DURHAM, N.C., Jan. 20, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Argos Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:ARGS) ("Argos"), an immuno-oncology company focused on the development and commercialization of fully individualized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer based on the Arcelis® technology platform, today announced that Lee F. Allen, MD, PhD, has joined the company as chief medical officer.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Allen to the Argos team and look forward to his expertise and guidance, particularly as we continue with our ongoing pivotal Phase 3 ADAPT trial of AGS-003 in metastatic renal cell carcinoma and prepare for the submission of our Biologics License Application (BLA) that would follow the trial,” said Jeffrey D. Abbey, president and chief executive officer of Argos. “Dr. Allen has extensive experience with clinical development in the oncology field, with a strong track record of global regulatory successes, including the development and approval of the first in class mTOR inhibitor temsirolimus (Torisel®) for renal cell cancer, and the novel pan-histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor belinostat (BeleodaqTM) for peripheral T-cell lymphoma. He will play an important role as we continue to advance all of our clinical programs.”
Dr. Allen comes to Argos with nearly two decades of broad strategic and operational leadership roles in clinical research and development in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently serving as chief medical officer for Spectrum Pharmaceuticals. With a focus on immunology, hematology and oncology, Dr. Allen has held executive level positions with AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Research, Pfizer, and BASF’s Knoll Pharmaceuticals. He has also served in clinical leadership roles in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Utah Health Sciences’ Huntsman Cancer Institute and Duke University Medical Center. He earned a PhD in pathology and an MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and trained in Internal Medicine and Hematology/Oncology at the Duke University Medical Center. At Duke, Dr. Allen also studied signal transduction pathways in the Howard Hughes Laboratory of Nobel Laureate, Dr. Robert Lefkowitz. Dr. Allen has authored or co-authored numerous clinical and basic science publications in oncology including papers in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature, and Science.
“I am thrilled to commit my clinical development and regulatory expertise to the exciting technology at Argos, and look forward to helping the company strategically expand and successfully deliver its development programs,” said Dr. Allen. “With the Phase 3 ADAPT trial on track, Argos is entering a crucial time in its path to commercialization of AGS-003. I believe that my experience as the strategic architect of multiple regulatory dossiers and successful interactions with global regulatory authorities will provide the team with the hands-on leadership needed at this critical time.”
The company also announced that on January 19, 2016, the Compensation Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors approved an inducement grant of an option to purchase 300,000 shares of the Company's common stock to Dr. Allen. The stock option has a 10 year term and a per share exercise price equal to the closing price per share of the Company's common stock as quoted on the Nasdaq Capital Market on January 19, 2016. The stock option has a vesting commencement date of January 18, 2016, and will vest over 4 years, with 25% vesting on January 18, 2017 and then vesting in equal monthly increments over the next three years, subject to Dr. Allen's continued service with the Company through each applicable vesting date. The stock option grant was made as an inducement that was material to Dr. Allen's acceptance of employment with the Company and was granted as an employment inducement award pursuant to NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
About the Arcelis® Technology Platform
Arcelis® is a fully individualized immunotherapy technology that captures both mutated and variant antigens that are specific to each patient’s disease. It is specifically designed to overcome immunosuppression by producing a durable memory T-cell response without the need for adjuvants that may be associated with toxicity. The technology is potentially applicable to a wide range of different cancers, and is designed to overcome many of the manufacturing and commercialization challenges that have impeded other personalized cancer immunotherapies. The Arcelis® process uses only a small tumor or blood sample and the patient’s own dendritic cells, which are optimized from cells collected by a single leukapheresis procedure. The proprietary process uses RNA isolated from the patient's disease sample to program dendritic cells to target disease-specific antigens. The activated, antigen-loaded dendritic cells are then formulated into the patient’s plasma and administered via intradermal injection.
About Argos Therapeutics
Argos Therapeutics is an immuno-oncology company focused on the development and commercialization of fully personalized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer using its Arcelis® technology platform. Argos’ most advanced product candidate, AGS-003, is being evaluated in the pivotal ADAPT Phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). The Company is also developing a separate Arcelis®-based product candidate, AGS-004, for the treatment of HIV, which is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 clinical trial aimed at HIV eradication in adult patients. For more information about Argos Therapeutics, visit www.argostherapeutics.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Any statements in this press release about Argos’ future expectations, plans and prospects, including statements about Argos and other statements containing the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including whether Argos’ cash resources will be sufficient to fund our continuing operations for the period anticipated; whether results obtained in clinical trials will be indicative of results obtained in future clinical trials; whether Argos’ product candidates will advance through the clinical trial process on a timely basis; whether the results of such trials will warrant submission for approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies; whether Argos’ product candidates will receive approval from regulatory agencies on a timely basis or at all; whether, if product candidates obtain approval, they will be successfully distributed and marketed; and other factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Argos’ Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2015, which is on file with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent Argos’ views as of January 20, 2016. Argos anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause Argos’ views to change. However, while Argos may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Argos specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing Argos’ views as of any date subsequent to January 20, 2016.
Source:Argos Therapeutics Inc.