About Pique

Cancer immunotherapy is a rapidly evolving field. Despite promising results, long-lasting response rates remain around 10-20% for patients receiving single agent therapy. Multiple different translational studies have shown that the immune cell landscape in tumors is heterogeneous and is associated with differences in prognosis and outcome of treatment using immunotherapy.

Tumors can be divided into ‘hot’ (T cell inflamed) or ‘cold’ (T cell non-inflamed) according to the presence of immune cells with a particular emphasis on adaptive immune cells. Recent data from clinical studies has correlated the response to CPI therapies targeting PD-1 and/or PD-L1 with the presence of adaptive immune cells. A current large and unmet need to enhance the function of CPI therapy is to identify and target pathways that can enhance the recruitment of immune to the tumor microenvironment; thus making “cold” tumors “hot.” Thus, one important benefit of cellular vaccines is their ability to induce a local immune response in the tumor microenvironment. As this response will eventually undergo adaptive immune cell exhaustion, combining this approach with CPI therapy offers a rational approach to expanding the use of CPI.

Pique Therapeutics lead immunotherapy (PT 107) is a whole cell, allogeneic vaccine transfected with B7 and HLA. Solid tumors do not typically express both peptide MHC and a co-stimulatory molecule such as B7. Therefore, the tumor cells themselves are not capable of expanding T cells. Instead, tumor cells first must die and have their antigens taken up by professional antigen-presenting cells locally. By introducing a tumor cell that has HLA and B7 expressed (the PT 107 vaccine), this enables the vaccine to directly stimulate T cells, whether this is via a specific peptide/MHC tumor context or via an allograft context. In either case, T cells are induced to proliferate and these T cells can start the process of recruiting other T cells and B cells to the tumor. The process thus can result in a positive feedback loop of recruitment of T cells to the tumor site by the elaboration of chemokines by T cells after stimulation via the T cell receptor.

Management and Board of Directors

Christopher S. Meldrum – President

Mr. Christopher Meldrum serves as President of Pique Therapeutics. Over his career, he has worked extensively with development-stage biotechnology companies, helping to secure initial financing for multiple start-up ventures. Prior to his work at Pique, Mr. Meldrum held the position of Director, Corporate Alliances, at Paradigm Genetics, a publicly-traded biotechnology company, where he led business development efforts for both the healthcare and agriculture businesses. Over the course of his career, he has successfully led negotiations for more than 80 fully-executed deals. Mr. Meldrum received his MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, and his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Utah.

Jonathan S. Serody, M.D. – Chief Scientific Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Serody serves as Chief Scientific Advisor for Pique Therapeutics. In addition to his work with the Company, Dr. Serody is Professor of Medicine, Microbiology, and Immunology at the University of North Carolina. He is also co-leader of the Immunology Program at the Lineberger Cancer Center, and Vice Chief of the Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology. Dr. Serody received his M.D. from the University of Virginia.

Keith Dionne, Ph.D. – Director

Dr. Keith Dionne serves as a Director of Pique Therapeutics. In addition to his work with the Company, Dr. Dionne is entrepreneur-in-residence at Third Rock Ventures, and is an experienced biotechnology executive. Most recently, Dr. Dionne was CEO of Surface Logix, which was acquired in 2011 by Nano Terra, and prior to that he was CEO of Alantos Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Amgen for $300 million in 2007. Prior to Alantos, Dr. Dionne was Vice President at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. He also has strong expertise in the development of cell-based therapeutics, as he was the fourth scientist at Cytotherapeutics, a cell transplantation company. He has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Biomedical Department at Brown University. Dr. Dionne received both his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and his M.S. in the Program for Technology Policy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jay Brennan, J.D., MBA – Director

Mr. Jay Brennan serves as a Director of Pique Therapeutics, and brings a wealth of diverse management experiences to the Company.  Over the past 20 years he has owned or operated a variety of distribution, manufacturing, and service businesses.  In those businesses he has been involved in start-ups, new product development, high performance team development, and geographical sales expansion in addition to standard finance, sales, marketing, and operations functions.  For the past two years, Mr. Brennan has been actively involved in the Piedmont Angel Network, serving on the Screening Committee and numerous due diligence teams.  Mr. Brennan received his J.D. and MBA degrees from the University of Virginia, and received his B.A. from Colgate University.