FREDERICK, Md., Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Vaccinogen, Inc., (OTC.QB: VGEN) a cancer vaccine company, today announced that noted pediatric neurosurgeon Benjamin S. Carson, M.D. and prominent oncologist Jan B. Vermorken, M.D., Ph.D. have joined the company's medical advisory board.
Drs. Carson and Vermorken complement Vaccinogen's existing medical advisory board members: John S. Macdonald, M.D., a highly recognized colorectal surgeon; Herbert C. Hoover, Jr., M.D., a leader in the field of oncologic surgery; and Michael G. Hanna, Jr., Ph.D., Vaccinogen's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and a leader in the field of cancer immunotherapy. Together, Drs. Carson and Vermorken bring broad knowledge of the global healthcare market and clinical oncology and previous clinical experience with OncoVAX®, the Company's investigational cancer vaccine.
"I'm excited to have joined Vaccinogen's medical advisory board at a crucial period in the development of OncoVAX," said Dr. Carson, who recently retired from his long-term position as Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "During my career, I was fortunate enough to help save and improve the lives of many patients one by one in the operating room, but as I enter this new phase of my life, I am dedicating myself to initiatives that could have a significant, broader impact at the societal level. I believe that Vaccinogen's novel approach to immunotherapy has the potential to significantly change recurrence rates and mortality in colon cancer and, eventually, many of the most pervasive malignancies affecting the global population."
Dr. Carson is lauded for major innovations in surgery, including the first intrauterine procedure to relieve pressure on the brain of a hydrocephalic fetal twin, and for resurrecting the procedure for cerebral hemispherectomy (the removal of half the brain) to alleviate uncontrollable seizures, of which he has performed more than 100. He made medical history in 1987 when he became the first surgeon to successfully separate occipital craniopagus twins, and was involved in several other subsequent separations. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Dr. Carson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
"Vaccinogen is the first company to have developed an approach that uses the patient's own colon cancer tumor cells to 'train' the body's immune system to attack residual cancer cells and prevent recurrence of this disease which is plagued by genetic mutations that make one-size-fits-all therapies ineffective or toxic for most patients," Dr. Vermorken said. "I believe that Vaccinogen's unique processes, which include proprietary cell sterilization techniques, have the potential to fundamentally change the way we treat cancer. I'm honored to have not only worked directly with this therapy for much of my career but also to now become a part of the medical advisory board."
Dr. Vermorken was the principal investigator of the first Phase III clinical trial for OncoVAX in the treatment of colon cancer.
Dr. Vermorken's main research areas include early clinical and pharmacological studies with new drugs; studies on the interaction of chemotherapy and radiation therapy; research into the links between human papillomavirus (HPV) and various malignancies; and clinical investigation of new immunological approaches. He is Emeritus Professor of Oncology at the University of Antwerp and past head of the department of oncology at the Antwerp University Hospital. In March 2013, he was awarded the very prestigious Commander in the Order of Leopold, an extremely high honor of Belgium, for meritorious service of immense benefit to the country.
"We are honored to have Dr. Carson and Dr. Vermorken join our medical advisory board, and we believe they both will play a vital role in helping Vaccinogen bring OncoVAX to the millions of patients afflicted with cancer," Dr. Hanna explained. "Their significant knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we work towards our goal of commercializing a therapeutic process where a patient's own tumor can be used to train his or her own immune system to fight all of the genetically diverse tumor targets in residual and recurring tumor cells."
About Vaccinogen, Inc.
Vaccinogen, Inc. is a cancer vaccine company that is clinically testing its OncoVAX® treatment which is designed to prevent the recurrence of colon cancer and potentially other solid tumors. It is a patented process that circumvents the extreme diversity of tumor cells by leveraging a patient's own live tumor cells to launch a broad immune response against colon cancer. The Company believes that OncoVAX, at an optimum dose and regimen, is the first colon cancer vaccine to demonstrate effectiveness in both preventing cancer recurrence after surgical resection of the primary tumor and addressing the diversity of cancer cells. OncoVAX has completed five clinical studies, including a Phase III trial with the optimum dose and regimen. The Company expects to begin a pivotal Phase IIIb trial under an FDA Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) classification in the fourth quarter of 2013. The SEC completed its review of Vaccinogen's Form 10 registration statement on October 16, 2013. The Company's shares trade on the OTC.QB under the symbol "VGEN". More information is available at www.vaccinogeninc.com.
Forward Looking Statement
Some of the statements contained in this document are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and are subject to the safe harbor created by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Vaccinogen has based these forward-looking statements largely on its expectations and projections about future events and financial trends affecting the financial condition and/or operating results of our business. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties; particularly those risks and uncertainties inherent in the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drugs that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics. There are important factors that could cause actual results to be substantially different from the results expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Vaccinogen does not undertake any obligation to update this forward-looking information.
SOURCE Vaccinogen, Inc.