BLUE BELL, Pa., Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT: INO) today announced it has expanded its senior management team with two appointments to help advance the company's growing pipeline of preclinical and clinical DNA vaccines. Inovio has appointed Dr. Laurent Humeau as Vice President of R&D and Dr. Jan Marie-Albert Van Tornout as Vice President of Clinical Development.
Prior to Inovio, Dr. Humeau was Senior Director of Translational Research, Human Therapeutics Division for Intrexon and previously Chief Scientific Officer at VIRxSYS Corporation. At Inovio, Dr. Humeau will provide the technical and strategic leadership for its R&D group including: preclinical development of immunotherapy and vaccine candidates, immunology and immune monitoring approaches, method development, product characterization, and analytical development.
Dr. Van Tornout will bring his broad experience as a lead oncology pharmaceutical executive to Inovio's cancer programs, overseeing its oncology pipeline strategy, planning clinical development, and steering early and late-stage clinical programs. Before joining Inovio, Dr. Van Tornout was Executive Director and Global Oncology Medical Lead for Astellas Pharma. Previously he was Group Director and Lead, Oncology Development at Bristol Myers Squibb and Medical Director/ Global Safety for Amgen.
Building on the best-in-class immune response data already reported by Inovio, Drs. Humeau and Van Tornout will play an integral role in advancing Inovio's portfolio of immunotherapy technologies with their multi-disease potential and rapidly expanding list of experimental candidates, new therapeutic cancer products, clinical study opportunities, and partnering prospects. Inovio's lead DNA immunotherapy product, VGX-3100, designed to treat HPV-related cancers and pre-cancers, will generate efficacy and immunogenicity data from a phase II trial for high grade cervical dysplasia mid-year 2014. Inovio also plans to expand testing of this product to treat HPV-related cervical and head & neck cancers, the latter the most rapidly growing cancer in men. Last year, Inovio signed a $400-plus million collaboration with Roche to co-develop its therapeutic vaccine for prostate cancer, INO-5150, which is expected to enter clinical trials this year.
Inovio's pipeline includes its therapeutic DNA vaccine targeting hTERT, known as INO-1400, which is found in 85% of human cancers. Inovio intends to evaluate INO-1400 in breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers later this year. Also included in Inovio's broad immunotherapy pipeline are its DNA-based immune activators/modulators as well as its research-stage DNA-based monoclonal antibodies.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's President and CEO, said: "We want to continue to show leadership in advancing active immunotherapies. As we expose the full breadth of Inovio's technology base and build our company for growth and an expanding pipeline, Inovio will greatly benefit from the scientific expertise and commercial mindset that these two talented executives bring to our biotech company. Drs. Humeau and Van Tornout have held global research and clinical development positions and have a demonstrated track record for achieving regulatory milestones. They will play a major role as Inovio addresses unmet medical needs and delivers the next generation of medicines based on our DNA therapies."
Dr. Humeau received his BS and MS in biology from the University Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris and a PhD in blood cell biology from the University Denis Diderot, Paris. Dr. Humeau will report to Dr. Niranjan Sardesai, Inovio's Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Van Tornout earned his MD from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and holds MS degrees in classical philosophy from the Katholieke Universiteit and applied biometry from the University of Southern California, in addition to a BS in Science from Faculte Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur, Belgium. Dr. Van Tornout will report to Dr. Mark Bagarazzi, Inovio's Chief Medical Officer.
About Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Inovio is revolutionizing vaccines to prevent and treat today's cancers and challenging infectious diseases. Its SynCon® vaccines, in combination with its proprietary electroporation delivery, are generating best-in-class immune responses, with therapeutic T-cell responses exceeding other technologies in terms of magnitude, breadth, and response rate. Human data to date have shown a favorable safety profile. Inovio's lead vaccine, a therapeutic against HPV-caused pre-cancers and cancers, is in phase II. Other phase I and preclinical programs target prostate, breast, and lung cancers as well as HIV, influenza, malaria and hepatitis. Partners and collaborators include Roche, the University of Pennsylvania, Merck, NIH, HIV Vaccines Trial Network, National Cancer Institute, U.S. Military HIV Research Program, University of Southampton, US Dept. of Homeland Security, University of Manitoba and PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative. More information is available at www.inovio.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our business, including our plans to develop electroporation-based drug and gene delivery technologies and DNA vaccines and our capital resources. Actual events or results may differ from the expectations set forth herein as a result of a number of factors, including uncertainties inherent in pre-clinical studies, clinical trials and product development programs (including, but not limited to, the fact that pre-clinical and clinical results referenced in this release may not be indicative of results achievable in other trials or for other indications, that the studies or trials may not be successful or achieve the results desired, that pre-clinical studies and clinical trials may not commence or be completed in the time periods anticipated, that results from one study may not necessarily be reflected or supported by the results of other similar studies and that results from an animal study may not be indicative of results achievable in human studies), the availability of funding to support continuing research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of electroporation technology as a delivery mechanism or develop viable DNA vaccines, the adequacy of our capital resources, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by the company or its collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost-effective than any therapy or treatment that the company and its collaborators hope to develop, evaluation of potential opportunities, issues involving product liability, issues involving patents and whether they or licenses to them will provide the company with meaningful protection from others using the covered technologies, whether such proprietary rights are enforceable or defensible or infringe or allegedly infringe on rights of others or can withstand claims of invalidity and whether the company can finance or devote other significant resources that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend them, the level of corporate expenditures, assessments of the company's technology by potential corporate or other partners or collaborators, capital market conditions, the impact of government healthcare proposals and other factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2013, and other regulatory filings from time to time. There can be no assurance that any product in Inovio's pipeline will be successfully developed or manufactured, that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products, or that any of the forward-looking information provided herein will be proven accurate.
SOURCE Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.