PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Dec. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INO) announced today the appointment of Zane Yang, M.D. as Vice President, Clinical Development, Oncology. In this position, he will be responsible for advancing Inovio's oncology portfolio of DNA immunotherapies through clinical trials to commercialization. He will report to Dr. Mark Bagarazzi, Inovio's Chief Medical Officer.
Inovio is planning a phase III trial for its immunotherapy for a pre-cancer, known as cervical dysplasia, which met its endpoints in a recent phase II trial. The company is in or about to move into phase I trials for numerous cancers including prostate, cervical, breast, lung, head and neck and pancreatic cancers.
Dr. Yang joins Inovio from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, where he was Director, Oncology Medical Affairs in the U.S. Dr. Yang led the prostate cancer and solid tumor therapeutic area including development and commercialization of Zytiga®, for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Prior to Janssen, he was Director of Global Medical Affairs and Clinical Development at Novartis Oncology, and Director of Clinical Development at Merck & Co.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, President & CEO of Inovio, said, "Zane is a highly regarded and accomplished executive and clinical researcher whose experience in the global cancer market makes him exceptionally qualified to lead clinical development in oncology at Inovio. There's a new wave of cancer therapeutics coming, products that enhance the body's immune system to fight and prevent cancer. Inovio is proud to be a leader in this new paradigm of products and Dr. Yang's leadership will play a critical role as we move forward."
Dr. Yang, who earned his M.D. at Beijing Medical University, was a Fellow at Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute and the Wistar Institute. Before transitioning to the pharmaceutical industry he was an associate professor at the University of Virginia Medical Center.
About Inovio's Cancer Immunotherapies
Inovio's DNA-based immunotherapy technology uniquely activates highly potent antigen-specific killer T cells targeting a specific cancer in the body. The company's technology provides the most natural interaction with the immune system next to an actual infection, therefore the activated therapeutic response remains controlled by the immune system and has to date not triggered unwanted inflammatory responses. These are ideal characteristics of an immuno-oncology product. The immune system uses the same weapons to fight precancerous and cancerous cells – sometimes the immune system simply requires assistance to mount an effective immune response. Inovio achieved an industry first with clinically significant efficacy shown with its VGX-3100 HPV immunotherapy in a phase II study of cervical precancer. Inovio is now advancing multiple clinical and R&D stage active immunotherapies with the potential to address the full spectrum of precancers and cancers.
About Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Inovio is revolutionizing the fight against cancer and infectious diseases. Our immunotherapies uniquely activate best-in-class immune responses to prevent and treat disease, and have shown clinically significant efficacy 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 Roche, MedImmune, University of Pennsylvania, DARPA, Drexel University, NIH, HIV Vaccines Trial Network, National Cancer Institute, U.S. Military HIV Research Program, and University of Manitoba. 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, but not limited to, the fact that pre-clinical and clinical results referenced in this release may not be indicative of results achievable in other trials or for other indications, that the studies or trials may not be successful or achieve the results desired, including safety and efficacy for VGX-3100, that pre-clinical studies and clinical trials may not commence or be completed in the time periods anticipated, that results from one study may not necessarily be reflected or supported by the results of other similar studies and that results from an animal study may not be indicative of results achievable in human studies), 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 immune therapy and vaccine products, our ability to advance our portfolio of immune-oncology products independently, including INO-5150, and to commence a phase I clinical trial for INO-5150 in the first half of 2015, 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, our ability to enter into partnerships in conjunction with our research and development programs, evaluation of potential opportunities, 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, 2013, our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, 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.
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SOURCE Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.