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Affini-T Therapeutics Appoints Pioneering T Cell Therapy and KRAS Developer Dirk Nagorsen, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer


Dr. Nagorsen brings over two decades of leadership in oncology, most recently at Amgen where he led the early development of Lumakras® and Blincyto®

BOSTON, Mass., and SEATTLE, Wash. – July 26, 2022 – Affini-T Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company unlocking the power of T cells against oncogenic driver mutations, today announced the appointment of Dirk Nagorsen, M.D., as the company’s Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Nagorsen previously served as Vice President Early Development and Therapeutic Area Head, Hematology & Oncology Early Development at Amgen, where he oversaw multiple groundbreaking programs including the first approved KRAS targeted treatment, Lumakras® (sotorasib) and multiple T cell-based agents.

“We are seeing rapid advances in both cell therapy and our ability to target oncogenic driver mutations commonly found in hard-to-treat solid tumors,” said Dr. Nagorsen. “By combining the potency of T cells with synthetic biology and the specificity of T cell receptors, Affini-T’s team of world class researchers and drug developers can fully realize the potential of oncogenic driver mutations as the solution to potentially cure patients with solid tumors. With this, I see the company at the forefront of a new chapter in precision immunotherapy, and I am proud to join as Chief Medical Officer.”

“Having overseen development of the first approved KRAS targeting agent, Dirk’s pioneering work in the space and passion for discovering new cancer treatments will fuel Affini-T’s development of novel therapies for intractable solid tumors with oncogenic driver mutations,” said Arjun Goyal, M.D., M.Phil, Co-founder and Managing Director Vida Ventures and Co-founder of Affini-T. “We look forward to Dirk’s leadership and contributions as we work together to efficiently advance Affini-T’s development strategy and bring impactful medicines to patients globally.”

Dr. Nagorsen has contributed more than 20 years to the hematology and oncology fields, both in academia and industry. During the course of his 10 plus years at Amgen, he oversaw more than 30 oncology programs spanning from IND filings through drug approvals. He also served as the Global Development Leader for Blincyto® (blinatumomab), the first CD3 bispecific T cell engager targeting CD19, and led his team to secure Amgen’s first breakthrough designation and first accelerated approval in 2014. Before joining Amgen, he served as a Senior Medical Director at Micromet, a German biotech, through its acquisition by Amgen in 2012. Dr. Nagorsen’s groundbreaking research has resulted in over 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts, including papers published in New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology and Lancet Oncology. Dr. Nagorsen earned his medical doctorate and his habilitation (second scientific degree, equivalent of a Ph.D.) in experimental medicine and tumor immunology from Charité University Medicine Berlin. He trained in internal medicine, hematology and oncology at the Free University Berlin Medical School, at the NIH Clinical Center Bethesda, Maryland, and at Charité University Medicine Berlin.

“Dirk played a foundational role in the development of the first KRAS-targeted therapy that not only received FDA approval but did so within three years of the start of its Phase I trial,” said Jak Knowles, M.D., Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Affini-T Therapeutics. “As we look to leverage our platform to make a meaningful impact for patients with solid tumors, we believe that Dirk is uniquely positioned to drive the development of our clinical programs. We are delighted to have Dirk join our team and look forward to advancing potentially curative therapies.”

About Affini-T Therapeutics

Affini-T is unlocking the power of T cells and targeting core oncogenic drivers to develop potentially curative therapies for solid tumor cancers. Our differentiated cell therapy platform harnesses state-of-the-art engineering and synthetic biology capabilities to target even the most devastating cancer-driving mutations, beginning with KRAS. We leverage these tools to optimize T cell functions and rewrite the rules of the solid tumor microenvironment, enabling the potential for sustained clinical outcomes in patients. Building on the world-class innovation inherent in our leadership team, founders and technologies, we are powered to develop transformational medicines that last. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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