ROCHESTER, Minn., Dec. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Vyriad Inc. announced today the appointment of Alvin E. McQuinn to the company's Board of Directors.
"We are delighted to welcome Al to Vyriad's board as we build our business and develop our oncolytic viruses as the next generation of precision medicines for cancer therapy," said Stephen Russell, MD, PhD, CEO of Vyriad. "Al and his wife, Mary Agnes, share our vision and passion for making a difference for cancer patients—their philanthropy has supported oncolytic virotherapy research at Mayo Clinic Department of Molecular Medicine since its earliest days more than 10 years ago. Al was also the lead investor in Magnis Therapeutics, an oncolytic measles virus therapy company that was established in 2014, and subsequently merged into Vyriad in 2016.* We look forward to leveraging Al's substantial experience and insights into building and growing companies with innovative technology."
"I am excited to join the team at Vyriad at this pivotal time, as the company applies its novel technologies to generate a pipeline of first-in-class oncolytic virotherapy candidates," said Mr. McQuinn. "Vyriad's novel oncolytic virus platforms offer significant opportunities to bring transformative treatments to cancer patients. I'm pleased to join Vyriad at this time of great momentum."
Mr. McQuinn is Chairman and CEO of QuinStar Investment Partners. Previously, he founded Ag-Chem Equipment Company in 1963 and served as its Board Chairman and CEO. Mr. McQuinn grew Ag-Chem into a NASDAQ-listed creator, manufacturer, and marketer of equipment and data management systems for satellite-guided application of fertilizers and farm chemicals. The company revolutionized crop farming and grew rapidly to more than 1,700 employees generating more than $300 million in annual sales. In 2001, Ag-Chem was purchased by AGCO Corporation, which provides high-tech solutions to farmers worldwide. Mr. McQuinn received the Siteliner Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001 for his efforts in the development of site-specific farming in precision agriculture, and he is the named inventor on six patents in that area. His other recognitions include the John F. Cade Award for Entrepreneur of the Year, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Award in the Master Category for Minnesota and the Dakotas, the University of Minnesota's Lifetime Achievement Award for Precision Agriculture, and induction into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and serves on the Minneapolis-St. Paul Leadership Council of Mayo Clinic Rochester. Mr. McQuinn graduated from the University of Missouri in 1954 with a BSc in Agricultural Economics. While attending the University, he earned an ROTC commission as an officer in the U.S. Army. He served four years, attended flight school, and completed service with 1,500 hours of pilot in command. During his civilian business career, he used airplanes with great advantage to build his business.
Vyriad is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel oncolytic virus therapies for the treatment of cancers that have significant unmet need. Vyriad's oncolytic immunovirotherapy products are based on the company's engineered Oncolytic Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) and Oncolytic Measles Virus platforms that enable selective destruction of cancer cells without harming normal tissues. Vyriad's product development pipeline encompasses multiple clinical- and preclinical-stage programs that target a broad range of cancer indications as well as programs that pair the company's oncolytic viruses with other cancer immunotherapy modalities, traditional cancer therapy, and newer targeted therapies. In addition, Vyriad is developing novel diagnostic/theranostic tests for more accurate prediction of immunovirotherapy response. Clinical trials using the company's oncolytic viruses are under way at Mayo Clinic and the University of Arkansas. For more information, please visit www.vyriad.com.
* Mayo Clinic and Dr. Stephen Russell have financial interest in Vyriad. The revenue that Mayo Clinic will receive is used to support its not-for-profit mission in patient care, education and research.