Healthcare Industry News: oncolytic vaccine
News Release - July 1, 2010
BioVex Appoints Steven Kelly as Chief Commercial OfficerWOBURN, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--BioVex Inc, a private biotechnology company developing new generation biologics for the treatment and prevention of cancer and infectious disease, announced today that it has appointed Steven Kelly as Chief Commercial Officer. With the assistance of Mr. Tim Hanke, VP Commercial Operations, Mr. Kelly will have overall responsibility for the Company’s commercial activities as we prepare for the potential launch of BioVex’s investigational product, OncoVEX GM-CSF.
OncoVEXGM-CSF is currently in a pivotal Phase 3 study in melanoma (the OPTiM trial), being conducted under an SPA, and a further Phase 3 trial, also under SPA, in head and neck cancer will commence in the fourth quarter of this year.
“Steve is one of the most experienced commercial executives in oncology having previously launched Rituxan® and Zevalin® for IDEC and Eloxatin® for Sanofi Synthelabo. The Rituxan and Eloxatin launches were the most successful oncology product launches of their time. Steve is a critical addition to the senior management team as BioVex transitions to becoming a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company,” said Philip Astley-Sparke, President & CEO of BioVex.
Mr. Kelly began his career at Amgen as a process development and manufacturing scientist. Steve then moved within Amgen into new product marketing where he was responsible for all aspects of launch planning for a third market entrant into the interferon market before taking responsibility for promotion and medical education for the commercial development of Epogen. In 1996, Steve joined IDEC Pharmaceuticals as head of marketing and oversaw the launch of Rituxan, the first monoclonal antibody to be approved by the FDA. Steve was also responsible for managing the Rituxan partnership with Genentech. In 2002 Steve joined Sanofi as their first head of oncology marketing for the US charged with building oncology expertise in a Company new to this therapeutic class. Steve oversaw the launch of Eloxatin, a third generation platinum compound for colorectal cancer. Eloxatin became the most successful oncology launch at the time with nearly $400m of sales in the first 12 months. Most recently, Steve was CEO of Innovive Pharmaceuticals, an oncology drug development company.
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 provided complete protection in animal models of the disease. The vaccine is currently undergoing clinical testing in the United Kingdom. BioVex closed a $70m funding round late last year representing the second largest venture capital raise in the biotech sector in 2009.
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 is also intended to induce 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. BioVex believes OncoVEX GM-CSF has the potential to become a leading standard of care in the treatment of many solid tumors based on the strength of clinical data so far generated coupled with the relatively benign side effect profile noted to date. 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 is currently conducting 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. A second phase 3 study in Head and Neck cancer will commence in the fourth quarter.
For further information, please visit www.biovex.com.
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