February 18, 2014
Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced it has expanded its senior management team with two appointments to help advance the company’s growing pipeline of preclinical and clinical DNA vaccines. Inovio has appointed Dr. Laurent Humeau as Vice President of R&D and Dr. Jan Marie-Albert Van Tornout as Vice President of Clinical Development.
Prior to Inovio, Dr. Humeau was Senior Director of Translational Research, Human Therapeutics Division forIntrexon and previously Chief Scientific Officer at VIRxSYS Corporation. At Inovio, Dr. Humeau will provide the technical and strategic leadership for its R&D group including: preclinical development of immunotherapy and vaccine candidates, immunology and immune monitoring approaches, method development, product characterization, and analytical development.
Dr. Van Tornout will bring his broad experience as a lead oncology pharmaceutical executive to Inovio’s cancer programs, overseeing its oncology pipeline strategy, planning clinical development, and steering early and late-stage clinical programs. Before joining Inovio, Dr. Van Tornout was Executive Director and Global Oncology Medical Lead for Astellas Pharma. Previously he was Group Director and Lead, Oncology Development at Bristol Myers Squibb and Medical Director/ Global Safety for Amgen.
Building on the best-in-class immune response data already reported by Inovio, Drs. Humeau and Van Tornout will play an integral role in advancing Inovio’s portfolio of immunotherapy technologies with their multi-disease potential and rapidly expanding list of experimental candidates, new therapeutic cancer products, clinical study opportunities, and partnering prospects. Inovio’s lead DNA immunotherapy product, VGX-3100, designed to treat HPV-related cancers and pre-cancers, will generate efficacy and immunogenicity data from a phase II trial for high grade cervical dysplasia mid-year 2014. Inovio also plans to expand testing of this product to treat HPV-related cervical and head & neck cancers, the latter the most rapidly growing cancer in men. Last year, Inovio signed a$400-plus million collaboration with Roche to co-develop its therapeutic vaccine for prostate cancer, INO-5150, which is expected to enter clinical trials this year.
Inovio’s pipeline includes its therapeutic DNA vaccine targeting hTERT, known as INO-1400, which is found in 85% of human cancers. Inovio intends to evaluate INO-1400 in breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers later this year. Also included in Inovio’s broad immunotherapy pipeline are its DNA-based immune activators/modulators as well as its research-stage DNA-based monoclonal antibodies.
Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio’s President and CEO, said: “We want to continue to show leadership in advancing active immunotherapies. As we expose the full breadth of Inovio’s technology base and build our company for growth and an expanding pipeline, Inovio will greatly benefit from the scientific expertise and commercial mindset that these two talented executives bring to our biotech company. Drs. Humeau and Van Tornout have held global research and clinical development positions and have a demonstrated track record for achieving regulatory milestones. They will play a major role as Inovio addresses unmet medical needs and delivers the next generation of medicines based on our DNA therapies.”
Dr. Humeau received his BS and MS in biology from the University Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris and a PhD in blood cell biology from the University Denis Diderot, Paris. Dr. Humeau will report to Dr. Niranjan Sardesai, Inovio’s Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Van Tornout earned his MD from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, and holds MS degrees in classical philosophy from the Katholieke Universiteit and applied biometry from the University of Southern California, in addition to a BS in Science from Faculte Notre-Dame de la Paix, Namur, Belgium. Dr. Van Tornout will report to Dr. Mark Bagarazzi, Inovio’s Chief Medical Officer.
Read the full release here.