PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Imvax, Inc., a discovery and clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of novel patient-specific vaccines and immunotherapy strategies, today announced that John P. Furey has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and will join the board of directors.
Mr. Furey was previously the Chief Operating Officer of Spark Therapeutics, Inc. He succeeds interim CEO David W. Andrews, MD, Imvax’s co-founder and Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Andrews has been developing Imvax’s lead product candidate, IGV-001, for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) with his team at Thomas Jefferson University over the past two decades.
“Our board set the bar exceptionally high for Imvax’s first permanent CEO,” said Dr. Andrews, who is also Anthony Alfred Chiurco, MD Professor of Neurological Surgery, Vice Chair of Clinical Services at the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience at Jefferson. “John is a proven professional with a successful track record in the biopharmaceutical industry. He shares Imvax’s passion for addressing the unmet needs of people with cancer and we are thrilled to have him on board.”
“Imvax’s remarkable science, commitment to patient care and impressive team attracted me to the company,” said Mr. Furey. “IGV-001 has demonstrated in clinical trials thus far that it holds great promise to transform outcomes for patients with glioblastoma, a devastating and lethal type of brain tumor. It’s an exciting time to join Imvax as we continue advancing IGV-001 for glioblastoma and potentially other cancers, and continue growing the company.”
During his tenure at Spark, Mr. Furey led the successful US launch of LUXTURNA™, the first FDA-approved gene therapy for a genetic disease, and contributed to the build out of Spark as a fully integrated company. Prior to Spark, Mr. Furey served as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Operations at Baxalta, where he transformed the company’s global operations into a first-in-class supply chain network for rare diseases and led the 14,000-employee manufacturing, quality, engineering and process development organization. Earlier in his career, Mr. Furey initiated the restructuring and ultimate divestiture of Baxter International’s vaccines franchise to Pfizer. While at Pfizer, he transformed the China vaccine business into one of the company’s fastest growing units.
Mr. Furey also currently serves as non-executive director at Adaptimmune, a leader in T-cell therapy, and is an independent board member of Sensorion, a pioneering clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for the ear.
Peter B. Corr, PhD, Imvax’s co-founder who has transitioned from Executive Board Chairman to Chairman of the Board with Mr. Furey’s appointment, said, “In a short time, Imvax has distinguished itself as a company with the potential to change the cancer treatment landscape. I am confident that John has the expertise and experience to lead this effort.”
Imvax’s IGV-001 is an autologous tumor cell vaccine that delivers a multi-pronged response against tumor cells by leveraging the patient’s immune system as a defense mechanism. In the most recent Phase 1b clinical trial of IGV-001, the vaccine outperformed historical standard of care with prolonged survival and progression-free survival in patients with newly diagnosed GBM. Imvax’s research and clinical trials have been supported by two rounds of financing. The company has sufficient capital to support continued operations, launch a planned multi-center Phase 2 clinical trial for glioblastoma as well as a Phase 1 clinical trial in another cancer indication based on encouraging preclinical data.
About Imvax, Inc.
Imvax is a discovery and clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of novel patient-specific vaccines and immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of malignant gliomas and other cancers with unmet medical needs. Imvax’s lead product candidate, IGV-001, is an autologous tumor cell vaccine that delivers a multi-pronged response against tumor cells by leveraging the patient’s immune system as a defense mechanism.
Imvax is based in Philadelphia, PA. For additional information, please visit www.Imvax.com.
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