T-knife Therapeutics Announces the Appointment of Behzad Kharabi, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer

SAN FRANCISCO and BERLIN, Feb. 08, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — T-knife Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing T cell receptor-based immunotherapies that deliver transformational benefits to cancer patients, today announced it has appointed Behzad Kharabi Masouleh, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer.

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Behzad to the T-knife executive team,” stated Thomas M. Soloway, Chief Executive Officer of T-knife. “His background in medical oncology and cancer research, and importantly, his track record of successfully advancing novel cell therapies through to approval, provides him with the multidimensional experience to support T-knife’s product candidates throughout their development life cycle.”

Mr. Soloway continued, “I would also like to thank Prof. Eugen Leo, our departing CMO, for his numerous contributions to T-knife, where he built a world-class development team, played a key role in financing the company, and advanced TK-8001 into Phase 1 clinical development. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Eugen in his new capacity as both a strategic consultant and advisory board member.”

Dr. Kharabi stated, “T-knife’s pipeline is fueled by a unique platform that addresses key challenges traditionally associated with TCR-T, a new modality with the potential to transform the treatment of advanced-stage, refractory solid tumor cancers. I am inspired by and look forward to working with the T-knife team as we advance TK-8001 in our recently initiated IMAG1NE Phase 1/2 study in patients with MAGE-A1 positive solid tumors.”

Dr. Kharabi joins T-knife from Kite, a Gilead company, where he led the global clinical development for TECARTUS®, a CD19-directed genetically modified autologous T cell immunotherapy which, under his leadership, received approval for the treatment of relapsed or refractory B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Prior to his role at Gilead, Dr. Kharabi served as global clinical lead for bi-specific antibodies in multiple myeloma at Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, he served as a physician and independent research investigator at the University Hospital of Aachen, Germany, where he received several research awards and grants including the prestigious Ernst-Jung Award for junior investigators. Dr. Kharabi earned a medical degree from the University of Muenster, Germany and completed research appointments at renowned institutes, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

Prof. Leo added, “Behzad has extensive clinical development experience in oncology-focused cell therapy, with a demonstrated track-record of multiple IND filings and BLA approvals. We are confident that he will effectively lead T-knife’s development organization through its next stage of growth.”

About T-knife Therapeutics
T-knife is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing T cell receptor-based immunotherapies that deliver transformational benefits to cancer patients, initially focused on T cell receptor (TCR) engineered T cell therapies (TCR-Ts), a modality that holds the potential to generate transformational responses in patients with solid tumors. The company’s unique approach leverages its proprietary MyT Platform, a next-generation T cell receptor and epitope discovery engine that produces fully human, tumor-specific TCRs, naturally selected in vivo for optimal affinity and specificity.

T-knife is advancing a portfolio of TCR-T product candidates against targets with high unmet medical need, including cancer testis antigens and commonly shared tumor-driving neoantigens. T-knife was founded by leading T cell and immunology experts utilizing technology developed at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine together with the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, and is supported by a leading group of international investors, including Andera Partners, EQT Life Sciences, RA Capital Management and Versant Ventures. For additional information, please visit the company’s website at www.t-knife.com.

T-knife Therapeutics, Inc.
Camille Landis
Chief Business Officer / Chief Financial Officer

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