Cartherics announces the appointment of new chief scientific officer

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Australian cell therapy company Cartherics has appointed Dr Walid Azar as its chief scientific officer (CSO).

Dr Azar joined Cartherics three years ago having previously worked as a molecular biologist at CSL. He completed a PhD in molecular biology and biochemistry at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and a postdoctoral research fellowship at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

“I am passionate about developing novel treatments for cancer and there is a strong alignment between Cartherics’ mission and my commitment to delivering new options for cancer patients. It is great to be working alongside very talented and committed scientists with the same goal,” said Dr Azar.

“CAR-T and CAR-NK cell therapies are yet to reach their potential in solid tumours. With the rapid developments in gene editing technologies and our evolving knowledge of the tumour microenvironment and NK cell biology, there is an opportunity for us to significantly improve the efficacy of CAR-NK therapy in solid tumours,” Dr Azar added.

Cartherics CEO, Professor Alan Trounson AO, added, “We are pleased to promote Walid to this important position. He has a strong background in molecular genomics cancer research, and science management, and will be a valuable addition to the company’s executive team. Professor Richard Boyd will remain with the company as chief scientific advisor, a part-time advisory role, and will act as a mentor for Walid. The combination will enable us to maintain excellence in immunology and genomics/gene editing.”