Immunovaccine Inc. (“Immunovaccine” or “IMV” or “the company”) (TSX-V: IMV), a clinical stage vaccine and immunotherapy company, today announced that Marc Mansour, Ph.D., MBA, has been appointed chief executive officer.
Albert Scardino, executive chairman since last year, will return to his role as non-executive chairman of the company. Mr. Mansour has previously served as the company’s chief operating officer and chief science officer and is a member of its board of directors.
Since joining Immunovaccine in 2001, Mr. Mansour has led the development of Immunovaccine’s DepoVax™ platform and the company’s lead therapeutic cancer vaccine DPX-Survivac, which is being prepared for multiple Phase II clinical studies in 2014. During his recent tenure as COO, Mr. Mansour also spearheaded interactions with the investment community, as well as business development efforts.
Albert Scardino, chairman of Immunovaccine, commented, "During his 13 years at Immunovaccine, Marc has contributed to all aspects of our development, from cutting-edge scientific research to day-to-day corporate operations. No individual has a better understanding of where Immunovaccine has been or what it will take to advance the company to the next phase of its evolution.”
Immunovaccine earlier this month presented positive results from a Phase I/Ib clinical study of DPX-Survivac at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2014 Annual Meeting, demonstrating the first evidence of clinical activity for the cancer vaccine.
While the majority of ovarian cancer patients enrolled in the study were complete responders to their previous therapy and presented no evidence of disease at the time of enrollment, three patients entered the Phase Ib study with stable disease. One of those three patients experienced a partial response (PR) as measured by Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (RECIST 1.1), while the other two experienced disease progression. The responding patient achieved a 43 per cent reduction in tumor size, as well as reduction in levels of a commonly used ovarian cancer biomarker (CA125) and a significant increase in vaccine-induced immune responses. The patient’s tumor and CA125 levels remain stable eight months following initiation of the DPX-Survivac therapy, demonstrating a potentially durable effect of the therapy.
“This is an exciting time for Immunovaccine and the broader cancer immunotherapy field. Our announcement of the DPX-Survivac data at the annual ASCO conference has resulted in a significant amount of interest from key opinion leaders for further investigation of the cancer vaccine. As a direct result of this KOL interest, we are exploring two additional Phase II clinical studies of DPX-Survivac in ovarian cancer and lymphoma potentially in 2014,” stated Mr. Mansour.
As previously announced, a large randomized Phase II trial of DPX-Survivac in ovarian cancer will be sponsored and conducted by Canada’s NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG). The NCIC CTG is expected to initiate the 250 patient trial in 2014.
Immunovaccine Inc. develops cancer immunotherapies and infectious disease vaccines based on the company’s DepoVax™ platform, a patented formulation that provides controlled and prolonged exposure of antigens and adjuvant to the immune system. Immunovaccine has advanced two T cell activation therapies for cancer through Phase I human clinical trials. Lead cancer vaccine therapy, DPX-Survivac, is expected to enter Phase II clinical studies in both ovarian cancer and glioblastoma (brain cancer). The company is also advancing an infectious disease pipeline including innovative vaccines for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and anthrax. Connect at WWW.IMVACCINE.COM
This press release contains forward-looking information under applicable securities law. All information that addresses activities or developments that we expect to occur in the future, including information regarding the use of proceeds of the financing, is forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the date the statements are made. However, they should not be regarded as a representation that any of the plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to risks affecting the company, including access to capital, the successful completion of clinical trials and receipt of all regulatory approvals. Immunovaccine Inc. assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements in this press release except as required by law.
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Halifax, Nova Scotia, June 11, 2014