ROCKVILLE, Md., March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Aeras today announced that Danilo Casimiro, Ph.D., has joined the organization as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) effective February 29. Dr. Casimiro joins Aeras from the Merck Research Laboratories, where he was Executive Director in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Vaccine Research.
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"Danilo Casimiro has dedicated his career to developing vaccines to combat many major human health issues and we are delighted he will be leading Aeras's scientific strategy to develop a new, effective tuberculosis (TB) vaccine," said Jacqueline E. Shea, Ph.D., Aeras Chief Executive Officer. "As a prominent and highly respected scientific leader, Dr. Casimiro brings a broad-ranging wealth of vaccine discovery and development experience and shares our passion and commitment to TB vaccine development and to global health."
Dr. Casimiro will be filling the position recently vacated by Thomas G. Evans, M.D., who was formerly Aeras CEO and has been serving as Acting Chief Scientific Officer during the search for a permanent CSO.
Dr. Casimiro has 20 years of experience in research and development at Merck, where he was responsible for several vaccine and biologics discovery programs in the infectious disease and oncology areas. Before his current position, he oversaw the Viral Vaccine Discovery Organization, New Vaccine Technologies Group, Vaccine Clinical Assay Laboratories, and HIV Vaccine R&D team at Merck.
"It is a great honor to be a part of the Aeras organization in its mission to realize the promise of a new, effective vaccine which will significantly reduce the burden of this devastating disease," said Dr. Casimiro. "This goal is a critical one as TB has now become the world's leading killer by a single infectious disease agent."
During his lifelong commitment to scientific leadership, Dr. Casimiro has contributed to the development and licensure of Merck's papillomavirus vaccines, and the selection of 13 novel vaccine candidates (including Merck's current cytomegalovirus, Ebola, and dengue vaccine development candidates) and three monoclonal antibodies for clinical development. He has also served on numerous advisory committees to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, HIV Vaccine Enterprise, NIH Integrated Preclinical/Clinical AIDS Vaccine Development Program, Human Vaccine Project, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Dr. Casimiro currently holds over 20 patents on vaccine candidates and technologies and has co-authored more than 100 scientific articles in biological and biomedical research. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.
Aeras is a nonprofit, global biotech advancing the development of new tuberculosis vaccines for the world, in partnership with other biotech, pharmaceutical, and academic organizations. Aeras has 90 employees from over 20 countries around the world, and has offices in the U.S., Africa, and Asia. Aeras receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, the Global Health Initiative Technology Fund, and pharmaceutical organizations. Support also is received from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, as well as from other governments, as well as partnerships and collaborations with universities and pharmaceutical companies.
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