Healthcare Industry News: oncolytic vaccine
News Release - January 4, 2010
BioVex Appoints Tim Hanke as VP Commercial OperationsWOBURN, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--BioVex Inc, a private biotechnology company developing new generation biologics for the treatment of cancer and prevention of infectious disease, announced today that it has appointed Tim Hanke as VP Commercial Operations. Mr. Hanke will be responsible for preparing for the commercialization of BioVex’s investigational product, OncoVEX GM-CSF.
OncoVEX GM-CSF is currently in a pivotal Phase 3 study in melanoma (the OPTiM trial), being conducted under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA), and preparations for an additional Phase 3 trial in head and neck cancer, also approved by the FDA under the SPA procedure, are underway.
“Tim is a seasoned executive in the biotechnology industry with a strong track record of accomplishments resulting from nearly two decades of commercial experience in oncology,” said Philip Astley-Sparke, President & CEO of BioVex. “In addition, he has an in depth understanding of the global melanoma market which will be invaluable as we build the necessary infrastructure for the potential commercialization of OncoVEX.”
Tim previously served as Director of Global Commercial Operations at Genta after heading their sales training and development functions. Tim has also held a variety of sales and marketing positions at Chiron Biopharmaceuticals, with particular responsibility for the IL-2 franchise. He began his commercial career at Berlex Laboratories working on the launch of Fludara(R) for hematological malignancies.
About OncoVEX GM-CSF
OncoVEX GM-CSF is a first in class oncolytic vaccine. OncoVEX replicates selectively in tumors; destroying cancer cells whist leaving surrounding healthy cells unharmed. OncoVEX also induces a powerful immune response that kills cancer cells throughout the body. Both modes of action have been validated in the clinic, where multiple patients with metastatic disease progressing at enrollment have become free of disease. Based on the tolerability and efficacy profile noted to date BioVex believes OncoVEX GM-CSF has the potential to become a leading standard of care in the treatment of many solid tumors. Previous clinical trials have enrolled patients with breast cancer, melanoma, head and neck cancer and pancreatic cancer, with indications of clinical activity being observed in each. The Company recently commenced a Phase 3 study in metastatic melanoma (the OPTiM study) following achieving an unprecedented proportion of durable complete remissions in a Phase 2 study using OncoVEX GM-CSF as a stand alone therapy. An overview of these results is available on the BioVex website. In September 2009 the Company received approval for a second Phase 3 study, in head and neck cancer, also under the SPA procedure.
BioVex is a privately held biotechnology company based in Woburn, Mass. where it also has an operational launch grade manufacturing facility. The Company is developing a new class of potent biologics for the treatment of cancer and prevention of infectious disease. In addition to OncoVEX, the Company has a second development program, ImmunoVEX HSV2, a vaccine for genital herpes that provides complete protection in animal models of the disease. The vaccine has been authorized to commence clinical testing in the United Kingdom. BioVex recently closed a $70m funding round representing the second largest venture capital raise in the biotech sector in 2009.
For further information, please go to www.biovex.com.
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