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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: JNCE), a clinical-stage company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer immunotherapies and predictive biomarkers, today announced the appointment of former chief executive officer of Constellation Pharmaceuticals and former Jounce chief business officer, Jigar Raythatha, to its board of directors.
“It’s incredibly exciting to welcome Jigar to our board of directors. Not only does Jigar bring over 20 years of biotechnology industry experience, but he also comes with a unique position as an early employee of the company at its inception,” said Richard Murray, Ph.D., chief executive officer and president of Jounce Therapeutics. “Jigar’s leadership and business development expertise will enhance our board’s diversified perspective. He was an integral part of creating the Jounce we know today, and we all look forward to collaborating with him once again.”
“Over the course of the last several years, Jounce has established a strong position as a leader in novel immuno-oncology drug discovery, and I am thrilled to join the board at this time in the company’s life cycle. Jounce’s recent growth, pipeline diversification and partnership strategy are core to its track record as a leader in transforming the immuno-oncology landscape,” said Jigar Raythatha. “I look forward to providing insights from my prior experience with the company, coupled with my perspective as a former chief executive officer in the biotechnology industry.”
Jigar served as the chief executive officer of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 2017 until its acquisition by MorphoSys AG in July 2021. Jigar is also currently a member of the American Cancer Society New England Area Board. Before joining Constellation as chief executive officer, Jigar served as chief business officer of Jounce, where he helped build the company from inception to a 100-person, publicly traded organization. Earlier in his career, Jigar worked with Red Abbey Venture Partners and held roles of increasing responsibility at Biogen and as a management consultant at A.T. Kearney.
In addition to Mr. Raythatha’s appointment, Jounce announced that founding board member and previous interim chief executive officer, Cary Pfeffer, M.D., a partner at Third Rock Ventures, will resign from the Jounce board, effective December 31, 2021. Dr. Pfeffer was a founding member of Jounce’s board of directors since 2013 and also served as chair of the Jounce board from 2014 to 2016.
“On behalf of the Jounce Board of Directors, I want to thank Cary for his years of dedication to Jounce’s science, team and mission,” said Perry Karsen, chair of the Board of Jounce Therapeutics. “Cary’s initial vision, his continuous guidance, and his unwavering support were invaluable to the creation and development of Jounce’s Translational Science Platform, helping us further our goal of matching the right immunotherapy to the right patients for meaningful and long-lasting therapeutic benefit.”
About Jounce Therapeutics
Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company dedicated to transforming the treatment of cancer by developing therapies that enable the immune system to attack tumors and provide long-lasting benefits to patients through a biomarker-driven approach. Jounce currently has multiple development stage programs ongoing while simultaneously advancing additional early-stage assets from its robust discovery engine based on its Translational Science Platform. Jounce’s highest priority program, JTX-8064, is a LILRB2 (ILT4) receptor antagonist shown to reprogram immune-suppressive tumor associated macrophages to an anti-tumor state in preclinical studies. A Phase 1 clinical trial, named INNATE, of JTX-8064 as a monotherapy and in combination with pimivalimab (formerly JTX-4014), Jounce’s internal PD-1 inhibitor, is currently enrolling patients with advanced solid tumors. Jounce’s most advanced product candidate, vopratelimab, is a monoclonal antibody that binds to and activates ICOS and is currently being studied in the SELECT Phase 2 trial. Pimivalimab is a PD-1 inhibitor intended for combination use in the INNATE and SELECT trials and with Jounce’s broader pipeline. Additionally, Jounce obtained IND clearance for and exclusively licensed worldwide rights to JTX-1811, a monoclonal antibody targeting CCR8 and designed to selectively deplete T regulatory cells in the tumor microenvironment, to Gilead Sciences, Inc. For more information, please visit www.jouncetx.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Various statements in this release concerning Jounce’s future expectations, plans and prospects, including without limitation, Jounce’s expectations regarding the progress and results of clinical trials of Jounce’s product candidates, including JTX-8064, vopratelimab and pimivalimab; and identification, selection and enrollment of patients for Jounce’s clinical trials may constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws and are subject to substantial risks, uncertainties and assumptions. You should not place reliance on these forward-looking statements, which often include words such as “goal,” “will” or similar terms, variations of such terms or the negative of those terms. Although Jounce believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, Jounce cannot guarantee such outcomes. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, without limitation, risks that the COVID-19 pandemic may disrupt Jounce’s business and/or the global healthcare system more severely than anticipated, which may have the effect of delaying enrollment and completion of Jounce’s ongoing clinical trials, or delaying timelines or data disclosures and regulatory submissions for its product candidates; Jounce’s ability to successfully demonstrate the efficacy and safety of its product candidates and future product candidates; the preclinical and clinical results for its product candidates, which may not support further development and marketing approval; the potential advantages of Jounce’s product candidates; Jounce’s ability to successfully manage its clinical trials; the development plans of its product candidates and any companion or complementary diagnostics; management of Jounce’s supply chain for the delivery of drug product and materials for use in clinical trials and research and development activities; actions of regulatory agencies, which may affect the initiation, timing and progress of preclinical studies and clinical trials of Jounce’s product candidates; Jounce’s ability to obtain, maintain and protect its intellectual property; Jounce’s ability to manage operating expenses and capital expenditures; and those risks more fully discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Jounce’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties, and other important factors in Jounce’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All such statements speak only as of the date made, and Jounce undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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