TVAX Biomedical Names New CEO, Raises $2 Million
LENEXA, KS--(January 07, 2013) - TVAX Biomedical, a clinical stage development company advancing its proprietary cell-based immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer, today announced that the company has raised $2.0 million in the first closing of a private round of financing. In connection with this financing, TVAX has appointed Philip Haworth, Ph.D., J.D., as its new chief executive officer, succeeding Gary Wood, Ph.D., who has transitioned to the company's chief science officer. Participants in the financing included both new and existing private investors. TVAX intends to use the proceeds from this financing to continue the clinical advancement of its foundational TVAX Immunotherapy platform, a unique personalized combination of cancer cell vaccination and "killer" T cell treatment. The company plans to raise a total of $10 million as part of the round and plans to close the financing's second tranche in the coming months.
TVAX's patented therapeutic approach, which offers the promise of improved clinical outcomes, low toxicity and the potential for fundamentally changing the way cancer is treated, is the basis for TVI-Brain-1, the company's lead therapeutic candidate. TVI-Brain-1 has received orphan product designation for the treatment of primary central nervous system malignancies, including brain cancer, and is being advanced as a treatment for patients with recurrent glioblastoma, the most common form of brain cancer. TVAX is preparing for the initiation of an FDA authorized pivotal Phase 3 study of the therapy.
Dr. Haworth possesses nearly 30 years of management experience in the biotechnology industry. He most recently served as the chief executive officer of Intradigm Corporation and then Silence Therapeutics following that company's merger with Intradigm. In these positions, Dr. Haworth spearheaded all clinical, operational and fundraising efforts, helping position Intradigm/Silence as a leader in the emerging area of RNA interference (RNAi). He has also previously held senior executive roles at several other leading biotechnology companies including Genencor International and COR Therapeutics, among others. In these positions, he led the identification and negotiation of numerous collaborative and licensing agreements with a range of global and regional pharmaceutical companies. He possesses deep operational expertise that spans discovery and development, technology and product licensing, mergers and acquisitions, and financings.
"I am excited to join TVAX and work alongside the company's talented team to continue the clinical development of the promising TVAX Immunotherapy platform for the treatment of cancer. Over the past year, researchers throughout the industry have reported a number of clinical successes in harnessing the human immune system to fight cancer, validating our approach to cancer treatment and demonstrating just how exciting a time it is to be working in the area of cancer immunotherapy," said Dr. Haworth. "I would like to express the company's gratitude to both our new and existing investors for supporting the important work we are undertaking to develop and deliver a new, desperately needed treatment option to cancer patients around the world. We look forward to putting this latest funding to work and systematically achieving those key clinical milestones that lie ahead for the TVAX Immunotherapy platform."
"We are fortunate to add an individual of Phil's level of experience to oversee the important clinical and corporate activities that we believe will ultimately bring our innovative cancer therapy to those patients in need," stated Dr. Wood. "At the same time, I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to return my attention to continuing the breakthrough research that serves as the scientific foundation of TVAX Biomedical."
About TVAX Biomedical
TVAX Biomedical is a clinical stage development company advancing its targeted cell-based immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer. The company's proprietary therapeutic approach offers the promise of improved clinical outcomes, low toxicity and the potential for fundamentally changing the way cancer is treated. TVAX Immunotherapy is a unique personalized combination of cancer cell vaccination and "killer" T cell treatment. This treatment has demonstrated the potential to effectively treat numerous cancers without many of the undesirable side effects associated with radiation and chemotherapy. A key distinction between TVAX and other cancer immunotherapy companies is that TVI uses its patented approach to combine both cancer vaccination and activated "killer" T cell treatment. While each of these separate approaches has demonstrated therapeutic potential, neither has demonstrated the efficacy to be a viable standalone treatment.
The company's lead candidates, which are focused on treating brain and kidney cancer, are supported by positive Phase 2 clinical data, as well as extensive preclinical and Phase 1 safety studies. Based on these supportive data, FDA has authorized the company to initiate pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials for both candidates to support their potential FDA approval. In addition to these lead programs, extensive proof-of-concept and safety data have been generated to support the use of the TVAX approach in several other cancer treatment indications. As part of its ongoing strategy, the company is seeking to establish corporate alliances to support the development of TVAX Immunotherapy.