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BioOra appoints CAR T-cell therapy pioneer, Professor Carl June to Board

31 October 2023

BioOra, the Malaghan Institute’s partner in the clinical development of its novel CAR T-cell therapy, has appointed Professor Carl June MD to its Board of Directors.

Prof June is globally recognised as a pioneer of CAR T-cell therapy, receiving international recognition for his work including the 2024 Laureate in Life Sciences. He is the Richard W Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Centre for Cellular Immunotherapies at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Centre.

Prof Carl June MD

Bio Ora was formed in 2022 by Bridgewest Ventures NZ in partnership with the Malaghan Institute to automate the manufacturing of CAR T-cell therapy and develop high-value cell therapy manufacturing capability in New Zealand.

“BioOra is using an automated process to manufacture CAR T-cell therapies,” says Prof June. “This approach to manufacturing introduces efficiency, scalability, and cost savings facilitating access to these lifesaving treatments to New Zealanders. I look forward to helping the company build upon its success both locally and globally.”

Dr Rob Weinkove, Malaghan Institute Clinical Director says BioOra is an important partner for the Malaghan Institute as it will play a pivotal role in advancing this therapy, first for patients in New Zealand and then elsewhere in the world. 

“To have such a leader in CAR T-cell therapy lend his extensive scientific, clinical and commercial expertise to the board of BioOra is a major affirmation of our clinical results and plans with the company.”

Dr Peter Crabtree, Chair of BioOra, says Dr June’s appointment is a validation of BioOra’s strategy and technology. “BioOra is focused on meeting the urgent and unmet need for New Zealanders to access CAR T-cell therapies. BioOra’s technology is already delivering CAR T to patients with lymphoma in the Malaghan Institute’s ENABLE trial. Through this programme we will leverage our platform to then address the large global demand for these cell therapies in populations and geographies where CAR T remains unavailable," says Dr Crabtree.