ROTTERDAM, May 11, 2023 – Pan Cancer T B.V., a biotech spin-off from Erasmus MC dedicated to the discovery and development of next-generation TCR-T therapies against solid tumors, today announces the appointment of Dr. Rachel Abbott as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Rachel steps up from her current role as Pan Cancer T’s Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), succeeding Katrien Reynders-Frederix who has served as CEO since the company’s inception.
Katrien has played a pivotal role in building Pan Cancer T. She started the company in 2020, together with co-founders Prof. Reno Debets and Dr. Dora Hammerl, and has led its transformation from an academic scientific concept to a focused industrial company. Under her leadership, the company has developed a first T cell receptor (TCR) against a novel tumor target that shows real promise in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) preclinical models.
“I am very proud of what we achieved with Pan Cancer T over the last years, and I want to express a warm thank you to my colleagues, Board and Investors for their contributions, resilience, and dedication. While the time has come for me to explore new opportunities, I have no doubt that under the leadership of Rachel, this company will continue to thrive and achieve great things in bringing transformational medicines to patients,” said Katrien Reynders-Frederix.
“I am very honoured to accept the Supervisory Board and shareholders’ offer to lead Pan Cancer T and I look forward to building on the strong foundation laid by Katrien,” said Rachel Abbott. “Recent clinical advances have shown that TCR-T cell therapies can have a profound benefit for patients with solid cancers. I am excited to work with the team to progress our lead candidate PCT-1 to the clinic for the treatment of TNBC patients, a relatively young patient population not served by current clinical TCR-T products. Furthermore, I am enthusiastic about our future pipeline, which should enable us to bring innovative therapies to more patients with multiple solid tumors. A particular highlight is our novel next generation engineering strategy with potential to enhance the durability of TCR-T, which will be applicable to a broad range of TCRs beyond PCT-1.”
John Tchelingerian, Chairman of Pan Cancer T, expressed gratitude to Katrien for her leadership and dedication to the company. “On behalf of the Supervisory Board, I want to thank Katrien for her entrepreneurship, dedication and significant contributions, which have taken Pan Cancer T from its very early beginnings to this point, where the company is looking to progress its first product candidate to the clinic. We wish Katrien all the best in her future endeavours,” said Dr. John Tchelingerian, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, “Under Rachel’s leadership, the company is well-positioned to rapidly grow into a clinical stage company and continue its focus on developing new TCR-based cancer treatments. We look forward as a Supervisory Board to working with Rachel and supporting her in the transformation of PCT as a leading player in the field”.
About Rachel Abbott
Rachel Abbott joined Pan Cancer T in January 2023 as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) bringing substantial industry experience developing T cell receptor (TCR)-based cell therapies, leading scientific research teams and managing collaborations with big pharma and academic institutions. Prior to joining Pan Cancer T, Rachel was Senior Director, Head of TCR Pipeline and Dark Antigen Research at Enara Bio from March 2021 to January 2023. In this role, she was responsible for building and delivering on strategic research frameworks with a particular focus on the discovery and validation of ‘Dark Antigens’ (i.e., unconventional cancer immunotherapy targets that arise from the aberrant transcription of normally silenced regions of the genome) and identification of Dark Antigen-specific TCRs that can be advanced for therapeutic development. Before joining Enara, Rachel spent over 6 years at Adaptimmune developing cancer specific TCR T cell therapies. Her career at Adaptimmune started in the lab before progressing into management, culminating in her role as Head of Pipeline Cell Biology. Previously, Rachel was a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham for seven years where she investigated CD8+ T cell responses to Epstein Barr virus. She holds a DPhil, awarded for her structural studies on the complement system regulator CD55 and its ligands, and a MBiochem in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, both from the University of Oxford.
About Pan Cancer T
Pan Cancer T was founded in late 2020 as a spin-off from Erasmus MC (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) to advance next generation TCR T cell therapies for hard-to-treat solid tumors. The Company’s approach includes two differentiating elements. First, it exploits unique targets for T cells that are exclusively and robustly expressed by multiple solid cancers. Second, it develops technologies that enhance the durability of the T cells. The Company has ongoing R&D programs to develop safe and effective adoptive T cell therapies amenable to large cohorts of patients with triple negative breast cancer as well as cancers of the bladder, ovarium, colorectum, prostate, skin, esophagus, lung, or brain. For more information, please visit: www.pancancer-t.com
Contact Pan Cancer T
3029 AK, Rotterdam
Dr. Ludger Wess / Ines-Regina Buth
Tel. +49 40 88 16 59 64 / +49 30 23 63 27 67