ZUG, Switzerland and NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- SELLAS Life Sciences Group (SELLAS or the Company), a development-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative products to treat cancer, has made four executive appointments to provide medical, clinical, commercial and financial expertise to support the development of its unique product, the galinpepimut-S immunotherapeutic anti-cancer treatment.
- William Pollett has been appointed SELLAS' Chief Financial Officer. He brings over 25 years of financial management and capital markets experience to the Company, having most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Capital. Mr. Pollett is a Chartered Accountant, a CFA ® charterholder and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) degree from Edinburgh University.
- Martin Baum has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer, after serving as Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy. Mr. Baum has over 25 years' experience building and leading global biopharmaceutical companies and has held senior executive positions in commercialization, market access, sales and operations. Prior to joining SELLAS, he was a founding partner and Managing Director of Komedica, a healthcare consulting firm and has worked for large pharmaceuticals companies such as Glaxo SmithKline. Mr. Baum holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Life Sciences and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, both from the University of Toledo.
- Nicholas Sarlis, MD, PhD, FACP has joined SELLAS as Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer. He is recognized as an expert clinician-scientist and industry medical team leader, focused in oncology and hematology. As former Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs at Incyte Corporation, Dr. Sarlis led a global team supporting targeted and immuno-oncology pipeline agents, and prior to that held senior positions at Sanofi Aventis having led medical teams for launching key oncology and cancer supportive care products (US & EU). He received his medical degree and doctorate from the University of Athens, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology/ Neuroendocrinology from the Imperial College in London. Dr. Sarlis is Board Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and previously served as senior faculty at the National Institutes of Health and Associate Professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
- Anthony Williams, MA, MBBS, FRCP has joined SELLAS as Senior Vice President, Head of Clinical Development. With 25 years of clinical and research experience, he has had senior executive positions at Dyax, Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Aronex and Glaxo SmithKline. Dr. Williams is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (UK), Associate Member of the Royal College of Pathologists (UK), Member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK). Dr. Williams trained at the University of Cambridge (UK) and University College London.
"We are pleased to have further attracted such accomplished individuals, with a breadth of late-stage and commercial drug development, along with financial and global clinical experience in immuno-oncology. Their expertise will be invaluable as we rapidly advance our cancer immunotherapy program in malignant pleural mesothelioma and acute myeloid leukemia through Phase 3 clinical trials," said Dr. Angelos Stergiou, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SELLAS. "With these appointments, SELLAS is well-positioned to significantly improve patient outcomes, to enhance our corporate goals and enabling us to become the leading cancer immunotherapy company."
About SELLAS' WT1 Immunotherapeutic Anti-cancer Treatment, Galinpepimut-S
SELLAS' WT1 immunotherapeutic anti-cancer treatment (generically designated as galinpepimut-S) is a late clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy being developed to target hematologic cancers and solid tumors, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), mesothelioma (MPM), multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer, and multiple other cancers. The WT1 antigen is a transcription factor that is not generally expressed in normal adult cells, but appears in a large number of cancers, as well as in certain cancer stem cells. WT1 has been ranked by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as the Number 1 target for cancer immunotherapy. While WT1 has not been druggable by traditional approaches, it can be targeted by the immune system. Specifically, a number of different peptide sequences from the WT1 antigen have been identified as immunogenic and capable of stimulating cytotoxic T-cells that can target and kill WT1-expressing cancer cells. Studies also have shown that WT1 does not provoke tolerization and that patients' T-cells can remain reactive to the antigen over time.
Galinpepimut-S, originally developed by MSK and licensed to SELLAS, comprises four modified heteroclitic peptide chains that induce a strong innate immune response (CD4+/CD8+ T-cells) against the WT1 antigen. Galinpepimut-S is administered in combination with an adjuvant and an immune modulator to improve the immune response to the target. Based on its mechanism and the accumulating evidence of activity in mid-stage trials, galinpepimut-S may have the potential to complement currently available therapies by destroying residual tumor cells of cancers in remission and providing ongoing immune surveillance for recurrent tumors. Overall, SELLAS' galinpepimut-S could target over 20 cancers that over-express WT1, many of which are associated with relapse rates of up to 80% or more, as seen in patients with AML and MPM.
About SELLAS Life Sciences Group
SELLAS Life Sciences is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on innovative products to treat cancer, particularly its lead product candidate, galinpepimut-S. Galinpepimut-S is a cancer immunotherapeutic agent licensed from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center that targets a broad spectrum of hematologic cancers and solid tumor indications. Galinpepimut-S is poised to enter pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials in patients with AML and Mesothelioma in the first and second half of 2017, respectively. SELLAS recently received orphan drug designations by the US FDA, as well as the EMA, for galinpepimut-S in AML and MPM; as well as Fast Track Designation for AML and MPM by the US FDA.
Galinpepimut-S also is in various development phases in multiple myeloma, ovarian cancer, and soon in other indications as monotherapy or in combination with other immuno-oncology agents.
SELLAS was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, with additional offices in New York.
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SOURCE SELLAS Life Sciences Group