Dr. Bopp is a pioneer in understanding the impact of the acidic tumour microenvironment on local immune cell function
Pathios Therapeutics Limited (“Pathios”), an innovative biotech company focused on the development of first-in-class therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases, today announced that it has appointed Dr. Tobias Bopp, a leading academic and pioneer in the study of the influence of acidosis on tumour immunology, as the foundational member of its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr Bopp is the Professor of Molecular Immunology and Director of the Institute of Immunology at the University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. His work across several areas of immunology and cancer immunotherapy has led to over 150 peer-reviewed publications. He has received numerous awards and honours, is spokesperson of the Research Center of Immunotherapy, Mainz and a member of the advisory board of the Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) and the University Cancer Center (UCT), Mainz, and a Faculty Member of the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK).
Recent seminal work from Dr. Bopp’s laboratory, published in Nature Immunology1, demonstrated that the acidic microenvironment that is typical of many aggressive tumours signals to local innate immune cells called tumour-associated macrophages to bias their characteristics toward an immunosuppressive, tumour-permissive phenotype. This signalling occurs through activation of the pH-sensing G protein-coupled receptor, GPR65, on the surface of these cells. Pathios’ comprehensive and fully integrated drug discovery programme is aimed at the discovery and development of small molecule modulators of GPR65 for benefit in both cancer and autoimmune diseases. Pathios believes that Dr. Bopp will provide invaluable insights to help accelerate these programmes.
Stuart Hughes, Chief Executive Officer of Pathios: “We are delighted to appoint Dr. Tobias Bopp as the first member of our Scientific Advisory Board. His track record and credentials in the field of tumour immunology are exemplary. In particular, his ground-breaking work demonstrating how the acidic tumour microenvironment impacts local immune cells has laid the foundation for a potentially whole new class of cancer immunotherapy agents that target GPR65 signalling. We believe that Dr. Bopp will be a vital part of ensuring that Pathios’ drug discovery efforts deliver on their therapeutic promise, bringing to bear a wealth of knowledge around both the preclinical and clinical aspects of GPR65.”
Tom McCarthy, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder: “We have long been aware of and admired Dr. Bopp’s important work relating tumour acidity to immune cell function in cancer and are thrilled that he has agreed to join Pathios as a key scientific strategic advisor. We anticipate that he will have a key role to play in guiding and influencing many of our important R&D decisions.”
Tobias Bopp, formative Scientific Advisory Board member: “I’m very much looking forward to working with the Pathios team and helping them as they progress their drug discovery efforts around GPR65. The company is making excellent progress toward generating a drug that targets this important receptor and has laid an excellent foundation for translating basic science into a therapy that may ultimately benefit many people suffering from cancer.”
About Pathios Therapeutics
Launched in 2017, Pathios is a drug discovery and development company focused on translating innovative science into new medicines. Pathios was founded by a team of experienced biotech and pharmaceutical industry professionals, entrepreneurs and clinicians. The Company is initially focused on the development of modulators of the pH-sensing G protein-coupled receptor, GPR65. Many pathological environments are characterized by abnormally acidic pH, which signals to local immune cells through a family of acid-sensing GPCRs that are enriched on their cell surface. GPR65 has been shown to be highly expressed on cells of both the adaptive and innate immune systems, leading to profound and unfavourable changes in the fate of these cells. Pathios is developing novel drugs to suppress this harmful signalling. Pathios is headquartered in Oxford, UK. For more information, please visit www.pathios.com.
1 Bohn et al. (2018) Tumor immunoevasion via acidosis dependent induction of regulatory tumor-associated macrophages. Nature Immunology 19(12):1319-1329.