AUSTIN, Texas, June 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- XBiotech (Nasdaq:XBIT), the developer of True Human™ therapeutic antibodies, announced today that Kelly R. Thornburg has joined the company as Senior Vice President of Operations. Mr. Thornburg brings more than 30 years of pharmaceutical operations experience to XBiotech, the prior 16 years spent at Amgen, Inc.
Mr. Thornburg will oversee manufacturing operations for the production of the Company's True Human therapeutic antibodies. Among his duties, Mr. Thornburg will oversee the transition from Phase 3 clinical manufacturing to launch of commercial production. This will include oversight of the completion and validation of XBiotech's commercial manufacturing facility now under construction.
During Mr. Thornburg's tenure with Amgen he provided strategic and tactical leadership of manufacturing related programs, including interactions with regulatory agencies, resulting in the successful approval of four protein therapeutics including: Kineret® (anakinra), Kepivance® (palifermin), Nplate® (romiplostim), and Prolia® (denosumab). He also worked on Amgen's pipeline products supporting commercialization strategy and regulatory filing activities.
John Simard, President and CEO of XBiotech, stated, "Instrumental to our vision of redefining the paradigm for antibody therapeutics is our unique manufacturing system. We are replacing the massively complex plant and equipment infrastructure used by other manufacturers with a simple, disposable bioreactor technology. We believe that this will enable commercial-scale production of novel antibodies at a fraction of the cost, and with shorter lead-time and greater production flexibility than normally required. Kelly's significant operational and quality experience gives him an excellent combination of skills necessary to lead our operations as we transition to commercial production. We are all very excited to have Kelly as part of the XBiotech team."
Mr. Thornburg added, "Having spent the previous 16 years at Amgen, considered one of the pioneers of today's biotechnology industry, I believe that XBiotech possesses many of the same visionary qualities that have been essential to Amgen's success. I greatly look forward to applying my expertise in operations and quality to XBiotech as the Company utilizes its True Human technology platform to redefine how antibodies are discovered, developed and manufactured."
Prior to joining XBiotech, Thornburg spent 16 years at Amgen where he held a variety of senior level positions. Thornburg served as an Executive Director, Quality Site Head at Amgen's Colorado facility, where he managed all aspects of Amgen's quality functions with responsibility for two protein drug substance manufacturing plants and GMP warehouse facilities. Before that, Thornburg served as Executive Director, Quality Control, where he managed the Quality Control Laboratory function for the Amgen Manufacturing site in Juncos, Puerto Rico.
XBiotech is pioneering a new era in the discovery and development of targeted antibodies based on its True HumanTM technology. The Company's mission is to rethink the way antibody medicines are discovered and commercialized by advancing its robust pipeline of truly natural human antibodies for treating serious diseases such as cancer, inflammatory conditions and infectious diseases. XBiotech's lead product, Xilonix™, is a potential breakthrough antibody therapy that is currently the subject of two pivotal clinical studies for treating patients with advanced colorectal cancer. Xilonix™ specifically targets and neutralizes interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1a), a molecule known to promote angiogenesis, growth and spread of tumors, as well as mediate symptoms such as metabolic dysregulation, fatigue and anxiety associated with advanced cancer. XBiotech believes that its broad pipeline of True Human antibodies will be able to potentially deliver unmatched safety and efficacy because they are cloned directly from individual donors who possess natural immunity against certain targeted diseases. As such, XBiotech expects that True Human antibodies will retain their natural physiology and tolerance profile, having passed the rigors of immune selection in the body. For more information, visit www.xbiotech.com.
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