SAN FRANCISCO, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Jennerex, Inc., a private clinical-stage biotherapeutics company focused on the development and commercialization of first-in-class targeted oncolytic immunotherapy products for cancer, today announced that Laurent Fischer, M.D., has been appointed to the positions of president, chief executive officer and board member. He succeeds interim CEO, Ken Newport, who will continue in his role as a board member of the company. Dr. Fischer brings 20 years of drug development and commercialization experience in the biopharmaceutical industry to Jennerex, serving most recently as president and CEO of Ocera Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company he co-founded with Dr Eckard Weber.
"Dr. Fischer brings significant and very relevant drug development and commercialization experience to Jennerex's leadership team as we advance our lead product candidate, JX-594, through late stage clinical testing. David Kirn, M.D., founder, chief medical officer and president of research and development of Jennerex, will be overseeing this late stage program as we advance it through the final stages of clinical testing," stated Brennan Mulcahy, chairman of the board of Jennerex. "I would like to thank Ken Newport, our interim CEO, for the significant progress made at Jennerex over the past several months under his leadership."
"I am very pleased to join Jennerex at this critical time in the company's evolution. I look forward to building off the company's significant progress made over the past year for its lead product candidate, JX-594, which is in Phase 2b for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. JX-594 is most notable for its demonstrated ability to be delivered intravenously which sets it apart from other products in the class and makes it a promising treatment for several solid tumors such as advanced colorectal cancer for which treatments are much needed. Jennerex already presented promising survival data in advanced liver cancer as a late breaker at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases annual meeting last fall," stated Dr. Fischer. "I see great potential for the field of oncolytic immunotherapy and, particularly, Jennerex's JX-594 and the SOLVE platform in a number of tumors given the unique attributes of our product."
During Dr. Fischer's 20 years of drug development and commercialization experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, he served most recently as co-founder, president and CEO of Ocera Therapeutics, where he led the approval of Zysa®, the first treatment ever approved for Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Europe and developed the first ammonia scavenger for the treatment of complications of liver disease. Dr. Fischer has been involved in and managed four healthcare companies and held senior management positions at DuPont-Merck, DuPont Pharmaceuticals, and Hoffmann-La Roche in oncology, virology and liver disease. Dr. Fischer was involved in the launch of Invirase®, the first protease inhibitor, in the U.S and responsible for the global launch of Sustiva® the first once-daily anti-HIV drug now part of the fixed dose combination therapy Atripla®. Dr. Fischer is the Chairman of the board of directors of Tobira Therapeutics, vice-chairman of Ocera Therapeutics and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Geneva and his medical degree from the Geneva Medical School, Switzerland.
Jennerex, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotherapeutics company focused on the development and commercialization of first-in-class, breakthrough targeted oncolytic immunotherapy products for cancer. The Company's lead product JX-594 is currently in an international, randomized Phase 2b clinical trial (TRAVERSE) in patients with advanced primary liver cancer who have failed sorafenib therapy. In addition, JX-594 is being tested in the same patient population in combination with sorafenib. JX-594 is also in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with treatment-refractory colorectal cancer. Published studies designed to establish optimal dose levels and the safety profile of JX-594 have shown its ability to selectively target and cause destruction of a variety of common solid tumor types and trigger a potent immune response. JX-594 and other product candidates under development are designed to attack cancer tumors through three diverse mechanisms of action: the lysis of cancer cells through targeted viral replication, the ablation of the blood supply to tumors through vascular targeting and destruction and the stimulation of the body's immune response against the cancer. Jennerex is headquartered in San Francisco and has related research and development operations in Ottawa, Canada and Busan, South Korea. For more information about Jennerex, please visit www.jennerex.com.
SOURCE Jennerex, Inc.