’s natural tolerance pathways. Initially formed as a spin-off from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the company is funded by leading investors, including Versant Ventures, Novo Ventures, and Novartis Venture Fund. For more information, please visit anokion.com
Deb Geraghty, Ph.D.
+1 (857) 320-6635