MiroBio has appointed Carolin Barth as CEO to lead the company through the next major stage of its growth as its lead programme, MB272, transitions into clinical development. Dr Barth’s appointment follows other recent senior appointments including Julian Hirst, formerly of Immunocore, as CFO and Lynne Murray, formerly of AstraZeneca, as Senior VP of R&D.
MiroBio is focused on a new area of precision immunology using checkpoint agonist antibodies. Each of MiroBio’s candidates is designed to selectively activate a specific immune checkpoint pathway, with the goal of restoring immune homeostasis. Checkpoint receptor pathways are powerful regulators of immune reactivity. Currently approved checkpoint inhibitor therapies use receptor antagonism to ‘take the brakes off’ the immune system to fight cancer.
By contrast, MiroBio’s therapies are designed to specifically activate inhibitory checkpoint pathways through receptor agonism. This approach is intended to dampen the immune overactivity that drives immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and restore a balanced immune state. MiroBio’s most advanced programme, MB272, targets the immune receptor BTLA and is readying for Phase I initiation in early 2022. A PD-1 agonist programme, MB151, is also in preclinical development, followed by a growing pipeline of checkpoint agonist antibodies in earlier-stage development.
“It is the ideal time for Carolin to assume leadership of MiroBio,” said Eliot Charles, Executive Chairman of MiroBio. “The company is approaching the clinic with an exciting pipeline that represents the most substantial portfolio in an important new class of autoimmune therapies. MiroBio has built its proprietary drug discovery and development engine to comprehensively evaluate the more than 70 inhibitory checkpoints for new drug programmes. Carolin’s strategic mindset and wealth of experience in the successful development and commercialisation of several ground-breaking therapies, particularly in the areas of immunology and autoimmune disease, will be invaluable as MiroBio seeks to deliver these promising new medicines to patients.”
Dr Barth most recently served at Novartis as Global Head of Commercial and Pipeline Strategy, Cell and Gene. She said: “I am very excited to join MiroBio – a company that stands out for its deep expertise, focus, and bold vision for delivering a new, better class of therapies for autoimmune disease. With its agonist antibody design expertise and unique approach to understanding both checkpoint pathway function and its potential in a wide variety of disease settings, I believe MiroBio can deliver several best-in-class new medicines that offer patients more efficacious and safer treatment options. I look forward to working with the MiroBio team to continue building the entrepreneurial and patient-centric culture that will help us succeed through a critical phase of growth and development.”
Image credit: MiroBio