Marengo Therapeutics, Inc., a company pioneering novel immuno-therapeutics targeting the T cell receptor (TCR) Vβ to selectively activate the right T cell subsets to fight cancer, today announced the appointment of Kevin Chin, M.D., M.S., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Chin is a seasoned oncology clinical development expert in T cell directed immunotherapies with a proven track record of developing successful programs from research to regulatory approvals. In his role, Dr. Chin will be responsible for the progress of the company’s clinical portfolio starting with the recently announced START-001 Phase 1/2 clinical trial of Marengo’s immuno-oncology therapy candidate, STAR0602.
“We are honored to have Kevin join our executive team at a time of great momentum for Marengo as we advance STAR0602 into the clinic,” said Zhen Su, M.D., MBA, Chief Executive Officer of Marengo. “Kevin’s significant experience leading early and late-stage T cell directed oncology clinical development programs will be essential to Marengo as we continue to advance our pipeline and capitalize on the breadth of development opportunities afforded by our STAR platform. With Kevin’s clinical development expertise, we are even more confident in Marengo’s bright future and our ability to transform cancer patient care with novel and differentiated T cell directed immune therapeutics.”
Kevin joins Marengo from 2seventybio (NASDAQ: TSVT), where, as Senior Vice President, Head of Clinical Development, he was responsible for leading the next generation CAR T cell therapies for both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. At 2seventybio, he led the development organization during the launch of Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel), the first FDA-approved BCMA CAR T cell therapy for multiple myeloma. He and his team also initiated the first-in-human clinical trials of novel CAR T cell therapies for adult B-cell NHL and pediatric AML. Prior to 2seventybio, Kevin was at EMD Serono where he led the clinical development team for Bavencio (avelumab, anti-PD-L1), which earned global regulatory approvals for Merkel cell carcinoma, urothelial carcinoma, and renal cell carcinoma. Kevin started his career in pharma at Bristol-Myers Squibb where he held increasing leadership roles on the global clinical development teams for both Yervoy (ipilimumab, anti-CTLA4) and Opdivo (nivolumab, anti-PD1). Prior to joining industry, Kevin was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Tufts University Medical School and Assistant Director of the Tufts Medical Center Evidence-based Practice Center. Kevin completed his undergraduate studies at Princeton University, received his M.D. from the State University of New York, and completed Internal Medicine training and Hematology-Oncology fellowship at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston, MA. Kevin also earned a M.S. in Clinical Care Research at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University.
“I am thrilled to be joining Marengo’s highly accomplished team of scientists, developers, advisors, and investigators, who are passionate in their pursuit to discover better immune therapies for all cancer patients,” said Dr. Chin. “Marengo is dedicated to the development of more precise immunotherapies that will activate the most relevant immune cells needed to drive prolonged and durable anti-tumor responses. I look forward to advancing this new class of selective immune activators for patients and working closely with our academic collaborators and clinical investigators to evaluate the safety and clinical activity of STAR0602 in the START-001 trial.”
About Marengo Therapeutics
Marengo Therapeutics, Inc, a clinical-stage biotech company, develops novel TCR-targeting antibodies that selectively modulate common and disease-specific T cell subsets of the germline TCR repertoire to provide lifelong protection against cancer and other diseases. With a passionate team of dedicated scientists experienced in immunology and oncology, Marengo’s proprietary Selective T Cell Activation Repertoire (STAR) platform leverages an extensive biological understanding of T cell function and receptor signaling to create a world in which everyone’s immune system can defeat cancer. To learn more, visit marengotx.com.
STAR0602 is Marengo’s lead program, the first selective T cell activator generated from Marengo’s STAR platform; a library of antibodies targeting non-clonal variable (V)β regions of the TCR fused to different co-stimulatory moieties. STAR0602 selectively targets a common Vβ T cell subset present in all cancers and, by combining a novel non-clonal mode of TCR activation with a T cell co-stimulator in the same molecule, promotes expansion of a new population of clonally enriched, effector memory Vβ T cells that turbo-charge immune system and promote durable anti-tumor immune response. STAR0602 has undergone extensive preclinical testing, which demonstrates potent anti-tumor activity in both mouse and human ex vivo tumor models attributed to a distinct mechanism of action from existing cancer immunotherapies.
About START-001 clinical trial
The START-001 trial (NCT05592626) is currently enrolling patients at two top US cancer research institutes, National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Mass General Hospital (MGH)/Harvard Medical School, co-led by seasoned clinical and translational researchers James Gulley, M.D., Ph.D., of NCI and Ryan Sullivan, M.D., of MGH. Additional top cancer centers are planned to join these clinical sites to support the further expansion of the study.