Dr. Chung brings nearly 20 years’ experience as a leader in autoimmune disease drug development with expertise in rheumatology, autoimmunity, and immunology
Company also names world’s leading immunology experts to Scientific Advisory Board
EMERYVILLE, Calif., April 13, 2021 – Kyverna Therapeutics (“Kyverna”), a cell therapy company engineering a new class of therapies for serious autoimmune diseases, today announced the appointment of James Chung, M.D., Ph.D., as the Company’s first Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Chung brings extensive biopharmaceutical industry experience working across the entire drug development process focused on autoimmune diseases and has dedicated a significant part of his career working in translational medicine and early clinical development. By leading the Company’s Clinical Development organization, he will contribute to Kyverna’s transition to a clinical-stage company.
“James has introduced into the clinic and developed numerous novel treatments across a wide range of autoimmune diseases. This includes a therapeutic candidate for lupus nephritis, a disease with significant unmet medical need where our cell therapy approaches could be transformational. His experience as a physician-scientist and expert drug developer makes him the ideal person to implement Kyverna’s strategy. By combining advanced T cell engineering and synthetic biology technologies, our goal is to create a new class of T-cell therapies programmed to target and selectively modulate the underlying causes of autoimmunity,” said Dominic Borie, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Kyverna. “James’s leadership and extensive industry experience will be essential as we advance our programs into the clinic and achieve our mission to bring curative living medicines to life to free patients from the siege of autoimmune disease.”
“Kyverna’s innovative cell therapy-based approach could revolutionize how we treat serious autoimmune and inflammatory diseases by appropriately modulating the immune system to achieve optimal and long-lasting disease control, and potentially finding cures. I am thrilled to join such a dedicated team committed to developing these new modalities that have the potential to transform the natural history of a variety of severe immune-related diseases and change the lives of patients living with autoimmune diseases,” said Dr. Chung.
Dr. Chung joins Kyverna from Amgen where he most recently was Executive Medical Director, head of Inflammation and Neuroscience, Global Medical Organization, and Global Development Leader for Enbrel®. He joined Amgen in 2004 in Medical Sciences/Early Development advancing inflammation programs from first-in-human to proof-of-concept, eventually serving as the Early Development Inflammation Therapeutic Area Head leading a team of physician-scientists, biomarker scientists, and clinical study managers. In 2013, he transitioned to late-stage Global Development and then in 2015 to Amgen’s Global Medical Organization where he held numerous positions of increasing responsibility, including therapeutic area head for Inflammation, Nephrology, and Neuroscience, where he was responsible for the development and execution of medical strategies for a portfolio of marketed drugs and near-launch molecules. Prior to Amgen, Dr. Chung began his industry career as an Associate Director in Clinical Sciences at Pfizer where he served as the Early Clinical Leader for several early development programs in inflammation. His work is extensively published.
Prior to joining industry, Dr. Chung was Instructor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Pennsylvania where he also completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Rheumatology. He obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. in Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania and B.A. in Biology at Harvard College.
Kyverna also announced that it has named three of the world’s leading experts in immunology as Scientific Advisors (listed in alphabetical order).
- Christophe Benoist, M.D., Ph.D., Morton Grove-Rasmussen Chair in Immunohematology, Harvard Medical School
- Eugene C. Butcher, M.D., Klaus Bensch Professor of Pathology, Stanford University
- Ignacio Sanz, M.D., Mason I. Lowance Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Chief of the Division of Rheumatology, and Director of the Lowance Center for Human Immunology, Emory University
“We are excited to welcome Christophe, Eugene, and Ignacio to our Scientific Advisory Board at this important time for Kyverna. They are recognized leaders in the fields of human and molecular immunology, autoimmunity, and inflammation, and their expertise will be critical as we advance our therapeutic platforms and clinical programs,” added Dr. Borie.
About Kyverna Therapeutics
Kyverna Therapeutics is a cell therapy company engineering a new class of therapies for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The Kyverna therapeutic platform combines advanced T-cell engineering and synthetic biology technologies to suppress or eliminate the autoreactive immune cells at the origin of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In addition to developing next-generation chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapies in both autologous and allogeneic settings, Kyverna is creating synReg T cells, a synthetic version of Regulatory T cells (Tregs), powerful natural immune cells that control immune homeostasis through multiple immunosuppressive mechanisms. By offering more than one mechanism for taming autoimmunity, Kyverna is positioned to transform how autoimmune diseases are treated. For more information, please visit https://kyvernatx.com.