PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Oct. 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:INO) today announced strategic leadership appointments to support the advancement of its portfolio of DNA-based cancer immunotherapies and infectious disease vaccines. Inovio has an extensive pipeline of clinical-stage cancer immunotherapies highlighted by VGX-3100, which is entering phase III this year; and DNA vaccines in development for Zika, MERS and HIV, among others.
Inovio adds two oncologists and a plasmid manufacturing expert reporting to Inovio’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mark Bagarazzi:
- Dr. Ildiko Csiki will serve Inovio as Vice President, Clinical Development, Oncology, responsible for advancing Inovio’s cancer programs. Prior to joining Inovio, Dr. Csiki had been clinical lead and senior director of clinical research at Merck & Co. where she guided Merck’s global solid tumor development program and was lead for several registration studies. Dr. Csiki also served as GSK’s director of clinical development and lead physician for the follicular lymphoma program. Dr. Csiki earned her MD and PhD degrees from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and her BS in Biology and BA in Psychology from the University of Arkansas.
- Dr. Jeffrey Skolnik, Vice President, Clinical Development, Oncology, will also direct Inovio’s cancer immunotherapy programs. Dr. Skolnik was previously vice president of clinical research at TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals, where he oversaw all global clinical assets. He also served as a medical director at GSK and AstraZeneca. Dr. Skolnik earned his MD at New York University, with honors in pathology, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
- Robert J. Juba Jr. has been promoted to Vice President, Biological Manufacturing and Clinical Supply Management, and is responsible for ensuring the provision of Inovio’s SynCon® plasmid DNA therapeutic and prophylactic vaccine candidates for clinical use. He has 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry managing cGMP processes and operations, with extensive technical expertise in bacterial vaccine manufacturing. He led plasmid manufacturing at VGXI, Inc. and held several positions at Merck in bulk vaccine manufacturing operations and strategy. He holds Masters and BS degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Inovio has also bolstered its manufacturing and business development functions with two additional staff reporting to Dr. Niranjan Sardesai, Inovio’s Chief Operating Officer:
- Daniel Jordan will serve as Inovio’s Vice President, Device Manufacturing Operations. Previously he was vice president of U.S. and Canadian operations at Verisk Analytics, a 3M company. He has over 25 years of medical device manufacturing operations experience in early growth to mature organizations. Most recently he served as executive director of global operations at Teleflex Medical, a diversified medical device manufacturer. He earned an MBA in Finance from Weber University and a BS in Business Management at San Diego State University.
- Dr. Paul Stead, Inovio’s Vice President, Business Development, will lead business development and partnering activities. He was vice president, business development at Nimbus Therapeutics, a company developing novel treatments for metabolic and immunological diseases, and oncology. For more than 20 years he served GSK in roles of increasing responsibility including business development, competitive intelligence and discovery chemistry. He holds an MBA from Lehigh University, a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Nottingham, and a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Bath.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio’s President & CEO, said, “We welcome these talented and experienced technical and business leaders to Inovio as we work to bring new breakthrough cancer medicines and vaccines to patients. It is gratifying that Inovio's corporate culture, validated platform, and important product pipeline are attracting such accomplished executives to help us execute our product development and commercialization strategy.”
About Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Inovio is taking immunotherapy to the next level in the fight against cancer and infectious diseases. We are the only immunotherapy company that has reported generating T cells in vivo in high quantity that are fully functional and whose killing capacity correlates with relevant clinical outcomes with a favorable safety profile. With an expanding portfolio of immune therapies, the company is advancing a growing preclinical and clinical stage product pipeline. Partners and collaborators include MedImmune, The Wistar Institute, University of Pennsylvania, DARPA, GeneOne Life Science, Plumbline Life Sciences, Drexel University, NIH, HIV Vaccines Trial Network, National Cancer Institute, U.S. Military HIV Research Program, and Laval University. For more information, visit www.inovio.com.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to our business, including our plans to develop electroporation-based drug and gene delivery technologies and DNA vaccines, our expectations regarding our research and development programs and our capital resources. Actual events or results may differ from the expectations set forth herein as a result of a number of factors, including uncertainties inherent in pre-clinical studies, clinical trials and product development programs, including the Zika vaccine GLS-5700, the availability of funding to support continuing research and studies in an effort to prove safety and efficacy of electroporation technology as a delivery mechanism or develop viable DNA vaccines, our ability to support our broad pipeline of SynCon® active immunotherapy and vaccine products, the ability of our collaborators to attain development and commercial milestones for products we license and product sales that will enable us to receive future payments and royalties, the adequacy of our capital resources, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments for the conditions targeted by the company or its collaborators, including alternatives that may be more efficacious or cost effective than any therapy or treatment that the company and its collaborators hope to develop, issues involving product liability, issues involving patents and whether they or licenses to them will provide the company with meaningful protection from others using the covered technologies, whether such proprietary rights are enforceable or defensible or infringe or allegedly infringe on rights of others or can withstand claims of invalidity and whether the company can finance or devote other significant resources that may be necessary to prosecute, protect or defend them, the level of corporate expenditures, assessments of the company's technology by potential corporate or other partners or collaborators, capital market conditions, the impact of government healthcare proposals and other factors set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2016, and other regulatory filings from time to time. There can be no assurance that any product in Inovio's pipeline will be successfully developed or manufactured, that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market licensed products, or that any of the forward-looking information provided herein will be proven accurate.