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Press Release

Turnstone Biologics Strengthens Leadership Team with Appointment of Kris Elverum as Chief Business Officer and Dr. José Manuel Otero as Vice President, Manufacturing and CMC

Turnstone Biologics
Posted on: 16 Aug 17

Turnstone Biologics, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the development of next-generation oncolytic viral immunotherapies, today announced the recent appointment of Kris Elverum as chief business officer and José Manuel (Manny) Otero, Ph.D., as vice president, manufacturing and CMC (chemistry, manufacturing and controls). Mr. Elverum joins from SQZ Biotech, where he was chief business officer, and Dr. Otero joins from Seres Therapeutics, where he was vice president of bioprocess development and manufacturing.

“The addition of industry veterans Kris and Manny further bolsters our leadership team and comes at a critical time for our company as we advance clinical development of our next-generation oncolytic viral immunotherapies,” said Sammy J. Farah, Ph.D., CEO of Turnstone Biologics. “Kris brings valuable business development, strategy and commercial expertise to Turnstone Biologics, while Manny’s bioprocess and CMC experience will be invaluable as we further develop our unique, first-in-class oncolytic viral immunotherapies.”

Turnstone Biologics has two Phase I/II clinical trials ongoing for its lead program targeting MAGEA3-expressing tumors in lung cancer and other solid tumors, along with multiple additional programs scheduled to enter the clinic in the next year. Turnstone Biologics has secured $50 million in funding from Versant Ventures, OrbiMed, F-Prime Capital Partners and FACIT.

“I’m excited to join Turnstone Biologics at this critical stage in the company’s growth,” said Mr. Elverum. “Oncolytic viruses and cancer vaccines have the potential to benefit a wide range of patients living with cancer, and the company’s proprietary viral platform technology is at the forefront of this emerging field.”

About Mr. Elverum

Mr. Elverum has more than 12 years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry, with expertise in corporate strategy, business development, commercial and operations. Prior to Turnstone, he was chief business officer of SQZ Biotech, a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company developing cell therapies. Prior to that, Mr. Elverum led the U.S. commercial model for Novartis’ breakthrough CAR-T cell therapy CTL019 and other CAR-T cell immunotherapies. Earlier in his career, he served as global head of strategy for Sandoz, and also was an engagement manager with McKinsey & Co. Mr. Elverum earned an M.B.A. and a B.S. from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

About Dr. Otero

Dr. Otero has 15 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including in bioprocess development, manufacturing, CMC of vaccines and complex biologics. Prior to Turnstone, he was vice president of bioprocess development and manufacturing at Seres Therapeutics, Inc., where he was the corporate team leader for the first synthetic microbiome therapeutic to enter Phase I clinical studies in the United States. Prior to Seres Therapeutics, Dr. Otero was director of engineering at Merck & Co.’s manufacturing division. In that role, he supported development programs for the Varivax™, Zostavax™, ProQuad™ and MMRII™ franchises. Dr. Otero has authored more than 20 peer-reviewed publications. He received a Ph.D. in chemical and biological engineering from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, and an M.Eng. in biomedical engineering and B.S. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About Turnstone Biologics

Turnstone Biologics is a clinical-stage, immuno-oncology company focused on the development of next-generation oncolytic viral immunotherapies for patients with a broad range of solid tumors. Turnstone’s unique, first-in-class oncolytic viral immunotherapies combine the potent tumor-killing effects of an oncolytic virus with a tumor-targeted T-cell vaccine to harness an individual’s own immune system to attack the tumor, preventing recurrence and delivering a cure. Turnstone’s robust pipeline of early-stage compounds, based on its MG1 oncolytic virus platform, are in development for multiple solid tumors and are being evaluated in combination with other cancer immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibitors, to drive unprecedented, durable T-cell immune responses and strong anti-tumor activity and prevent recurrence. For more information, please visit

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Last updated on: 16/08/2017

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