SEATTLE and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Cali., March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Immune Design, a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on the development of novel immune-based therapies for cancer and other chronic conditions, today announced the appointment of Franklin M. Berger, CFA to the company's board of directors.
Mr. Berger is a major player in the biotechnology industry with more than 25 years of experience in capital markets and financial analysis. He has served as a consultant in the biotechnology industry since 2003, advising major biopharmaceutical firms, mid-capitalization biotechnology companies, specialist asset managers and venture capital companies in a range of areas including business development, strategic advisory/financings, partnering and royalty acquisition. Prior to that, Mr. Berger spent 12 years in sell-side equity research, most recently as Managing Director, U.S. Equity Research and Senior Biotechnology Analyst at J. P. Morgan Securities, Inc.
"Franklin brings a wealth of experience to Immune Design," said Carlos Paya, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Immune Design. "He is a great addition to our experienced board and will provide vital strategic financial insights and advice to help guide the continued growth of our exciting company."
During his five years at J. P. Morgan Securities, Inc., Mr. Berger was involved with the issuance of over $12 billion in biotechnology company equity or equity-linked securities. He was associated with several notable financings in the biotechnology sector, including the Genentech IPO and the initial large Celgene Corporation financings. Mr. Berger began his career as a sell-side analyst at Josephthal & Co. in 1991, subsequently moving to Salomon Smith Barney in 1997 serving as Director, Equity Research and Senior Biotechnology Analyst. Institutional Investor Magazine ranked him on J. P. Morgan's All-Star Research Team. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) selected Mr. Berger as the No. 1 ranked biotechnology analyst in its All-Star Analyst Survey in 1997 and No. 2 ranked in the WSJ's 2000 Survey. In 2000, he became a Founding Fellow of the Biotechnology Study Center at New York University School of Medicine. Mr. Berger currently serves on the board of four public biotechnology companies: Seattle Genetics, Inc., Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc., Bellus Health, Inc. and BioTime, Inc. He also serves or has served on private biotech company boards including Caprion Proteomics (sold in July 2012), Inc. and ViroChem Pharma, Inc., which was purchased by Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for $400 million in 2009.
Mr. Berger holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an M.A. in International Economics and a B.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.
"The field of cancer immunotherapy is attracting notable interest and investment, and Immune Design is very well-positioned to take a leadership role in this evolving landscape through application of its novel discovery platforms that have generated multiple product candidates now in clinical trials," said Mr. Berger. "I look forward to working with the Immune Design team."
About Immune Design
Immune Design is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company employing leading-edge technologies that target dendritic cells in vivo to generate and expand strong cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) for the treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases. The company has a multi-faceted set of clinical programs on going that are the product of its two synergistic discovery platforms: DCVexTM, a novel lentiviral vector platform engineered to deliver antigen-encoding nucleic acids directly to dendritic cells in vivo; and GLAASTM, a TLR4-agonist platform that activates dendritic cells by up-regulating key molecules for efficient antigen presentation and produces Th1 cytokines to enhance the immune response. Immune Design has offices in Seattle, Washington and South San Francisco, California. For more information, visit www.immunedesign.com.
SOURCE Immune Design