Northwest Biotherapeutics Announces Change and Expansion of Management Team
New CEO, COO, CSO and Senior VP Business Development
Download image BETHESDA, Md., June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwest Biotherapeutics (OTC.BB: NWBO) today announced that it has made changes and substantially expanded its management team, adding several highly experienced executives. Ms. Linda Powers, who has served as Chairman of the Board since May 2007, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Anthony Maida, a well known senior executive in the field of cancer immune therapies, is joining NWBT as Chief Operating Officer on June 20th. Dr. Alton Boynton, who was the scientific founder of NWBT and has served as CEO since May 2007, is returning to his position as Chief Scientific Officer. Mr. Les Goldman, a former longtime partner at Skadden, Arps specializing in advanced technology commercialization, has been appointed Senior Vice President, Business Development. Dr. Marnix Bosch is continuing in his role as Chief Technology Officer.
As the newest member of the management team, Dr. Maida brings more than 20 years' experience in building oncology companies, with expertise in the business and financial aspects, the clinical and regulatory aspects, and the underlying science. Over these two decades, Dr. Maida has held positions as Chairman, CEO, COO, CSO, CFO and VP Business Development, and has raised nearly $200 million in financings for these oncology companies. Among these experiences, he served for a period as CEO of CancerVax, an early leader in cancer vaccines. In that role, he raised the company's first $30 million of funding, and was responsible for conducting multi-hundred patient, multi-center clinical trials with the company's cancer vaccines. Prior to joining NWBT as COO, Dr. Maida was serving as global head of Oncology for a leading contract research organization that manages clinical trials in the US and internationally.
Dr. Maida has been responsible for negotiating partnering and licensing transactions with many premier pharmaceutical companies and academic centers of excellence, including, among others, Eli Lilly, Novartis, RCT Corporation, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, MD Anderson, Yale University, Stanford University, University of California San Francisco and Davis, and the Wistar Institute. Dr. Maida's already strong scientific expertise was further strengthened as he recently completed and in 2010 received a PhD in Tumor Immunology. On the financial front, Dr. Maida has served for years as a key adviser to many large institutional investors for their oncology investments. Dr. Maida serves on several boards in the oncology field, including Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and others. Earlier in his career, Dr. Maida served for a number of years as the Chief Financial Officer of a large public company's subsidiary and Senior Financial Controller of a $1.7 billion division of that company (Lockheed).
Ms. Powers has served as Chairman of NWBT for the last 4 years, and brings more than 25 years' experience in corporate transactions and operations, including more than a decade specializing in building biotech companies through Toucan Capital. Ms. Powers is particularly well known for her experience in building biotech companies that are developing cell therapies, including both immune cell therapies (such as NWBT's DCVax®) and adult stem cell therapies. Such products -- consisting of living human cells -- require fundamentally different manufacturing, storage, distribution and handling than do pharmaceutical drugs ("pills in bottles"). Such living cell products also involve different clinical and regulatory requirements, and different business and cost/pricing models, than traditional drugs. The cell therapy companies which Ms. Powers has been involved in building over the last decade, both in the US and abroad (in Asia, Europe and Israel), are at the forefront of clinical trials and early commercialization. Ms. Powers has served for years on a number of related boards, including the M2Gen Board of the Moffitt Cancer Center, the Board of the Trudeau Institute (a world leader in immunology research) and others. As Chairman of NWBT, she has brought her lengthy experience to bear in helping to shape NWBT's overall strategy and programs. As CEO, she will now undertake operational responsibilities in addition to continuing her duties as Chairman.
