Genocea Biosciences Appoints Paul Giannasca Vice President of Development
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - (Business Wire) Genocea Biosciences today announced that Paul J. Giannasca, Ph.D., has joined as Vice President, Development to help lead the transition of the Company's novel vaccine programs into the clinic. With 15 years of research and product development experience in the areas of vaccines and infectious diseases, Dr. Giannasca brings considerable expertise to Genocea's development team as the company advances its pipeline of novel vaccine candidates based on its proprietary T-cell mediated antigen discovery platform.
Dr. Giannasca spent nearly a decade at Cambridge, Mass.-based Acambis, Inc., now Sanofi-Pasteur, prior to accepting the top development post at Genocea. Dr. Giannasca served as Vice President, Development where he oversaw 40 employees across various functions including Process, Analytical, Formulation and Pre-clinical Development as well as Clinical Serology. During his tenure at Acambis, he also served as project leader of Acambis' Clostridium difficile vaccine program where he led a global, interdisciplinary team in the pursuit of a vaccine against the Gram-positive bacterium, which is now a leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. He also provided strategic input into Acambis' product portfolio and successfully managed pipeline prioritization with a focus on value creation. Previously, Dr. Giannasca was a senior scientist for OraVax, where he contributed to the company's research initiatives for the development of vaccines against Helicobacter pylori, Campylobacter jejuni and C. difficile, which included evaluation of vaccine adjuvants and elucidating mechanisms of vaccine-induced protection.
"Paul is a talented scientist and an accomplished leader and he will be an excellent addition to our management team," said Staph Leavenworth Bakali, president and chief executive officer of Genocea. "Throughout his career, Paul has made significant contributions to the field of vaccine discovery and development. We look forward to Paul playing a major role in transitioning Genocea into a development organization and taking our lead program into the clinic."
Dr. Giannasca received his B.S. in Biology from Fairleigh Dickinson University and his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School/Children's Hospital Boston. Dr. Giannasca holds multiple U.S. patents covering active and passive immunization against Clostridium difficile disease and has published more than 25 papers in the areas of infectious diseases, vaccine development, active and passive immunization and vaccine-induced protection.
About Genocea Biosciences
Genocea Biosciences was founded in 2006 to commercialize key breakthroughs in vaccine discovery and development. The Company's proprietary T cell-directed antigen discovery program represents a broad platform with the potential to generate significant novel vaccines for multiple pathogens with high unmet medical need. Genocea is currently developing vaccines for Chlamydia trachomatis (a sexually transmitted disease agent causing an estimated 90 million cases worldwide), Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia is the leading killer of children under the age of five worldwide) and other undisclosed targets. Genocea was recognized by BusinessWeek as one of the "World's Most Intriguing Startups" for 2009. In 2008, Genocea was selected as "Best Vaccine Startup" at the World Vaccine Congress and was selected one of the 15 most exciting biotech startup companies by FierceBiotech. Genocea is backed by leading investors including Lux Capital Management, Polaris Venture Partners, S.R. One, the corporate venture arm of GlaxoSmithKline, Auriga Partners, Cycad Group, Morningside Ventures and Alexandria Real Estate Equities. Visit www.genocea.com for more information.
Kim Gorode, 212-257-6737
Staph Leavenworth Bakali, 617-876-8191