Healthcare Industry News: Mersana Therapeutics
News Release - December 20, 2010
NovaDigm Therapeutics Appoints C. Boyd Clarke to its Board of DirectorsGRAND FORKS, N.D.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)-- NovaDigm Therapeutics, a company developing innovative vaccines for fungal and bacterial infections, today announced the appointment of biotechnology and vaccine industry leader C. Boyd Clarke to the Company’s Board of Directors.
“Boyd brings to NovaDigm a unique breadth and depth of experience in the vaccine industry, having led both development- and commercial-stage vaccine companies,” said Timothy Cooke, Ph.D., NovaDigm’s Chief Executive Officer. “He is very familiar with how to successfully grow an emerging vaccine company and we will benefit greatly from having him on our team.”
“NovaDigm is making the transition to being a clinical-stage vaccine development company,” said Mr. Clarke. “I look forward to working with the team to best position their lead vaccine candidate against Candida and Staph aureus infections to address unmet medical needs and create value for the company.”
Mr. Clarke is a recognized leader in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology and vaccine industries, in both large and emerging company environments. He is currently Chairman of the Board of QLT and Mersana Therapeutics and a Director of Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Palkion and Ligocyte Pharmaceuticals. He is also a Venture Advisor to ProQuest Investments, a healthcare venture capital firm. Mr. Clarke was previously President and Chief Executive Officer of three biotechnology companies: Neose Technologies, a protein therapeutics company; Aviron, a vaccine company; and U.S. Bioscience, an oncology company. MedImmune acquired both Aviron (in 2002) and U.S. Bioscience (in 1999) for a combined value of $2 billion. Mr. Clarke held a number of positions at Merck and Company, including Vice President of Merck Vaccines and the founding President of Pasteur-Mérieux MSD, a European joint venture in the vaccines field (now Sanofi Pasteur MSD). Mr. Clarke has a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Master of Arts in History from the University of Calgary.
Mr. Clarke joins NovaDigm’s existing Board members, including: Chairman R. Gordon Douglas, M.D.; Todd Brady, M.D., Ph.D., Principal at Domain Associates; Timothy Cooke, Ph.D.; and Fred Haney, Ph.D., a venture capitalist and co-founder of NovaDigm.
NDV-3 Development Program
NDV-3 is a prophylactic vaccine candidate containing a recombinant Candida surface protein, Als3, and the widely used adjuvant Alhydrogel®. This vaccine was developed as a result of research in the labs of NovaDigm’s scientific founders at the LA BioMed Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center demonstrating that several members of the agglutinin-like sequence (Als) family of proteins induce protective immunity in preclinical models. NDV-3 is the first vaccine to demonstrate protective efficacy against both fungal and bacterial pathogens. Preclinical studies have shown that NDV-3 confers a high survival rate following a challenge with highly virulent doses of one of several species of Candida or against one of several strains of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA).
Candida is the third most common cause of nosocomial bloodstream infections. The incidence of candidiasis in the United States is at least 20 per 100,000 people, or over 60,000 infections per year, of which approximately 40% (24,000) die despite antifungal treatment. Candida is also the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections and the oral infection known as thrush. Historically, S. aureus was predominantly the cause of invasive infections occurring among individuals with immune deficiencies, or those in hospital settings. However, an urgent concern is the recent explosion of drug-resistant S. aureus infections among young and otherwise healthy individuals in the community. S. aureus is now a common cause of skin infections and the CDC estimates that 12 million physician visits annually are due to suspected S. aureus or MRSA skin infections. In 2008, there were an estimated 90,000 cases of invasive MRSA in the U.S., leading to 15,000 deaths (17% mortality).
NovaDigm is developing innovative vaccines to protect patients from fungal and bacterial infections, which can be life-threatening and drug-resistant. The Company’s founding scientists from the LA BioMed Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center are recognized leaders in the field of infectious disease and the emerging threat of “superbugs.” NovaDigm’s lead product candidate targets Candida, a fungal pathogen, and Staphylococcus aureus, including MRSA. Based in North Dakota with additional research activities at LA BioMed, NovaDigm has received funding from Domain Associates, a leading health care venture capital firm, and collaborates with multiple government agencies. www.novadigmtherapeutics.com
Source: NovaDigm Therapeutics
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