Flagship's merged biotech Repertoire nets ex-Pfizer CSO Anthony Coyle as R&D chief
Flagship is building a big-name C-suite at its new, $220 million merged biotech.
Repertoire Immune Medicines, which already boasts former Bioverativ chief John Cox as its CEO, announced yesterday that Anthony Coyle, the former Pfizer CSO and the founding CEO of Pandion, will join as their head of R&D.
“As we progress clinical trials for our multi-clonal T cell candidates in immuno-oncology, Tony’s deep expertise in cellular immunology and novel therapeutic development will help us achieve our vision of creating a new class of transformative medicines for patients,” Cox said in a statement.
Coyle comes on as Repertoire looks to bridge the technologies of their two predecessor companies: earlier this year out of a merger of the Flagship startups Cogen Immune Medicines and Torque Therapeutics. The idea was to combine Cogen’s T cell analysis tech with Torque’s T cell therapies. Although the company has been primarily focused so far in cancer, they’ve recently pointed to the potential in autoimmune disorders, where Coyle has worked for the better part of 20 years.
Between the two platforms, they’ll also work on figuring out what and how T cells “see,” decoding the precise interactions between these immune cells and the antigens they surveil. They use that info to prime T cells to see particular cancer antigens, and further equip the cells with cytokines like IL-15 that activate in the tumor micro-environment. A Phase I is ongoing for their lead therapy, TRQ-1501, in both lymphoma and solid tumors.
Coyle doesn’t have extensive experience in cell therapy but his most recent work was T cell-adjacent and he brings a wealth of experience in immunology dating back to his postdoc days at the Institut Pasteur and the National Jewish Center for Immunology in Denver. He spent 13 years directing research in inflammation biology at Millennium and then Medimmune before becoming CSO of Pfizer, where he tried to reinvigorate the aging pharma’s research engine by launching the Global Centers for Therapeutic Innovation.
Most recently, in 2017, he founded Pandion on the promise of a next-gen approach to immunology. With backing from Polaris, they would develop bispecifics that can fine-tune inflammation in particular tissues, activating some T cells and deactivating others while limiting the effects to one area of the body. They’re focused on inflammatory disorders.
In a statement, Coyle noted the application for Repertoire’s technology, in not only cancer, but also infectious disease and autoimmune disorders.
He’ll have plenty of cash to help make that happen. When they merged the two companies, Flagship also included a new investment of $220 million.