• Scientific Advisors to provide expertise and counsel on the clinical development of its RNA-based oncology pipeline candidates

  • HDT Bio announces esteemed medical experts Dr. Charles Cobbs of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute and Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee of Johns Hopkins University as Advisors and Dr. Nora Disis of the University of Washington as a collaborator


SEATTLE, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — HDT Bio Corp., a developer of immunotherapies for oncology and infectious diseases, today announced formalizing key relationships with oncology experts to focus and accelerate its clinical programs using its self-replicating RNA-based platform.

The inaugural oncology advisors to HDT Bio comprise a distinguished group of internationally renowned experts. They bring extensive expertise across various domains within the field, encompassing in vitro and in vivo cancer research, cutting-edge clinical trial design for investigational cancer treatments, as well as the development and exploration of novel research methodologies for approved and experimental cancer therapies.

“HDT Bio’s scientific advisors and collaborators will be instrumental in providing strategic direction for our cancer vaccine pipeline. The opportunity to engage and obtain counsel from some of the most respected oncologists in the world will allow us to assess the utility of our proprietary AMPLIFY platform, consisting of self-replicating repRNA and our LION™ nanoparticle formulation, in stimulating the immune system against cancer,” said Steven Reed, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of HDT Bio. “Each expert will draw from their extensive clinical experience in not only treating cancer, but also in conducting translational research on the interplay between virology, immunology, oncology, and RNA in various forms of cancer.”

The inaugural oncology Advisors and collaborators of HDT Bio are:

Dr. Charles Cobbs, M.D., is the Director of the Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment at Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle. He is an authority in the area of glioblastoma surgery and research. He first hypothesized that malignant gliomas and other tumors may be associated with chronic viral infection with human cytomegalovirus (CMV), and he published the first evidence that CMV is associated with glioblastoma. His group has subsequently found evidence of cytomegalovirus infection in other tumor types and evidence that the CMV receptor is a major receptor tyrosine kinase involved in tumor growth. These findings have led other researchers to explore treating these tumors with antiviral drugs and tumor vaccines against the CMV pp65 protein. Preliminary studies demonstrate unexpectedly prolonged survival in these glioblastoma patients.

Dr. Cobbs received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He completed a residency in Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he also completed a fellowship in molecular neuro-oncology. Dr. Cobbs has previously been a principal investigator on NIH R01 grants, Special Project in Oncology Research (NCI SPORE) grants at UAB and UCSF, as well as an editor at Journal of Neuro Oncology and other journals. He has been a member of the NCI SPORE and PO1 brain tumor study sections. His laboratory group published a new molecular classification of glioblastoma in conjunction with the Allen Brain Institute in the journal Science.

Dr. Elizabeth M. Jaffee, M.D., FAACR, FACP, FAAAS, is an internationally recognized expert in cancer immunology and pancreatic cancer.  She is Deputy Director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Co-Director of the Skip Viragh Pancreatic Cancer Center and Associate Director of the Bloomberg Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.  Her research focus is on developing novel immunotherapies for the treatment and prevention of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Jaffee is a Past President of AACR. She has served on a number of committees at the National Cancer Institute, including the co-chair of the Biden Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel which identified high impact research priorities for the NCI.  She currently serves as Chief Medical Advisor to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. She is the inaugural director of the Convergence Institute for Integrating Technologies and Computational Sciences at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Jaffee is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the SITC Academy of Immuno-Oncology and a Fellow of the AACR Academy. Most recently, she was appointed chair of President Biden’s Cancer Panel.

Dr. Nora Disis, M.D., serves as a collaborator for HDT Bio’s oncology program and is a Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Washington (UW) and a Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC). She is the Associate Dean for Translational Science in the UW School of Medicine. Dr. Disis received her M.D. from the University of Nebraska Medical School and completed a residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Her fellowship in oncology was completed at UW/FHCRC. Dr. Disis is an expert in breast and ovarian cancer immunology and translational research. She is one of the pioneering investigators who discovered that HER-2/neu is a tumor antigen. Her work has led to several clinical trials which evaluate boosting immunity to HER-2/neu with cancer vaccines. Dr. Disis is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and the American Society of Clinical Investigation. She is the Editor in Chief for JAMA Oncology, and is a member of several committees and task forces for both the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). She is also the Director of the Institute of Translational Health Sciences and the Director for the Cancer Vaccine Institute at the UW. Her multifaceted research program within the Cancer Vaccine Institute includes the discovery of new antigens for common solid tumors, the development of vaccine and cellular therapy targeting specific antigens, and immunodiagnostics.

HDT Bio’s RNA vaccines candidates target a variety of antigens linked to pancreatic, colon, breast, prostate and other cancers that can treat the disease as well as prevent it in people diagnosed with specific mutations associated with the cancers. The vaccine candidates also can be designed to prevent cancer causing viral diseases, such as human papilloma virus and hepatitis B.


About HDT Bio

HDT Bio is a Seattle-based, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical development company. With core technology and expertise in nucleic acid formulation, the company develops products that seek to harness host-directed immune responses. HDT Bio’s work focuses on infectious disease and oncology vaccines and therapeutics through early-stage collaborations with partners worldwide. The company’s vaccine platforms combine formulation and adjuvant ingredients to stabilize and deliver RNA to the immune system to stimulate responses. HDT Bio’s repRNA/LION™ is the first self-amplifying RNA vaccine platform to ever receive a regulatory authorization.
Learn more at https://www.hdt.bio