NEW YORK, Aug. 31, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lion Biotechnologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:LBIO), a biotechnology company that is developing novel cancer immunotherapies based on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), today announced the appointments of Gregory MacMichael, PhD, as vice president of process development, and Howard B. Johnson as vice president of corporate development.
Dr. MacMichael joins Lion from Novartis' Cell and Gene Therapies Therapeutic Unit, where he led process development for CAR-T and other immunotherapies. Previously, he led the development of the drug substance and drug product processes for Novartis' biologics pipeline.
With more than 30 years of experience in drug product development, Dr. MacMichael has held senior process development and R&D positions at several leading biopharmaceutical companies. Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. MacMichael served as chief scientific officer and vice president of development and manufacturing at Cook Pharmica, a contract development and manufacturing organization. While serving as vice president of vaccine development at Wyeth, he was involved in the development of Prevnar, Prevnar 13 and cold adapted influenza vaccine. He also contributed to the development of Xigris and Forteo at Eli Lilly, and Remicade, ReoPro and Centoxin at Centocor.
Dr. MacMichael's background includes development of cell culture processes, recombinant protein, antibody and vaccine therapies as well as commercialized bioprocess operations. He has also been responsible for multiple pilot plants and full-scale CGMP manufacturing facilities. He holds a PhD in microbiology and biochemistry from Mississippi State University.
Mr. Johnson is an entrepreneurial executive with more than 30 years of experience in operations, finance, business development and investor relations, primarily in healthcare companies. After starting his career as an investment banker, working on product development financings for leading biotech companies at Paine Webber Development Corporation, he went on to become an early investor and initial board member of Acorda Therapeutics.
Mr. Johnson's oncology experience includes Vion Pharmaceuticals, where he was president and chief financial officer. Most recently, he co-founded GO4HLTH, a company that is developing a nutritional supplement for diabetics, and served as CEO of VentriNova, an emerging gene therapy company. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
"We are delighted to welcome these two industry veterans to our management team," said Elma Hawkins, PhD, Lion's president and CEO. "Gregory's distinguished track record in immunotherapy process development will be an asset to Lion as we continue to optimize manufacturing for our TIL technologies. We are also looking forward to Howard's leadership and contributions as we pursue strategic development opportunities."
About Lion Biotechnologies
Lion Biotechnologies, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of cancer immunotherapy products for the treatment of various cancers. The company's lead product candidate is an adoptive cell therapy using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) for the treatment of patients with refractory metastatic melanoma, and is based on a clinical Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Cancer Institute. TIL therapy is also being evaluated in physician-sponsored clinical trials at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Moffitt Cancer Center. For more information, please visit http://www.lionbio.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties described in the Company's most recently filed quarterly report on Form 10-Q and annual report on Form 10-K. Except as permitted by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: Investor Relations The Trout Group Gitanjali Ogawa 646-378-2949 Gogawa@troutgroup.com
Source:Lion Biotechnologies, Inc.