BriaCell Therapeutics Announces New President, CEO and Chairman of the Board
VANCOUVER, BC–(Marketwired – June 01, 2015) – BriaCell Therapeutics Corp (TSX VENTURE: BCT) (“BriaCell“, the “Company”, or “BCT“) is pleased to announce that it has appointed Joseph Wagner, PhD as President and CEO of the Company, effective today. Dr. Wagner comes to BriaCell following his resignation as President and CEO of OncoCyte Corporation, a subsidiary of BioTime, Inc., a publicly listed company on the NYSE. The Company is also delighted to appoint biotech veteran Dr. Saeid Babaei as its Chairman of the Board of Directors. Dr. Joseph Wagner is a proven, reputable CEO and an expert scientist, and the Company believes that he has the depth and expertise to substantially advance and grow its current technology as well as expand its platform. Dr. Wagner has launched, managed, and sold biotech companies, the named inventor on multiple patents, and has lectured and trained at top medical institutions.
The Company is also delighted to appoint biotech veteran Dr. Saeid Babaei as its Chairman of the Board of Directors, which will allow the Company’s visionary founder, Dr. Charles Wiseman, to focus on Company’s clinical development program as Chief Medical Officer. This structuring, with a professional full-time CEO and an independent non-officer Chairman, is intended to position the Company more in-line with its biotech peers on larger stock exchanges.
Dr. Babaei commented, “Simply put, we believe Dr. Wagner possesses the skillsets to take BriaCell to the next level. He is a seasoned executive but also a PhD scientist who has invented technologies and grown biotechs from launch all the way to acquisition. Investors entrusted us to build out a top-caliber team, and in my mind Dr. Wagner is the ideal CEO to take BriaCell through its next phase of growth, a respected executive with both a scientific background, as well as deep relationships with large American pharma companies and institutional capital markets. Dr. Wagner has a vast network of top biotech investors, including many who have backed him in the past. We believe that having someone of Dr. Joseph Wagner’s caliber working and marketing BriaCell 24/7, will prove to be highly valuable for investors.”
“I am thrilled and honored to be joining BriaCell,” said Dr. Wagner. “I have studied BriaCell’s clinical data in-depth, and I believe the technology invented by Dr. Wiseman and being developed at BriaCell holds tremendous potential. I have seen many technologies, some more advanced than BriaVaxTM, but in my mind BriaCell has achieved truly unique results and presents real growth opportunity. I am fully committed to BriaCell and will bring all my relationships to bear in ensuring success. I look forward to initiating our upcoming clinical trial as well as strategically building the Company into a leading developer of cancer immunotherapy.”
Dr. Wagner was the President of Cell Targeting Inc., a Company which was acquired by a subsidiary of BioTime. After the acquisition, Dr. Wagner became the President and CEO of OncoCyte, where he developed, initiated, and managed multiple clinical trials in oncology with a total patient enrollment of over 2,000 patients including programs in breast, bladder, and lung cancers. Prior to this, Dr. Wagner was a Senior Director of R&D at Neuronyx, where he worked directly under its Founder Dr. Hubert J.P. Schoemaker, considered by many to be one of the pioneers of biotech. After Dr. Schoemaker’s passing, Dr. Wagner became Vice President of Neuronyx, responsible for its Cell Therapy division.
During Dr. Wagner’s academic career, he was an Associate Professor for nearly 5 years at the Karolinska Institute, where he focused on Molecular Neurobiology and developed technologies which led to 6 patent applications. The Karolinska Institute was recently ranked amongst the top-10 medical universities in the world, and its famed Nobel Assembly is responsible for awarding the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Wagner completed his PhD at Duke University, where he specialized in Pharmacology, and he is the named inventor on patents in the cell-therapy and oncology fields.
BriaCell is a breast cancer immunotherapy biotechnology company. Immunotherapies have come to the forefront of the fight against cancer, because they harness the body’s own immune system in recognizing and selectively destroying the cancer cells, sparing normal ones. Immunotherapies are believed to be a more targeted, less toxic approach to managing cancer. This approach is also more likely to prevent recurrence and is not expected to produce the serious side effects seen with chemotherapy.
The Company has demonstrated unique and unprecedented results, and is intent on building upon these results to further advance BriaVax™ through the FDA Clinical Trials in order to help cancer patients with no other options. The results of two FDA Phase I clinical trials have been encouraging in terms of both safety and efficacy in patients with advanced, stage-IV breast cancer. Most uniquely, BriaCell has achieved these results in patients who had prior failed all other available therapies including various kinds of chemotherapy. In some cases, the lifespan was five times longer expected. The results were targeted, with little to no side effects, and were achieved rapidly, with regression occurring within 6 weeks.
In one patient, cancer regressed in all sites to which the cancer had spread, including lesions in the breast, lung, and even brain. This result was the most unique finding, given that the brain is largely considered an untouchable site in terms of cancer regression. Again, results were seen rapidly and with little to no adverse side effects.
The Company is planning to advance its cancer immunotherapy technology in an FDA Phase I/II clinical trial with up to 24 breast cancer patients with advanced stages of solid tumors. The FDA-approved protocol has provision to allow testing the vaccine in selected patients with other cancers as well, including prostate, ovarian, pancreas, lung and bladder cancers among others. Although the focus of the Company is currently breast cancer, it recognizes that upon further proof of concept, its technology may be applicable to such other cancers as well. For further information, please refer to Company’s website at www.BriaCell.com or its introductory video www.youtube.com/watch?v=el-yFF1uHoQ
The TSX Venture Exchange Inc. has in no way passed upon the merits of the Company has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release. Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This news release contains forward-looking information, which involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from current expectation. Important factors — including the availability of funds, the results of financing efforts, the results of exploration activities — that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations are disclosed in the Company’s documents filed from time to time on SEDAR (see www.sedar.com). Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The company disclaims any intention or obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to sell any of the securities described herein in the United States or elsewhere. These securities have not been, and will not be, registered in the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or any state securities laws, and may not be offered or sold in the United States or to U.S. persons unless registered or exempt therefrom.
Embedded Video Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el-yFF1uHoQ
Source: Marketwired Biotech