Elstar Therapeutics Appoints Leaders in Drug Research and Development to Board of Directors

Rupert Vessey, President of Research and Early Development at Celgene, and John Hastewell, former Head of Novartis’ NIBR Biologics Research Center, named as independent Board Members

Cambridge, MA, July 31, 2018—Elstar Therapeutics, a company fulfilling the promise of precision cancer immunotherapy through a powerful new approach to generating multi-functional therapies, today announced the appointment of Rupert Vessey and John Hastewell, to the company’s Board of Directors as independent directors.

“Rupert and John’s broad expertise spanning all phases of drug R&D from early discovery to preclinical development, manufacturing and clinical studies will be instrumental in the advancement of our drug candidates into clinical trials,” said Steve Arkinstall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Elstar Therapeutics. “We believe that our UniTI™ platform is positioned to be part of the cure for cancer and are confident that the expansion of our Board of Directors will help us achieve our mission to develop and deliver new and meaningful cancer treatments to patients.”

“It is an honor to join Elstar’s Board of Directors at such an exciting time in the company’s growth,” said Dr. Rupert Vessey. “I have been highly impressed with the molecules that Elstar is developing and I look forward to working with the experienced and dynamic team at Elstar to fulfill the promise of precision cancer immunotherapy through the generation of innovative antibody-based, multi-functional drugs for hematological and solid cancers.”

Rupert Vessey, MA, BM BCh, FRCP, DPhil is the Executive Vice President and President of Global Research and Early Development at Celgene, where he is responsible for the oversight of all internal and external discovery research, preclinical development, and early clinical development. Before joining Celgene, Dr. Vessey was Senior Vice President of Early Development and Discovery Sciences at Merck where he was responsible for numerous drug development programs. He also served as Senior Vice President and Head of Early Development and Discovery Sciences, Senior Vice President and Head of the MRL Respiratory and Immunology Franchise, Vice President Drug Discovery and Site Head for MRL Boston and Vice President Drug Discovery and Site Head for MRL Kenilworth. Prior to his ten years at Merck, Dr. Vessey worked in drug discovery, experimental medicine, and early clinical development at GlaxoSmithKline where he served as Vice President, Target Discovery and Senior Director, Discovery Medicine. Dr. Vessey holds an MA in physiological sciences and a BM BCh in clinical medicine from Oxford University where he completed his DPhil at the Institute for Molecular Medicine, Oxford. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

“Elstar’s UniTI molecules are designed to regulate a broad-range of immunological activities and target tumor cells to reduce systemic toxicity while delivering excellent manufacturing and drug-like properties,” said Dr. John Hastewell. “The technology that Elstar has developed is truly transformative and I am eager to apply my experience in the discovery and development of protein-based therapies to help accelerate the progression of Elstar’s new cancer immunotherapies to clinical trials.”

John Hastewell, DPhil served in a series of wide-ranging roles in his nearly 30 years at Novartis. Most recently, he was the Head of Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) Biologics Center where he was responsible for the discovery of antibody, protein, and nucleic acid-based therapeutics. Formerly, he was the Global Head of the Program Office where he worked on NIBR’s research strategy and portfolio management and oversaw the company’s strategic focus on building their biologics drug pipeline. Before working at NIBR, Dr. Hastewell also served in several leadership roles at Novartis based in the UK, including Head of Thrombosis Research, leadership of biochemistry and pharmacology, as well as overseeing all respiratory research disease projects to ensure rapid and effective translation to the clinic. He was also the Head of a strategy team defining the company’s long-term research direction and led the Immunology Platform across all Novartis disease areas. Dr. Hastewell obtained his BA degree in biochemistry from Oxford and his DPhil from University of York in the UK.

About Elstar Therapeutics, Inc.

Elstar Therapeutics is fulfilling the promise of precision cancer immunotherapy through a powerful new approach to generating antibody-based, multi-functional therapeutics.

Armed with a unique approach to engaging multiple immune mechanisms, Elstar enables patients to harness their own body to fight cancer.

Elstar’s Universal Targeted Immunotherapy (UniTI™) platform is positioned to overcome barriers that are limiting the full potential of other promising immunotherapeutic approaches.

“Our motivation…to be part of the cure for cancer.”

For more information visit www.elstartherapeutics.com


Media Contact:

Karen Sharma
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
(781) 235-3060