WINNIPEG, Manitoba, June 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Viventia Bio Inc., a late clinical-stage company advancing a broad pipeline of novel anti-cancer agents, today announced the expansion of its Board of Directors resulting from the additions of four industry veterans in 2015; George Bickerstaff, Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, MRCP, Catherine J. Mackey, Ph.D., and Sanford Zweifach, all of whom are accomplished leaders in the life sciences with extensive operational experience. The presence of these Board members is intended to complement the continued growth of Viventia's programs and pipeline as the Company prepares to advance two lead clinical candidates, Vicinium™ and Proxinium™, into Phase III testing this year for bladder cancer and head & neck cancer, respectively. The Company also has an earlier-stage pipeline of de-immunized, systemic anti-cancer Targeted Protein Therapeutic product candidates entering Phase I/II in Q1 2016. The total number of Viventia's Board members is seven, including Board Chair Leslie L. Dan, who is also Founder of Viventia, Dr. Martin Barkin of the University of Toronto and Stephen Hurly the Company CEO.
"It is with great pride that we announce these members of our Board, acclaimed industry leaders who bring unique sets of skills to Viventia," stated Stephen Hurly, Viventia's Chief Executive Officer. "Their collective contributions to the life sciences have had a profound impact on the advancement of the healthcare industry, and each will have a key role to play as the Company accelerates its late-stage pipeline and programs addressing substantial needs in patient care. We are very fortunate to have their support."
"Viventia has attracted world-class talent, both in its senior leadership and the Board, based on the Company's extensive, validated clinical results, its competitive strategy and differentiation, and its breakthrough science," commented Mr. Dan, who is also Founder of Viventia. "We want to change how cancer is treated, and effectively we have in place the people who I believe are supremely suited to accomplish this."
George Bickerstaff has over 35 years of experience in the financial services, healthcare and information technology industries and has been instrumental in establishing the strategic, operating and financial direction of numerous private and public companies. During his career he has provided financial leadership for mergers and acquisitions valued at more than $50 billion and has funded and operated various venture capital businesses. Mr. Bickerstaff is Co-Founder and Managing Director of M.M. Dillon and Company, a full service private investment bank, and also is the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of the Global Leaders, a private information technology company. He founded his business advisory firm, GWB Capital, in 2005 after serving as Chief Financial Officer of six global healthcare and information technology companies, including Novartis Pharma AG. Previously, he held senior positions at The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation, including as CFO of IMS Health, the largest global publicly traded healthcare information services provider. Mr. Bickerstaff started his career at General Electric in manufacturing. In addition to Viventia, he is a Board member of Aegis Health Security, Cardax, Inc., CareDx, Inc., and Cyclica Inc. Mr. Bickerstaff graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Engineering and a B.A. in Business.
Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, MRCP
Annalisa Jenkins, MBBS, MRCP, is a biopharma thought leader with nearly 20 years of industry experience building and leading teams advancing programs from scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval and into healthcare systems globally. Dr. Jenkins is the Chief Executive Officer of Dimension Therapeutics. Prior to joining Dimension, she served as Executive Vice President, Head of Global Research and Development for Merck Serono. She also led Global Medical Affairs and Quality and was a member of Merck Serono's Pharmaceutical Executive Committee. Previously, Dr. Jenkins pursued a nearly 15-year career at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), attaining the role of Senior Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs. She began her career as a medical officer with the British Royal Navy during the Gulf conflict, rising to the rank of Surgeon Lieutenant Commander. Dr. Jenkins graduated in medicine from St. Bartholomew's Hospital London and trained in cardiovascular medicine in the UK National Health Service. In addition to Viventia, Dr. Jenkins is a member of the Board of Directors of Ardelyx, Biothera, and MedCity. She also is a member of the European Commission's Scientific Panel for Health and a committee member of the Science Board to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
Catherine J. Mackey, Ph.D.
An experienced corporate director, Dr. Catherine J. Mackey, Ph.D., brings 30 years of achievement in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, including 20 years of experience at the senior executive level as a leader and general manager of R&D organizations. Dr. Mackey is Chief Executive Officer of Cyprus Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage company focused on expanding the therapeutic potential of approved drugs by altering drug metabolism. Prior to this, she held senior leadership positions at Pfizer, including most recently as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Research and Development, as well as Director, La Jolla Laboratories, in which position she was instrumental in creating San Diego's largest pharmaceutical R&D center. Prior to this, Dr. Mackey was Vice President of Research at DEKALB Genetics Corp, serving on the executive team that sold the company to Monsanto in 1998. Dr. Mackey is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cour Pharma, and in addition to Viventia, she is a member of the Board of Directors of Evolve Biosystems, Inc. She received her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in microbiology from Cornell University.
Sanford Zweifach has 25 years' experience in the life sciences industry, with extensive background in corporate partnering, business development, operations, P&L, private and public investing, and capital raising. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Nuvelution Pharma, Inc. Previously, Mr. Zweifach served as CEO of Ascendancy Healthcare, Inc., which he also founded, and before this, he was a Partner at Reedland Capital Partners, a boutique investment bank, where he headed its life sciences M&A and advisory efforts. Prior to this, he was CEO of Pathways Diagnostics, a biomarker development company. Previously, Mr. Zweifach was Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of Bay City Capital, a merchant bank specializing in the biotech and the life science industry, where he was responsible for oversight of the firm's finance department, as well as President of the firm's M&A and financing division. Prior to this, he was President and CFO of Epoch Biosciences, which was acquired by Nanogen in 2004. Earlier in his career, Mr. Zweifach was a Certified Public Accountant for Coopers & Lybrand and held various investment banking positions focusing on biotech. He received his B.A. in Biology from UC San Diego and his M.S. in Human Physiology from UC Davis.
About Viventia Bio
Viventia Bio is a late clinical-stage company advancing a broad pipeline of novel anti-cancer agents based on the Company's Targeted Protein Therapeutics (TPTs) platform. TPTs are fully biologic fusion constructs containing antibody fragments, a proprietary linker, and protein toxin payloads. The Company believes its platform offers significant advantages in treating cancer versus earlier technologies, including superior tumor targeting and better cancer cell-killing properties through the utilization of protein payloads versus small molecules, as well as enhanced linker stability and more efficient manufacturing.
Viventia's lead clinical candidates, Vicinium™ and Proxinium™, are anticipated to progress in Phase III testing in 2015 for locoregional treatment of patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and squamous cell carcinoma of the head & neck (SCCHN), respectively. Earlier-stage programs are focused on de-immunized, systemic candidates, including VB6-901, indicated for solid tumors and expected to enter Phase I testing in the first quarter of next year, as well as additional preclinical candidates targeting solid tumors. Viventia was founded by life sciences entrepreneur and philanthropist Leslie L. Dan.
CONTACT: Justin Jackson, Burns McClellan, on behalf of Viventia Bio 212-213-0006, ext.327 firstname.lastname@example.orgSource:Viventia Bio Inc.