DALLAS, July 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Gradalis, Inc. today announced the appointment of Dr. Martin Birkhofer as Sr. Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Birkhofer will provide strategic oversight of Gradalis' clinical development pipeline and will also be responsible for clinical strategy, clinical operations and medical affairs. Dr. Birkhofer brings more than 25 years of life sciences management experience to the position.
"We are delighted to have Martin join Gradalis as our Chief Medical Officer," said Sunil Joshi, President and Chief Executive Officer. "He is an accomplished executive with proven leadership abilities and extensive global medical strategy, clinical development, and medical affairs experience with both small molecules and biologics. He has international experience in drug approval and commercialization processes which is imperative as we expand our clinical trials and ultimately our commercial strategy globally."
"Gradalis has a number of very exciting clinical initiatives using our Vigil® platform technology in Phase 2 clinical trials in Ewing's sarcoma and ovarian cancer, as well as exploring potential synergies between Vigil and a class of drugs called PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors," said Dr. Birkhofer, Chief Medical Officer of Gradalis. "I look forward to helping Gradalis achieve its ultimate goal of providing a personalized cancer immunotherapy that improves survival outcomes with relatively few serious adverse effects to patients with cancers. I'm really pleased to be joining the team at such an exciting time for the company."
Dr. Birkhofer was most recently Chief Medical Officer at NuCana BioMed Limited, a Phase 3 clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines to treat cancer, where he led all global development programs including clinical and regulatory strategy. Prior to NuCana, he was Chief Medical Officer and led global medical and scientific affairs at inVentiv Health Clinical, a leading global supplier of drug development services. He oversaw strategic investment in areas that expand upon inVentiv Health Clinical's world-class capabilities.
From 1994 to 2013, Dr. Birkhofer served in various leadership roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), including Vice President Search, Evaluation and Diligence, Vice President Oncology Global Medical Affairs, Vice President Product Development for Erbitux, Executive Director of Oncology Clinical Research Europe and Executive Director Clinical Pharmacology. He was responsible for the BMS Oncology Clinical Research team in Europe and the Clinical Pharmacology team supporting the oncology, immunology and anti-infective pipeline.
Dr. Birkhofer is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He obtained his M.D. from New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York.
About Vigil® Engineered Autologous Tumor Cell technology
Vigil is an investigational autologous tumor cell immunotherapy technology, engineered to overcome TGF beta mediated immune suppression to make a patient's tumor cells more "visible" to their immune system, with the goal of enhancing their immune response. Vigil engineered autologous tumor cell immunotherapy clinical trials are underway in Ewing's sarcoma, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, melanoma and breast cancer. To learn more about Vigil technology and Vigil clinical trials, please visit www.vigilclinicaltrials.com.
Gradalis is a clinical-stage biotechnology company based in Dallas, Texas that focuses on the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of novel proprietary personalized cellular immunotherapies to treat cancer using its Vigil technology platform. Gradalis operates a cGMP manufacturing facility in Carrolton, Texas. For more information about Gradalis, Inc. please visit www.gradalisinc.com.
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SOURCE Gradalis, Inc.