SAN DIEGO, August 14, 2018 (PR NEWSWIRE) –Actavalon, Inc., a preclinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing small molecules in the field of oncology, today announced it has appointed Dr. John Hood to its Board of Directors. “It’s a genuine honor to join the board of Actavalon. Actavalon is developing small molecule therapies for the some of the most significant targets in oncology and auto-immune disorders. Successful development of these therapies will have a profound positive impact on human health and I look forward to being a part of that process,” said Dr. Hood.
“We believe the knowledge, insight and years of industry experience that Dr. Hood will bring to our board will be invaluable in successfully guiding the company over the next several years,” said Krisztina Zsebo Ph.D., CEO of Actavalon.
Dr. Hood was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Impact Biomedicines, a company that was acquired by Celgene in 2018 in a deal worth up to $7 billion dollars. Prior to founding Impact, Dr. Hood was the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Samumed, a pharmaceutical company focused on advancing regenerative medicine and oncology therapies. Prior to that, Dr. Hood was Director of Research and Co-inventor of fedratinib at TargeGen, Inc., (subsequently acquired by Sanofi SA), where he led a team identifying small molecule kinase inhibitors for the treatment of eye diseases and cancer. He is an inventor on 100+ patents and author on 50+ scientific articles.
Actavalon is an oncology-focused company targeting two fundamental cancer pathways – the p53 tumor suppressor pathway and the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) pathway. Actavalon’s small molecules are capable of stabilizing the active conformation of mutant p53 proteins, thereby restoring tumor suppression activity and preventing oncogenic gain-of-function activities. This approach is applicable to many types of cancers irrespective of their tissue origin and driver mutations. Second, Actavalon’s AhR program has generated a series of highly potent small molecule selective Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Modulators with either agonist, partial agonist or antagonist activities. These compounds block the kynurenine-AhR pathway used by tumor cells to inhibit the host immune response to cancer. Thus, small molecules capable of competing with kynurenine for binding to AhR and modulating its activity represent a novel small molecule approach for anti-PD-1 therapy.