Agenovir Corporation, a company using computationally engineered nuclease technology to develop novel antiviral therapeutics, today announced the appointment of Bolyn Hubby, Ph.D. to the newly-created position of chief scientific officer.
“Bolyn’s deep scientific expertise in virology, genome engineering and molecular biology together with her ability to advance novel platforms through clinical development make her the ideal person to lead our scientific discovery and development efforts moving forward,” said Dirk, Thye, M.D., president and CEO of Agenovir. “We intend to select our first development candidate for human papilloma virus (“HPV”) this year, and look forward to Bolyn’s leadership of our efforts to develop novel therapeutics to eliminate persistent viral reservoirs for the millions of patients in need.”
Dr. Hubby brings over 15 years of industry expertise driving innovative technologies into the clinic to address unmet needs in infectious disease and oncology. She joins Agenovir from Synthetic Genomics, where she was most recently vice president of vaccines and antimicrobials research and development, working with partner Novartis to transition the company’s core synthetic biology technology for influenza vaccines into clinical studies. In addition, she and her team developed novel RNA vaccine and antimicrobial platforms to address the rapid spread of infectious disease and the growing global threat of antibiotic resistance. Prior to Synthetic Genomics, she served as executive director of vaccines at Liquidia Technologies, Inc., where she and her team built a portfolio of programs focused on new approaches to protein, polysaccharide, and RNA-vectored vaccines targeting bacterial and viral pathogens. Before Liquidia, she was head of discovery immunology at AlphaVax, Inc., where she helped advance a unique RNA-based viral vector to develop vaccines for infectious diseases, biodefense and cancer. Dr. Hubby is an author on numerous issued and pending patents as well as over 20 peer-reviewed publications. She received her Ph.D. in cellular biology from the University of Georgia.
“I am extremely pleased to join Agenovir, and look forward to leading the efforts to develop new therapies to eradicate persistent viral reservoirs,” commented Dr. Hubby. “Today, there is no therapy that successfully eliminates viruses that lay dormant within the body, only to become cancerous or cause disease at a later date. Agenovir has developed some exceptional tools to target and eliminate these viruses, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance truly novel treatments for a wide range of diseases.”
Agenovir is designing and developing therapeutics for the treatment of latent viral reservoirs. The company is using CRISPR/Cas9 and other targeted nuclease technology licensed from the laboratory of Stephen Quake at Stanford University designed and engineered to disrupt intracellular viral DNA. By interfering at the level of DNA, it may be possible to treat and eliminate persistent viral reservoirs for which there are no current therapeutic alternatives. As a proof of concept, the company has generated data for several viruses that demonstrate infection-specific cell death following delivery of nucleases to human cells. The company’s first development candidate will focus on the treatment of HPV, a virus that is known to be the underlying cause of cervical, anal and other cancers. There are almost 80 million people infected with HPV today. HPV is the underlying cause of more than 39,000 cancers each year, primarily cervical and anal cancers. New therapies with novel mechanisms of actions are needed to address this growing medical need.