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Vittoria Biotherapeutics Announces Keith Westby as Chief Operating Officer

PHILADELPHIA, April 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vittoria Biotherapeutics, a clinical-stage cell therapy company, has announced that Keith Westby has joined the company as its inaugural Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Westby brings over two decades of biotechnology entrepreneurial experience and a proven track record of building successful organizations.

In his role, Mr. Westby will manage the advancement of Vittoria’s novel therapeutics into the clinic, including Vittoria’s lead program, VIPER-101, for the treatment of T-cell lymphoma.

“We’re thrilled to have Keith join our team. His impressive track record and dedication to the discovery and development of innovative treatments for challenging diseases will provide a crucial layer of expertise to Vittoria’s executive team as we initiate first-in-human studies for our lead program,” said Nicholas Siciliano, Ph.D., Vittoria’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re excited to partner with Keith on our mission to develop pioneering CAR-T therapies for indications with significant unmet medical needs.”

Mr. Westby added, “I’m excited to work alongside the accomplished Vittoria team and look forward to contributing to the advancement of our novel candidate VIPER-101 as a potentially groundbreaking treatment for T-cell lymphoma patients. As someone passionate about addressing unmet medical needs for some of the most difficult-to-treat diseases, Vittoria’s unique approach to CAR-T development is inspiring and exciting as we aim to translate the Senza5 CD5 knockout platform into promising therapies for patients in need.”

Before joining Vittoria, Mr. Westby served as the Chief Operating Officer of Iveric Bio, an Astellas Company (formerly known as Ophthotech Corporation) focused on the discovery and development of therapeutics and gene therapies for retinal diseases. Mr. Westby oversaw company operations and strategy and was instrumental in the $6 billion acquisition of Iveric Bio by Astellas. Prior to his work at Iveric, he was the director of program and alliance management at Pharmasset Inc. before Gilead acquired the company for $11 billion. He had previously been the director of program and alliance management at Eyetech Pharmaceuticals until OSI Pharmaceuticals acquired the company for $935 million.

Mr. Westby received his BS in Applied Physics from the State University of N.Y. Geneseo and his MS in Engineering Management from Drexel University. He then earned his MBA from Columbia Business School.

About Senza5

Senza5 is a proprietary cell therapy engineering and manufacturing platform that combines the power of genetic engineering and a proprietary five-day manufacturing process to maximize stemness, durability, and efficacy of its produced cell therapies by disabling the CD5 signaling pathway on engineered CAR-T cells and bypassing CD5's immunosuppressive effects to amplify the therapy’s antitumor activity. The expedited five-day manufacturing process further enhances stemness, which promotes greater in vivo expansion and durability and the potential for longer-lasting responses. Senza5 can be widely utilized to improve the efficacy of engineered T-cell therapies by acting on the fundamental biology of T cells.

About Vittoria Biotherapeutics

Vittoria Biotherapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage cell therapy company, is developing novel CAR-T cell therapies that transcend the limitations of current cell therapies. Based on technology exclusively licensed from the University of Pennsylvania, the Company’s proprietary Senza5 platform unlocks the antitumor potential of engineered T cells and utilizes a five-day manufacturing process to maximize stemness, durability, and target cell cytotoxicity. By acting on the fundamental biology of T cells, Senza5 can be used to improve the efficacy of engineered T cell therapies with pipeline applications in oncology and autoimmune diseases. To learn more, visit vittoriabio.com and follow us on LinkedIn.

Investor Contact

Vittoria Biotherapeutics
Nicholas A. Siciliano, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
+1 215-600-1380

Media Contact

LifeSci Communications
Michael Tattory
Associate Director
LifeSci Communications
+1 609-802-6265


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