Dr. Alton Boynton is the scientific founder of NWBT, and was the first in the world to conduct a clinical trial with dendritic cells - the master cells of the immune system, which are the cells used in NWBT's DCVax® products. During the 1990s, when little was known about dendritic cells and their roles, Dr. Boynton's research lab was an early leader in identifying the important clinical capabilities of the dendritic cells and their potential for fighting cancer. Within this academic setting, during the 1990s Dr. Boynton treated over 100 prostate cancer patients with the DCVax® technology, prior to commencing formal clinical trials in the Company. Since that time, Dr. Boynton served as the Chief Scientific Officer of the Company until 2007, at which time he became CEO. Prior to founding NWBT, Dr. Boynton headed the Molecular Oncology research lab at the Pacific Northwest Research Foundation (the original foundation of Bill Hutchinson, from which the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center was spun off), focusing on dendritic cells, and he established and headed the Molecular Oncology research department at Northwest Hospital in Seattle (where the first clinical trial with dendritic cells took place in 1995). Earlier in his career, Dr. Boynton was Associate Director of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, and a professor of Genetics and Molecular Biology. He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed research publications, and is the inventor on numerous issued and pending patents relating to dendritic cells. Dr. Boynton is resuming his position as Chief Scientific Officer of NWBT.
Mr. Les Goldman was a partner at the law firm of Skadden, Arps for over 30 years, specializing in a wide array of advanced technologies and their commercialization. He helped build one of the preeminent global practices in this area. He was responsible for advising on financing, regulatory strategies, and public outreach relating to his clients' development of numerous cutting edge technologies, bringing to bear a diverse range of deal-making skills. He has taken a special early retirement from Skadden, Arps to enable him to undertake an executive role at NWBT. Mr. Goldman also serves as an advisor to a number of other breakthrough technology companies. In addition, for 8 years, Mr. Goldman has served as Chairman of the Board of a group of TV Stations in 4 mid-size cities across the country. Mr. Goldman is joining NWBT as Senior VP Business Development.
Dr. Bosch joined NWBT in 2000, and has been serving as Chief Technical Officer for a number of years. In this capacity, he plays a key role in the preparation and submission of the Company's regulatory applications, as well as ongoing development of the Company's product lines, and ongoing development and/or acquisition of new technologies. Dr. Bosch led the process of designing the protocols, and managed the successful preparation and submission of the Company's INDs (applications for FDA approval to conduct clinical trials), for prostate cancer, brain cancer and five other cancers. He also led the processes for other regulatory submissions in both the US and abroad (including the successful applications for orphan drug status in both the US and Europe for DCVax-L® for brain cancer). He spearheaded the development of the Company's manufacturing and quality control processes, and is working with the Company's contract manufacturer, Cognate BioServices, on next-generation further development of these processes. Prior to joining NWBT in 2000, Dr. Bosch worked at the Dutch National Institutes of Health (RIVM) as head of the Department of Molecular Biology, as well as in academia as a professor of Pathobiology. He has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed research publications in immunology and virology, and is an inventor on several patent applications on dendritic cell product manufacturing. Dr. Bosch is continuing in his capacity as Chief Technical Officer of NWBT.
About Northwest Biotherapeutics
Northwest Biotherapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing immunotherapy products to treat cancers more effectively than current treatments, without toxicities of the kind associated with chemotherapies, and on a cost-effective basis. The Company has a broad platform technology for dendritic cell-based vaccines. The Company's lead clinical trial is a 240-patient Phase II trial in newly diagnosed Glioblastoma multiforme ("GBM"), the most aggressive and lethal form of brain cancer. The Company also previously received clearance from the FDA for a 612-patient Phase III trial in prostate cancer, and clearance from the FDA for Phase I trials in five other cancers. The Company has also conducted a Phase I/II trial with DCVax® for recurrent metastatic ovarian cancer.
For further information about clinical sites and about the Company, please visit the Company's web site at www.nwbio.com.
Statements made in this news release that are not historical facts, including statements concerning future treatment of patients with GBM using DCVax®-Brain and future clinical trials, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "expects," "believes," "intends," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statement. Specifically, there are a number of important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, such as the Company's ability to raise additional capital, risks related to the Company's ability to enroll patients in its clinical trials and complete the trials on a timely basis, the uncertainty of the clinical trials process, uncertainties about the timely performance of third parties, and whether the Company's products will demonstrate safety and efficacy. Additional information on these and other factors, including Risk Factors, which could affect the Company's results, is included in its Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filings. Finally, there may be other factors not mentioned above or included in the Company's SEC filings that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statement. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or developments, except as required by securities laws.