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Upstream Bio Announces Clinical Advisory and Leadership Appointments

Drs. Marcella Ruddy, Ian Pavord and Michael Wechsler to advise Upstream Bio

Jen Beachell promoted to COO and Mersedeh Miraliakbari hired as SVP Regulatory and Quality

WALTHAM, Mass., October 06, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Upstream Bio, a clinical-stage biotech company advancing new therapies to treat inflammation, today announced the appointment of three clinical advisors and new leadership additions. The clinical advisors will support Upstream Bio’s mission to develop UPB-101, a monoclonal antibody designed to block the thymic stromal lymphopoietin receptor (TLSPR) and thus inhibit TSLP-driven inflammation.

"Upstream is thrilled to announce that Doctors Marcie Ruddy, Ian Pavord and Michael Wechsler are providing valuable insights to our team on the development of UPB-101 for asthma and other inflammatory conditions. Each brings a unique perspective based on research background, industry experience and patient focus," said Aaron Deykin, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research and Development.

"These key appointments will help Upstream drive toward continued value creation for patients and shareholders as we grow and increase the complexity of our clinical programs," said Sam Truex, Chief Executive Officer. "We are excited and privileged to work with these esteemed clinical experts in the treatment of asthma and inflammatory disease. Their guidance will be instrumental in our work to bring meaningful therapeutic options to patients living with inflammatory diseases."

Clinical Advisors to Upstream:

Marcella K. Ruddy, MD, is currently the Chief Medical Officer at Tectonic Therapeutics and was formerly the Head of Clinical Development for the Immunology/Inflammation Therapeutic Area at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where she was instrumental in driving development of dupilumab across multiple indications. She has over 18 years of drug development experience and holds an AB from Princeton University and a MD/MS from Washington University, St. Louis. She completed her internal medicine and pulmonary fellowship training at Harvard Medical School affiliated hospitals.

Ian D. Pavord, MA, DM, FRCP, FERS, FMedSci, is Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Physician at the Oxford University Hospitals. He is a member of congregation at the University of Oxford and a Professorial Fellow of St. Edmund Hall. He is the author of over 520 publications and has an H-index of 119, making him the 2nd highest cited researcher in asthma worldwide. He received the 2016 European Respiratory Society (ERS) Gold Medal for his research and gave the Cournand Lecture at the 2004 ERS meeting. He chaired the 2017 Lancet Commission on asthma.

Michael E. Wechsler, MD, MMSc, is Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at National Jewish Health (NJH) in Denver, Director of the Cohen Family Asthma Institute, and Associate Vice President for Innovation and Industry Relations at NJH. He holds leadership roles in several NIH-funded asthma research consortia. Dr. Wechsler has published more than 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is Associate Editor of the Journal CHEST. He holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from Harvard University, his MD from McGill University, and completed his fellowship at Harvard Medical School affiliated hospitals.

Additionally, Upstream Bio has continued to strengthen its leadership team with key appointments since launching the company. Having demonstrated broad cross-functional impact in the critical early stages of building Upstream Bio, Jen Beachell, MBA, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Joining the Research and Development team as Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Quality is Mersedeh Miraliakbari, PharmD. Mersedeh joins us with over 20 years of experience in global regulatory affairs across therapeutic areas. More information on Upstream Bio's leadership team can be found here.

About TSLP and TSLPR Blockade

Thymic Stromal Lymphopoietin (TSLP) is a cytokine that is a key driver of the inflammatory response in major allergic and inflammatory diseases, such as asthma, where TSLP expression is elevated across lung tissues and blood compared with healthy individuals and correlates with airway obstruction and disease severity. In addition, Genome-Wide Association Studies have identified associations between asthma risk and polymorphisms in the TSLP gene.

TSLP activation is one of the first events in the inflammatory cascade stimulated by allergens, viruses, and other triggers, initiating the upregulation of downstream targets such as IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-17 and IgE. Because TSLP is a target upstream in the inflammatory cascade, there is opportunity to address disease at its root, prior to the influence of other disease-related cytokines. Blocking the TSLP receptor presents an opportunity for a single treatment to impact the drivers of multiple pathological inflammatory processes across a broad set of diseases.

About UPB-101

UPB-101 is a novel recombinant fully human immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) monoclonal antibody (mAb) that binds to the human thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) receptor (TSLPR) to inhibit signaling. UPB-101 is designed to address allergic and inflammatory diseases including asthma. In pre-clinical studies, UPB-101 demonstrated inhibition of cytokine production from both CD4+ T cells and ILC2, and completely suppressed skin allergic reactions in a monkey model, suggesting that it may be effective against multiple types of inflammation.

Dosing in the first-in-human Phase 1, randomized, placebo-controlled, single dose-escalation study in healthy volunteers was considered safe and well-tolerated. A follow-on Phase 1b multiple ascending dose study in people diagnosed with asthma is underway.

About Upstream Bio

At Upstream Bio we strive to reach the source of inflammation and conquer it. Our lead program, UPB-101, is a clinical-stage monoclonal antibody that inhibits the TSLP receptor. TSLP is a validated target positioned upstream of multiple signaling cascades that affect a variety of immune cells pivotal to common and rare diseases. We are leveraging our diverse roots and the team’s substantial industry experience to develop therapies that ease the burden of inflammatory and allergic diseases on patients and their loved ones.

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Jennifer Beachell – Chief Operating Officer

MacDougall Advisors
Carolyn Noyes or
Kari Watson