BURLINGAME, Calif., Oct. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Apexigen, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing innovative antibody drugs for the treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases, today announced the appointments of Ovid C. Trifan, MD, PhD as Vice President, Clinical Development and Amy Wong as Vice President, Finance. Dr. Trifan joins Apexigen from Onyx Pharmaceuticals with extensive expertise in oncology research and product development. Ms. Wong brings more than 20 years of finance, operations and human resources experience working for emerging companies.
"We are pleased to welcome Ovid and Amy to the Apexigen team. These additions provide us with internal expertise to enable the next stage of growth for Apexigen. As we prepare to commence first-in-man studies for our lead compound, APX005M, Ovid's prior experience leading the development of oncology therapeutics will provide excellent guidance on the design and execution of our clinical programs," said Xiaodong Yang, MD, PhD, Apexigen's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Amy brings broad corporate and financial expertise, including experience in leading operations and human resources and in managing financial operations and transactions that are key to the success of an emerging company."
Dr. Trifan previously held the position of Senior Medical Director in the Clinical Science group at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, an Amgen subsidiary, where he co-chaired the Onyx-Bayer joint development committee for Nexavar® (sorafenib) and STIVARGA® (regorafenib). Prior to Onyx, he led successful clinical development teams at Bristol-Myers Squibb and conducted oncology research at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development and at Pharmacia Corporation (acquired by Pfizer).
"It's exciting to be joining Apexigen as the field of immuno-oncology is on the verge of bringing significant benefits to cancer patients," said Dr. Trifan. "I look forward to working with the team to bring best-in-class products such as APX005M to patients."
Ms. Wong previously held the position of Vice President, Finance, Human Resources and Operations at Tobi.com. Prior to Tobi.com, Ms. Wong was the Director of Finance and Human Resources at Mozes, Inc. (acquired by ePrize) and held positions in finance at Montalvo Systems (acquired by Sun Microsystems), Airgo Networks, Inc. (acquired by Qualcomm) and others. In addition to her expertise in financial management and transactions, Ms. Wong brings extensive experience in managing human resources and many of the operational requirements for positioning a start-up company for growth and success.
"Apexigen has assembled a strong leadership team and the resources needed to pursue its proprietary and partnered program objectives. I look forward to the challenges ahead as we begin to scale up our organization and advance our lead therapeutic program into clinical development," said Amy Wong.
Apexigen, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing innovative antibody therapeutics for the treatment of life-threatening and difficult-to-treat diseases. Using its proprietary antibody technology platform, Apexigen has discovered a pipeline of product candidates, which are currently at varying stages of development. The lead product candidate, APX005M, is a novel immuno-oncology antibody that stimulates and enhances an immune response against cancer. Apexigen is developing other product candidates in partnership with four leading biopharmaceutical companies in China. In addition, Apexigen has formed strategic partnerships with multi-national pharmaceutical companies, including Janssen Biotech, Alcon Laboratories and Toray Industries to discover first-in-class antibody lead candidates for the partners' programs.