WINTER PARK, Fla., Nov. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cytocom, Inc. (Cytocom), a leading biopharmaceutical company in the area of immune-modulation, today announced that Taunia Markvicka, PharmD., MBA, has joined the company as Chief Operating Officer (COO). With more than 25 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience, Dr. Markvicka joins Cytocom as it plans for the potential global commercialization of novel immunotherapies developed with its AIMS (Advanced Immunomodulating Multi-Receptor System) drug discovery and development platform.
"Adding a biopharmaceutical executive of Taunia's caliber is a tremendous achievement for Cytocom that will further our goal to become a recognized leader in immune-modulating treatments targeting autoimmune conditions, inflammatory diseases, infectious diseases and cancers," said Mike Handley, CEO of Cytocom. "Taunia brings to Cytocom extensive commercialization expertise, including experience successfully launching drug products. Her business development experience and proven track record identifying and pursuing acquisition targets, not to mention involvement with initial public offerings, will be critical to Cytocom, as we seek to maximize the potential of our AIMS technology and build on our pending acquisition of ImQuest Life Sciences, our merger with Cleveland BioLabs and our efforts to achieve a Nasdaq-listing, with more value-creating opportunities."
During her career, Dr. Markvicka has successfully applied her knowledge to multiple companies, spanning early-stage to large-commercial-stage drug makers. She joins Cytocom from PolyPid where, as Chief Operating Officer, she played an integral role in the company's initial public offering, completed in June 2020. Prior to her tenure with PolyPid, Dr. Markvicka served as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Symbiomix Therapeutics, a venture-funded company developing treatment for gynecologic infections, sold in 2017 to Lupin Pharmaceuticals. She also served as CCO at Pacira BioSciences, a leading provider of non-opioid pain management and regenerative health solutions, where she assisted in the company's 2011 public debut and led the commercial launch of EXPAREL®.
Previously, Dr. Markvicka held senior roles at Stack Pharmaceuticals, Advantage Healthcare, The Medicine Company (acquired by Novartis in 2020) and the former Watson Pharmaceuticals (now AbbVie).
Dr. Markvicka earned a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Rutgers University. She earned a Bachelor's in Pharmacy at Creighton University.
"I am excited to join Cytocom and admire this leadership team's commitment to reshaping treatment paradigms," said Dr. Markvicka. "In my view, this company's AIMS technology platform represents an important development in immunotherapy that offers the potential to bring forth a new generation of therapies that restore immune homeostasis. This opportunity is highlighted by Cytocom's late-stage pipeline with its Phase 3-ready clinical programs in Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and pancreatic cancer. I look forward to working with Cytocom's commercial and scientific teams to advance these and other drug candidates to market and bring hope to patients and their families battling cancer and other serious medical conditions."
Cytocom, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel immunotherapies targeting autoimmune, inflammatory, infectious diseases and cancers based on a proprietary platform designed to rebalance the body's immune system and restore homeostasis. Cytocom is developing therapies designed to elicit directly within patients a robust and durable response of antigen-specific killer T cells and antibodies, thereby activating essential immune defenses against autoimmune, inflammatory, infectious diseases, and cancers. Specifically, Cytocom has four programs in late-stage clinical development in Crohn's disease, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and pancreatic cancer. Cytocom believes that its technologies can meaningfully leverage the human immune system for prophylactic and therapeutic purposes by eliciting killer T cell response levels not achieved by other published immunotherapy approaches. Cytocom's immunomodulatory technology restores the balance between the cellular (Th1) and the humoral (Th2) immune systems. Immune balance is regulated through T-helper cells that produce cytokines. The Th1 lymphocytes help fight pathogens within cells like cancer and viruses through interferon-gamma and macrophages. The Th2 lymphocytes target external pathogens like cytotoxic parasites, allergens, toxins through the activation of B-cells and antibody production to effect to dendritic cells, which are natural activators of killer T cells, also known as cytotoxic T cells, or CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, the Cytocom technology antagonizes the Toll-like Receptors to inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines. To learn more about Cytocom, Inc., please visit www.cytocom.com
This release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, uncertainties inherent in research and development; the uncertainties inherent in business and financial planning, including, without limitation, risks related to Cytocom's business and prospects, risks related to the potential merger with Cleveland BioLabs, adverse developments in Cytocom's markets, or adverse developments in the U.S. or global capital markets, credit markets, regulatory environment or economies generally; the impact of COVID-19 on our business, operations and financial results; and competitive developments. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information or future events or developments.