Bloss Named Chief Medical Officer at Tarveda Therapeutics
13 September 2018 - - US-based biopharmaceutical company Tarveda Therapeutics, Inc has appointed Jeffrey D. Bloss, M.D., as chief medical officer, the company said.

In addition, the company strengthened its clinical leadership team with the appointment of Steven A. Hamburger, Ph.D. as vice president, regulatory affairs and Laura Mei as vice president, clinical operations.

In the second quarter of 2018, Tarveda announced the initiation of the Phase 2a expansion portion of its Phase 1/2a trial for PEN-221 in patients with somatostatin receptor 2-expressing neuroendocrine tumors and small cell lung cancer.

In the same quarter, Tarveda also announced the commencement of the dose escalation portion of its Phase 1/2a trial for PEN-866 in patients with solid malignancies.

During his career encompassing more than 25 years in oncology, Dr. Bloss has held many leadership roles and has been responsible for the development, approval and commercialization of over ten successful oncology drugs including Gemzar, Tarceva, Sorafenib, Tykerb, Xtandi and others.

Prior to joining Tarveda, Dr. Bloss served as chief medical officer and senior vice president, medical affairs at Aegerion. He has also held senior level positions at Astellas, GlaxoSmithKline, Xencor, Onyx, Genentech, and Eli Lilly.

Before joining the biotech industry, Dr. Bloss held a series of roles of increasing responsibility at the University of Missouri, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and at the USAF Medical Corps. He holds an M.D. from Thomas Jefferson University Medical College and a B.S. from Juniata College.

Prior to joining Tarveda, Hamburger served as vice president, regulatory affairs and quality assurance at BERG.

He has led global regulatory efforts for both biotech and large pharmaceutical companies including Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals, Baxalta and Immunomedics.

Hamburger has also held senior regulatory positions at Millennium/Takeda, Johnson and Johnson, Eli Lilly, and Zeneca Pharmaceuticals.

He has had significant involvement in the development and/or global registration of many drugs including Krystexxa, Onivyde, Oncaspar, Velcade, Alimta, DOXIL and Accolate.

Prior to joining Tarveda, Mei served as executive director, global clinical operations and metabolic franchise head at Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

She has also held management positions at several biotech and pharmaceutical companies including senior director, clinical operations at Synageva Biopharma, senior director, clinical operations and GCP compliance at Alexza Pharmaceuticals and associate director, R and D compliance at Biogen.

Tarveda is developing Pentarins, potent and selective miniature drug conjugates with high affinity for specific cell surface and intracellular targets.

Pentarins are engineered to bind to their tumor cell targets and provide sustained release of their potent therapeutic payloads deep into solid tumor tissue.

Comprised of a targeting ligand conjugated to a potent cancer cell killing agent through a tuned chemical linker, Pentarins are designed to overcome the deficits of both larger antibody drug conjugates and small molecules that limit their therapeutic effectiveness against solid tumors.

Together, the components of Tarveda's Pentarins have distinct, yet synergistic, anticancer attributes: the small size of Pentarins allows for rapid and deep penetration into the tumor tissue, the ligand's targeting ability allows for specific binding and retention in tumor cells, and the chemical linker is tuned to optimise the release of the potent, cell killing payload inside the cancer cells for efficacy.

Tarveda Therapeutics discovers and develops Pentarins, a new class of potent and selective miniature drug conjugates with enhanced targeting capabilities for the treatment of a range of solid tumor cancers.

Tarveda's lead Pentarin drug candidate, PEN-221, is a miniature drug conjugate that targets the somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2) for treatment of patients with neuroendocrine, small cell lung, prostate, and other cancers that express SSTR2.

PEN-221 comprises a highly selective peptide for SSTR2 conjugated to the potent cytotoxic payload, DM1, through a tuned cleavable linker.

Tarveda is also advancing its Pentarin HSP90 drug conjugate platform with lead drug candidate PEN-866, which is a miniature drug conjugate that selectively binds to the intracellular target, Heat Shock Protein 90 (HSP90), and is linked to the payload SN-38, a potent topoisomerase I inhibitor.

Tarveda's strategy includes developing its own proprietary Pentarins as well as applying the Pentarin platform to enhance the effectiveness of the targeting moieties and novel payloads of pharmaceutical collaborators.