ROCKVILLE, MD, May 9, 2013 - The Aeras Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Thomas G. Evans, MD, as President & Chief Executive Officer of Aeras, a non-profit biotech advancing TB vaccines for the world. Dr. Evans, who joined Aeras as Chief Scientific Officer in 2010, has been acting as Interim President and Chief Scientific Officer since early 2013. He assumes his leadership role as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) today.
"Tom Evans brings an unsurpassed mix of vision, infectious disease expertise and global scientific collaboration to his new role as President and CEO of Aeras," said R. Gordon Douglas, MD, Chair of the Aeras Board of Directors. "His distinctive quality of leadership will be critical to the attainment of the organization's mission to develop TB vaccines."
Tuberculosis remains an enormous global health challenge. Despite worldwide efforts to control its spread, the current rate of decline is insufficient to reach elimination without the development and delivery of new tools to fight it. New TB vaccines for adolescents and adults could have a major impact on reducing the spread of TB and mitigating the disease's economic impact.
"I am taking on this new role at Aeras with absolute conviction that new vaccines are essential to save lives and reduce the terrible personal and economic impact of tuberculosis," said Tom Evans, MD, Aeras' newly appointed President & CEO. "Moving forward, Aeras will continue to focus on expanding international support and political will for this effort. And, in a field reliant on strong multi-partner scientific collaboration, I will continue to prioritize global partnership to solve the most complex challenges facing TB vaccine research and advance innovative preclinical and clinical trial methods to test, and one day, deliver new TB vaccines."
Since joining Areas in 2010, Tom has played an important role in expanding opportunities to convene the TB vaccine R&D field to rationally explore new avenues of discovery, identify promising vaccine leads and advance vaccines in the development pipeline. As Chief Scientific Officer, Tom constituted a vaccine advisory committee to advise Aeras' portfolio diversification and worked with global partners to jointly establish target product profiles to ensure the prioritization of vaccines with the potential for maximum public health impact. Under his stewardship, Aeras also launched a series of scientific forums co-sponsored with the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and co-hosted a scientific gathering of the world's top TB vaccine experts in Beijing in 2011.
Under Tom Evans' leadership, Aeras will continue to advance its clinical pipeline of six TB vaccine candidates, as well as the collaborative preclinical development of a number of promising leads. Later this year, a multi-country clinical Phase IIb clinical trial collaboration with GSK of a candidate vaccine will start enrolling up to 4,500 adults at research sites in Kenya, South Africa and Zambia.
Prior to joining Aeras, Tom was Vice President and Head of Translational Sciences, Asia at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Shanghai, China. He previously held positions as Novartis' Vice President and Global Head of Infectious Diseases Research and Translational Medicine; Vice President, Infectious Diseases Clinical Research at Vical Inc.; and as Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Infectious Diseases Division at the University of California, Davis.
Tom is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases and certified in Tropical Medicine. He trained in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and Infectious Diseases at the University of Virginia. He received his BA in physics from Williams College and his MD from the University of Virginia.
Aeras is a nonprofit biotech advancing the development of tuberculosis vaccines for the world. In collaboration with global partners in Africa, Asia, North America and Europe, Aeras is supporting the clinical testing of six experimental vaccines as well as a robust portfolio of earlier stage candidates. Aeras receives funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, and the Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a range of other governments. Aeras is based in Rockville, Maryland; Cape Town, South Africa; and Beijing, China. www.aeras.org.