LOS ANGELES, Jan. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- ImaginAb Inc. today announced the appointment of Benjamin Chen, Ph.D., as chief executive officer and Joseph Limber as chairman of the board of directors. In addition, ImaginAb announced the creation of its medical advisory board, composed of leading experts in immuno-oncology, antibody engineering and PET imaging.
"Ben's global biopharmaceutical leadership coupled with Joe's extensive industry experience will be of tremendous value to ImaginAb as we progress our CD8 immune imaging program into the clinic this year," said Abbie Celniker, Ph.D., former chairwoman of ImaginAb and current board member.
Dr. Chen previously served as chairman and chief executive officer of Immune Targeting Systems, leading the immune therapy company through significant strategic growth and innovative product development. "Throughout his career, Ben has made numerous contributions in advancing disruptive technology, translating novel discoveries into the clinic, raising capital and establishing meaningful partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies," Dr. Celniker said. "These skills are highly relevant to ImaginAb, and we are excited for him to contribute to growth and direction of the company."
Mr. Limber spent nearly a decade with Prometheus Laboratories Inc. as president, CEO and director, overseeing all business operations and commercial strategies of the company's diagnostics and pharmaceutical products for personalized clinical management. "Joe's knowledge of the industry and outstanding track record of introducing personalized medicine innovations that dramatically reshape patient care at Prometheus and other several highly successful companies makes him an excellent fit to serve as the chairman of our board of directors," Dr. Celniker said.
In addition to these two key appointments, ImaginAb has assembled a medical advisory board to rapidly and effectively capture the CD8 immuno-imaging opportunity made possible by ImaginAb's antibody-based imaging technology. The technology has drawn significant interest from immuno-oncology experts for its potential to address the challenges of predicting patient response to checkpoint inhibitors. ImaginAb's medical advisory board will provide counsel on preclinical research, clinical development programs and regulatory paths.
"ImaginAb's technology promises to fill a very real market need for better patient selection and treatment monitoring for today's cancer immunotherapies," Dr. Chen said. "I'm excited to join ImaginAb at a pivotal juncture in the company's growth—a time when we are leveraging incredible preclinical and clinical proof of concept of our technology to rapidly advance our immune imaging programs into clinical development."
Prior to Immune Targeting Systems, Dr. Chen was a Managing Director at Burrill and Company, a global life sciences merchant bank providing investment, transactional and strategic advisory services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Chen served in R&D leadership roles at Roche Diagnostics and Systemix- a Novartis company. He has built talented scientific teams in immunology, genomics, virology, gene therapy and cell biology, and played a key role in the IPO of the first biotech start-up that he joined, as well as the acquisition of SyStemix and Sentinel Biosciences by Novartis and Roche Diagnostics. Dr. Chen received his scientific training in Immunology and Cell biology at Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Prior to Prometheus, Mr. Limber served as president and chief executive officer of ACLARA Biosciences Inc., where he saw the development and refinement of key technical and commercial business models, as well as the commercial launch of ACLARA's novel eTag technologies. Mr. Limber also served as president and chief operating officer at Praecis Pharmaceuticals and held senior business development and commercial positions with Sequus Pharmaceuticals (now Johnson & Johnson), Syntex Corp. (now Roche) and Ciba-Geigy Corp. (now Novartis).
"ImaginAb has a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on the cancer immunotherapy market with its antibody-based immune imaging agents," Mr. Limber said. "As the company continues to rapidly advance towards commercialization, I look forward to contributing my skills to provide the most value to all stakeholders."
ImaginAb Inc. is an immune imaging company focused on providing actionable insight into patient selection and treatment progress for cancer immunotherapy, enabling truly personalized medicine. ImaginAb engineers antibody fragments called minibodies that maintain the exquisite specificity of full-length antibodies while remaining inert in the body. Used with widely available PET scan technology, these novel minibodies illuminate high-value molecular targets, providing physicians with a whole-body picture of immune activity. ImaginAb is also advancing a best-in-class imaging agent to improve prostate cancer management and patient outcomes. ImaginAb's products have the potential to improve patient care and lower healthcare costs. For more information about ImaginAb's pipeline and technology, visit www.imaginab.com.
Canale Communications for ImaginAb Inc.