June 27, 2019– TriSalus™ Life Sciences, an oncology company focused on overcoming infusion barriers to improve patient outcomes, today announced the creation of a world-class scientific advisory board (SAB) to support advancement of the company’s strategy to deliver therapeutics more effectively into solid tumors. The aim of integrating targeted therapeutics and delivery using the company’s proprietary Pressure-Enabled Drug Delivery™ (PEDD™) is to provide therapeutic benefit by overcoming dense tumor stroma, improving the functionality of the poor vasculature, and activating the immune system to target tumor cells in pancreatic and liver cancers.
The new SAB is composed of preeminent experts across medical, surgical and radiation oncology, and immunology. The SAB will collaborate with TriSalus in all aspects of research, including preclinical, clinical, and commercial evaluation of new therapeutics, and in assessing the combining of PEDD with currently approved cytotoxic and immuno-oncology (I-O) regimens.
“We are deeply gratified to have attracted some of the most renowned thought leaders, healthcare providers, and visionaries in oncology who, like TriSalus, are fully committed to finding and validating more effective treatments for solid tumors,” said Mary T. Szela, CEO and president of TriSalus Life Sciences. “The collective clinical and scientific expertise of the SAB members provides a powerful resource to identify more effective methods for treating solid tumors and will help accelerate our efforts to change the outcomes of certain cancers.”
In recently presented preclinical and clinical data at the American Association of Immunologists’ annual meeting, targeted regional delivery of chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) and checkpoint inhibitors into solid tumors using PEDD significantly increased therapeutic effect compared with low-pressure delivery. Importantly, there was no increase in liver inflammation or toxicity, which are known adverse side effects associated with some systemic treatments.
Scientific Advisory Board Members
Vincent Picozzi, MD
Dr. Picozzi is the director of the Pancreatic Center of Excellence at the Digestive Disease Institute at Seattle’s Virginia Mason Medical Center, and also serves as a practicing physician in Virginia Mason’s division of Hematology-Oncology. Dr. Picozzi has received numerous clinician accolades and directs an active clinical research program. He has published more than 100 papers and abstracts and is a featured speaker at virtually every national clinical oncology meeting. Dr. Picozzi is also chair of the Precision Promise℠ Clinical Trial Consortium while managing one of the largest US pancreaticobiliary oncology practices.
Christopher Crane, MD
Dr. Crane serves as vice chair for the Department of Radiation Oncology at New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he specializes in gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. Previously, he was program director and chief of the GI section of the Radiation Oncology division at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Crane leads and conducts clinical trials in GI cancers focused on combining molecular targeted therapies with radiotherapy. In addition, he focuses on the role of radiation dose escalation using novel technologies in the curative treatment of liver and pancreatic cancers, and has helped develop novel technologies to treat GI malignancies, particularly pancreatic cancer.
Philip A. Philip, MD
Dr. Philip is a professor of Oncology, Pharmacology, and Medicine and the Kathryn E. Cramer, MD, Endowed Chair for Cancer Research in the Department of Oncology at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University School of Medicine. He leads the gastrointestinal and neuroendocrine cancers team and is the vice president of Medical Affairs. He also chairs the gastrointestinal cancers committee at the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) and sits on the GI Steering Committee that oversees gastrointestinal cancer research nationally. Dr. Philip has been the principal investigator of many Phase I-III trials. He is a frequent national and international lecturer, and has authored more than 200 manuscripts, review articles, and editorials, in addition to co-editing a book on pancreatic cancer and another on GI cancers. Dr. Philip’s major research interest lies in the development of new therapies for GI and neuroendocrine cancers, with a special focus on pancreatic cancer.
Gabriela Plesa, MD, PhD
Dr. Plesa is director of Translational Research Operations and deputy director of the Clinical Cell and Vaccine Production Facility (CVPF) at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Plesa has been part of the group led by preeminent immunologist/oncologist Dr. Carl June for 15 years, where she acquired extensive translational research experience largely focused on adoptive immunotherapy with genetically engineered human cells. She has led the effort of opening multiple new investigational cell therapy studies at UPenn, focusing on development of IND-enabling data, clinical approaches, GMP manufacturing processes, and regulatory strategy for launching Phase I and II clinical trials with novel cellular therapeutic approaches. Dr. Plesa is experienced in alliance management as well as federal, university, and regulatory approval requirements for initiating and implementing clinical trials for cellular biologics.
Aravind Arepally, MD
Dr. Arepally is section chief for vascular and interventional radiology at Piedmont Radiology, an affiliate of Piedmont Healthcare. Formerly, he served as clinical director for the Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Arepally is a co-founder of TriSalus Life Sciences’ predecessor Surefire® Medical, Inc. and has coordinated with research labs at Duke University and Johns Hopkins to develop new embolic platforms, including advanced catheter systems for targeted delivery of embolics. He holds multiple patents and has authored more than 150 papers, books, and abstracts. Dr. Arepally was principal investigator of multiple National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and other grants and is the recipient of numerous national awards for his research in the field of MRI, device development, and embolization applications. He also lectures internationally on minimally invasive procedures.
Steven Katz, MD
Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Katz is director of the Complex Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program and Office of Therapeutic Development at Roger Williams Medical Center. He also serves as associate professor of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine. A surgeon with expertise in liver and pancreatic surgery, Dr. Katz’s research focuses on immunotherapy for liver metastases and sarcoma. He has served as principal investigator of four Hepatic Immunotherapy for Metastases (HITM) trials testing regional infusion of CAR-T cells for liver metastases, and he also leads the Immunotherapy for Peritoneal Carcinomatosis (IPC) program, investigating CAR-T infusions for stage IV abdominal cancers. In addition, Dr. Katz serves as a reviewer for several scientific and clinical journals and is a member of the Cancer Gene Therapy editorial board, among others.
About TriSalusLife Sciences
TriSalus Life Sciences is dedicated to improving patient outcomes in pancreatic and other highly intractable solid tumors. TriSalus™ Infusion Systems have the potential to deliver diagnostic, therapeutic agents, and immuno-stimulants directly into tumor vasculature powered by its proprietary Pressure-Enabled Drug Delivery™ (PEDD™) approach with SmartValve™ technology to improve the distribution and penetration of therapy in solid tumors. This innovative approach has the potential to allow for the administration of multiple mechanisms that can work together to overcome inherent immune suppression within the solid tumor microenvironment.