Juvaris BioTherapeutics Announces the Appointment of Grant E. Pickering as Chief Executive Officer
BURLINGAME, Calif., March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc. announced today that Grant E. Pickering has been appointed Chief Executive Officer replacing in this role Martin D. Cleary, who founded the Company in February of 2003. Mr. Pickering will also be elected to the Company's Board of Directors. In conjunction with Mr. Pickering's appointment, the corporate headquarters will now be located within the company's recently expanded research, development and manufacturing facilities in Burlingame, California.
Prior to joining Juvaris, Mr. Pickering founded Pharmada, Inc., where he served as its President and Chief Executive Officer. This biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of small-molecule therapeutics for the treatment of cancer with technology licensed from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Pickering was employed by Dendreon Corporation in Seattle, Washington and served as a Corporate Officer and most recently as its Senior Vice President of Operations. During his tenure at Dendreon, he led clinical development, manufacturing, sales, marketing, business development, project management and played an important role in fundraising activities, including the company's initial public offering.
Prior to Dendreon, he held senior management roles in marketing and business development with Algos Pharmaceutical Corporation culminating in its sale to Endo Pharmaceuticals for $211M. Mr. Pickering was also employed by Johnson & Johnson's Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation and Glaxo, Inc., where he was highly successful in positions of increasing responsibility in the area of sales and marketing.
Mr. Pickering earned his B.S. degree in marketing from the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA and his MBA degree with honors from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
In commenting on the appointment, Martin D. Cleary, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors said, "We are delighted that Grant has chosen to join our organization. Juvaris has proven to be an amazing company with tremendous potential that will truly impact the field of mono-immunotherapy and vaccines. Grant brings to Juvaris a skill set which is entirely relevant to the long-term needs of our company. We welcome him to Juvaris. When we started this company in February 2003, I had great expectations. Over the past five years, those expectations have only increased. It is now time to turn leadership over to Grant and enable him to successfully move Juvaris to the next level."
Thomas P. Monath, M.D. of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers commented, "Grant's inspirational leadership skills, strategic vision, and experience in product development provide a recipe for success of Juvaris. The Company is expected to make huge strides this year that will demonstrate the utility of its technology in the clinic. We are extremely pleased that Grant will lead the Company through these milestones and on to commercial success."
"I am thrilled to join Juvaris at this critical time as the Company prepares to initiate clinical studies in multiple indications with its lead compound, JVRS-100," said Mr. Pickering. "I look forward to working with the talented group of employees, marquee investors, physicians and scientists that have contributed to Juvaris' progress to date."
Juvaris BioTherapeutics is developing an immunotherapeutic product platform for the treatment of infectious diseases and cancers using lipid-DNA complexes. Cationic lipids are formulated with non-coding DNA (plasmid) to create JVRS-100, a lipid-DNA complex, which as a single product will have utility in multiple infectious disease and cancer applications. JVRS-100 has been shown to be at least 50-times more potent at triggering innate immune activation and interferon release than current immune stimulants. When combined with disease-specific antigens, JVRS-100 is capable of activating substantial antibody- and cell-mediated immune responses, particularly induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). Immunological responses elicited by the lipid-DNA complexes have been successfully demonstrated in both prophylactic and therapeutic settings in multiple species. This platform provides the opportunity to develop many disease-specific immunotherapy products, for which there are significant unmet medical needs. The Company plans to initiate clinical studies this year in multiple indications including influenza, hepatitis C and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).
The Company recently completed a $12M Series A financing with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as the sole investor and has been awarded multiple NIH grants including the recent award for approximately $9M in 2007 to develop adjuvants for influenza vaccines. The Company also recently announced a major world-wide licensing agreement for the Juvaris immunotherapeutic product platform use in the animal health field with the Animal Health Division of Bayer Healthcare AG.
The Company encourages partnering inquiries and can be reached at its website at http://www.juvaris.com.
Company Contact: Grant E. Pickering Juvaris BioTherapeutics, Inc. 863A Mitten Road Burlingame, California 650-259-1800 ext. 227 [email protected]