ZUG, Switzerland and NEW YORK, Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- SELLAS Life Sciences Group (SELLAS), a development-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on innovative products to treat cancers and central nervous system (CNS) diseases, today announced the appointment of Andres A. Gutierrez, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately. Dr. Gutierrez will be responsible for the overall strategic direction and medical oversight of the clinical development of SELLAS' novel product candidates and will identify further opportunities for development and strategic collaborations.
"We are delighted to welcome Andres Gutierrez to the team and take his arrival as yet another strong indication of our demonstrated ability to attract highly accomplished professionals to our growing leadership team," said Angelos M. Stergiou, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SELLAS. "Dr. Gutierrez offers SELLAS a breadth of drug development and regulatory experience in the immune-oncology area, which will be invaluable as we advance our lead WT1 cancer immunotherapy program in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) into clinical testing in Europe and the US in 2016. He will surely be an integral part of our success going forward in our achievement of important corporate milestones for the Company."
Dr. Gutierrez brings to SELLAS 20 years of experience and expertise in clinical oncology drug development. Prior to joining SELLAS, Dr. Gutierrez served as Medical Director, ECTR Immuno-oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he oversaw the development of translational and clinical development programs in solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Prior to Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dr. Gutierrez was a Medical Director for several biotechnology companies, including Sunesis Pharmaceuticals; BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., and Proteolix, Inc. As Medical Director, he played a key role in the advancement of clinical trials in early- to late-stage development that led to recent drug approvals. He also directed activities to incorporate diagnostics into clinical programs in oncology. Previously, Dr. Gutierrez was Medical Director, Clinical Development & MA at Oculus Innovative Sciences. Prior to Oculus, he served as Director of the Gene Therapy Unit at the National Institutes of Health in Mexico City and as a consultant physician at the Hospital Angeles del Pedregal. Dr. Gutierrez received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the National University of Mexico, with a specialty in internal medicine and a fellowship in clinical oncology at the Hammersmith Hospital (RPMS) in London, UK.
Dr. Gutierrez commented, "SELLAS' WT1 cancer vaccine has shown great promise in its survival results, and I am impressed by its demonstrated ability to target a broad spectrum of hematologic cancers and solid tumors. I look forward to leveraging my expertise in the immuno-oncology space to advance the WT1 cancer vaccine into Phase 3 testing in AML and MPM, as well as SELLAS' other exciting assets, and to further broaden the Company's portfolio."
About SELLAS Life Sciences Group
SELLAS to present at the 34th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on January 12th, 2016, at 3:30pm PST at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, CA
SELLAS Life Sciences is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on innovative products to treat cancer and central nervous system (CNS) diseases. SELLAS has two Phase 2b- and 3-ready products poised to enter trials in Europe and the US in 2016, across multiple indications in cancer and CNS diseases, as well as an earlier-stage highly innovative cancer therapeutic.
SELLAS' WT1 vaccine, licensed from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, is a cancer immunotherapeutic agent targeting a broad spectrum of hematologic cancers and solid tumor indications. This program will advance into Phase 3 trials in 2016 in AML and MPM. SELLAS is also advancing a proprietary formulation of high-dose Zolpidem under the 505(b)(2) pathway to treat basal ganglia disorders, including Parkinson's disease and Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), which is the lead orphan indication. Zolpidem's mechanism of action and therapeutic effects in such CNS-related diseases have been demonstrated in several studies. SELLAS expects to initiate a Phase 2b/3 study of high-dose Zolpidem for PSP in 1H 2016. A third program is focused on SELLAS' TR1 product candidate, a novel fusion protein that supplies the normal wild type p53/p21 protein to cancer cells to trigger innate cell death mechanisms (apoptosis). The Company is advancing its TR1 program toward IND-enabling studies, with the goal of commencing Phase 1 testing in 2016 and reporting initial data in 2017.
SELLAS was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, with additional offices in New York, USA.
SOURCE SELLAS Life Sciences Group