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Paul Parren

Professor Molecular Immunology

Name
Prof.dr. P.W.H.I. Parren
Telephone
+31 71 526 9111
E-mail
p.w.h.i.parren@lumc.nl

Paul W.H.I. Parren is professor of Molecular Immunology at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). He is managing director and head of Research and Development at LAVA Therapeutics, a biotechnology company in Utrecht and Philadelphia, PA. He advises start-up biotechnology companies and pharma on therapeutic antibody development and patents. He is an Operational Partner at Gilde Healthcare in Utrecht. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization The Antibody Society and a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of the annual Antibody Engineering and Therapeutics conferences in US and EU, Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the Viral Immunotherapeutic Consortium, a US NIH-funded international consortium to discover and deliver antibody therapeutics against multiple families of emerging infectious diseases. He is a member of the External Advisory Group for the Scientific Research Partnership for Neglected Tropical Snakebite (SRPNTS) program sponsored by the UK Department for International Development.

More information about Paul Parren

Paul W.H.I. Parren is professor of Molecular Immunology at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). He is managing director and head of Research and Development at LAVA Therapeutics, a start-up biotechnology company in Utrecht and Philadelphia, PA. He advises start-up biotechnology companies and pharma on therapeutic antibody development and patents. He is an Operational Partner at Gilde Healthcare in Utrecht. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the non-profit organization The Antibody Society and a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of the annual Antibody Engineering and Therapeutics conferences in US and EU, Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology, and the Viral Immunotherapeutic Consortium, a US NIH-funded international consortium to discover and deliver antibody therapeutics against multiple families of emerging infectious diseases. He is a member of the External Advisory Group for the Scientific Research Partnership for Neglected Tropical Snakebite (SRPNTS) program sponsored by the UK Department for International Development.

Immune recognition

The chair is aimed at increasing understanding of the molecular mechanisms of immune recognition and stimulate the translation of research findings into applications, therapies and valorisation. 

Prof. Parren’s research focusses on the studying antibody biology at the molecular level and translating these findings to applications in the clinic. These applications encompass (clinically) validated innovated antibody technologies that allow antibody therapeutics to be developed in novel formats, thereby providing novel treatment modalities that aim to increase treatment efficacy, ultimately leading to cures for life-threatening and debilitating diseases.

Academic career

Prof. Parren studied Biology at the University of Amsterdam with a B.S. in Chemical Biology in 1984 and a M.Sc. in Experimental Oncology (cum laude) in 1987. He did his graduate work in the department of Autoimmune Diseases at the Central Laboratory of the Netherlands Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service in Amsterdam studying crosstalk between recombinant (human) antibodies and innate effector mechanisms with Prof. Lucien Aarden. On June 12, 1992 he received a PhD from the University of Amsterdam after he defended his thesis entitled: “Recombinant antibodies to CD3”. Next, he was a Postdoc at Baxter Diagnostics in Miami, FL where he studied recombinant T-cell receptors and a Postdoc, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor in the department of Immunology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, where he interrogated the human antibody response in protection against viral infections including HIV-1 and Ebola virus. From 2002-2017, he served in the positions of Vice President, Senior Vice President and Scientific Director at the biotechnology company Genmab in Utrecht, where he headed preclinical R&D. Between 2013-2018, he was an Honorary Professor of Translational Cancer Research at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. In 2015, he became a Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, and on 14 September 2018 he spoke his inaugural lecture entitled: “Our immune system: a source of inspiration for innovative drug research”. In 2018, he became head of R&D at the biotech Lava Therapeutics to develop novel bispecific gamma-delta T-cell engagers for cancer therapy. He also provides drug development, patent and investment advice as an independent biotech consultant.

Prof. Parren is dedicated to translate antibody biology and immunotherapy knowledge into innovative therapeutics and technologies. He has a passion for investigating and understanding structure-function relationships and translating the knowledge gained into immunotherapy applications and drug development. He is an inventor of the therapeutic antibodies ofatumumab (Arzerra, Kesimpta) daratumumab (DARZALEX), teprotumumab (Tepezza), tisotumab vedotin en amivantamab. Ofatumumab was approved in 2009 for the treatment of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and in 2020, in a subcutaneous formulation for Multiple Sclerosis. Ofatumumab received the Dutch Galenus Prize in 2011 for most innovative new medicine. Daratumumab was first approved in 2015 for the treatment of Multiple Myeloma. Teprotumumab was approved for the treatment of Active Thyroid Eye Disease (Graves’ orbitopathy) in 2020. Tisotumab vedotin (an antibody-drug conjugate) and amivantamab (an EGFR-cMet bispecific antibody) are in registration phase for the treatment of cervical cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, respectively. Prof. Parren further invented and developed several clinically translated technologies aimed at improving antibody therapy, including bispecific antibodies and effector function-enhanced antibodies (DuoBody and HexaBody platforms). His work has thus far directly led to four therapeutic antibodies that received FDA Breakthrough Therapy designation. Ten further therapeutic antibodies in various formats are currently in clinical development for the treatment of cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

Prof. Parren supports antibody-related research in the LUMC dept. of Immunology and beyond with the aim to stimulate the implementation of state-of-the-art antibody technologies in drug development and to innovate, translate, disseminate and valorise (therapeutic) antibody knowledge.

Prizes and honourable appointments

Paul Parren has published extensively both in the scientific as well as the patent literature. He authored over 200 scientific publications with a total of >30,000 citations (Google Scholar). He edited issues of Current Opinion in Immunology (2008 & 2016) and Methods (2014). He in inventor on 50 issued patent families that resulted in 78 US and 56 EU patents and numerous patents in other countries. In total, he is a named inventor on 83 published PCT patent applications. He chaired sessions at 40+ scientific conferences and gave over 200 invited oral presentations at international scientific and business conferences including 12 plenary keynote lectures. In 2017, he received the Utrecht award for excellence in Pharmaceutical Science.

Paul Parren initiated and organized the Dutch Complement Symposium and the European Antibody Engineering and Therapeutics conference

Professor Molecular Immunology

  • Faculteit Geneeskunde
  • Divisie 4
  • Immunohematologie en Bloedtransfusie
  • IHB Moleculaire Biologie

Work address

LUMC Main Building
Albinusdreef 2
2333 ZA Leiden

Contact

Publications

  • LAVA Therapeutics Executive Vice President and Head of R&D
  • Gilde Healthcare Operational Partner
  • Sparring Biologics & Sparring Bioconsult BV Biotech consultant
  • Antibody Engineering and Therapeutics Conference Scientific Advisory Board member
  • Keystone Symposia on molecular and cellular biology Scientific Advisory Board member
  • Scientific Research Partnership for Neglected Tropical Snakebite External Advisory Group member
  • The Antibody Society Board Member
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