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Immunotherapy Pioneer to Join As Company Ramps Up Commercialization and NextGen Clinical Pipeline Efforts
LEXINGTON, Mass., Nov. 05, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), an immuno-oncology company with an extensive pipeline of checkpoint antibodies, cell therapies, adjuvants, and vaccines designed to activate immune response to cancers and infections, today announced the appointment of Dr. Steven O’Day, MD, as its Chief Medical Officer.
“We welcome Dr. O’Day as we take our lead candidates to BLA and advance several of our novel therapies into advanced phases of clinical development,” said Garo Armen, PhD, Chairman and CEO of Agenus. “Dr. O’Day’s pioneering record in the development of I-O therapies and cancer treatments will be invaluable as we implement rapid and innovative clinical trials for approval.”
Dr. O’Day’s leadership in the immuno-oncology field spans three decades. He was part of a small group of investigators to treat the first patients with the first checkpoint antibody, an anti-CTLA-4 molecule, ipilimumab. He presented the seminal data at the plenary session at ASCO in 2010 which demonstrated the curative potential of anti-CTLA-4 and its long and durable survival benefit in patients with metastatic melanoma. These data led to the FDA approval of ipilimumab the following year. Dr. O’Day will be presenting clinical outcomes on our next-generation anti-CTLA-4 molecule, AGEN1181, at SITC 2020 starting on November 11th.
“Agenus is the most innovative company in this field with platforms and capabilities that have produced an outstanding pipeline of clinical and preclinical agents. I am excited to join Agenus’ pathbreaking scientific and clinical team. We share a bold vision for the future,” Dr. O’Day said. “Together, we will accelerate optimal combination treatments for patients with cancer. This is a transformative period in the company’s history, and I am thrilled to join the team.”
Dr. O’Day has been a principal investigator for more than 200 clinical trials, including international pivotal trials in which he has held leadership roles. He currently serves as Executive Director of the John Wayne Cancer Institute and Cancer Clinics at Providence St. John’s Health Center and Director of the Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Research Center. After receiving his BA in chemistry from Williams College, Dr. O’Day was selected as a visiting scholar in philosophy and medical ethics at Oxford University. He received his MD and completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine followed by a Medical Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Fellowship at the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center.
Agenus is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body's immune system to fight cancer. The Company's vision is to expand the patient populations benefiting from cancer immunotherapy by pursuing combination approaches that leverage a broad repertoire of antibody therapeutics, adoptive cell therapies (through its AgenTus Therapeutics subsidiary), and proprietary cancer vaccine platforms. The Company is equipped with a suite of antibody discovery platforms and a state-of-the-art GMP manufacturing facility with the capacity to support clinical programs. Agenus is headquartered in Lexington, MA. For more information, please visit www.agenusbio.com and our Twitter handle @agenus_bio. Information that may be important to investors will be routinely posted on our website and Twitter.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding anticipated therapeutic benefit, clinical development and regulatory plans and timelines. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, the factors described under the Risk Factors section of our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Agenus cautions investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Agenus undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements, other than to the extent required by law. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.