NEW YORK and VIENNA, Austria, April 25, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (HOOK), a company developing a new class of immunotherapeutics targeting infectious diseases and cancers based on its proprietary arenavirus platform, today announced the appointment of David R. Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D., to its Board of Directors.
Dr. Kaufman currently serves as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of The Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute. Prior to joining the Institute, he held several leadership positions at Merck Research Laboratories, including Head of Translational Oncology, Executive Director in Clinical Oncology and Associate Director of the Merck Drug Development and Leadership Program.
Dr. Kaufman is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), a not-for-profit medical professional society dedicated to improving cancer patient outcomes by advancing the science and application of cancer immunotherapy. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology & Immunology from The Rockefeller University and received his M.D. from Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University.
“I look forward to welcoming David onto HOOKIPA’s Board of Directors. David’s expertise as an immunologist and in oncology research and development will provide invaluable benefits in helping us maximize the potential of our proprietary arenavirus platform to target infectious diseases and cancers, two major areas of global concern,” said Joern Aldag, CEO of HOOKIPA.
Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Kaufman said: “Joining HOOKIPA at this pivotal moment in the Company’s evolution presents an exciting opportunity. I look forward to collaborating with other Board members and the Senior Management Team and hope to leverage my medical knowledge and corporate experience to aid the progression of HOOKIPA’s impressive pipeline of new immunotherapeutics.”
As well as welcoming Dr. Kaufman, HOOKIPA bids farewell to longstanding Board member Professor Paul-Henri Lambert. While leaving the board, Paul-Henri Lambert will remain on the scientific advisory board of the Company.
On Professor Lambert’s departure, HOOKIPA’s CEO Joern Aldag commented: “I wish to thank Paul-Henri for his commitment to the Company as a valuable member of the Board over the past six years. With his deep scientific knowledge and broad experience, Paul-Henri has contributed significantly to HOOKIPA’s success today.”
HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (HOOK) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of immunotherapeutics, targeting infectious diseases and cancers based on its proprietary arenavirus platform that is designed to reprogram the body’s immune system.
HOOKIPA’s proprietary arenavirus-based technologies, VaxWave®*, a replication-deficient viral vector, and TheraT®*, a replication-attenuated viral vector, are designed to induce robust antigen specific CD8+ T cells and pathogen-neutralizing antibodies. Both, VaxWave® and TheraT®, are designed to allow for repeat administration while maintaining an immune response. TheraT® has the potential to induce CD8+ T cell response levels previously not achieved by other published immuno-therapy approaches. HOOKIPA’s “off-the-shelf” viral vectors target dendritic cells in vivo to activate the immune system.
HOOKIPA has successfully completed a Phase 1 trial of a VaxWave®-based prophylactic vaccine to protect against cytomegalovirus infection and has started dosing patients in a Phase 2 trial in cytomegalovirus-negative patients awaiting kidney transplantation from cytomegalovirus-positive donors. To expand its infectious disease portfolio, HOOKIPA has entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc. to jointly research and develop functional cures for HIV and Hepatitis B infections. HOOKIPA is building a proprietary immuno-oncology pipeline by targeting virally mediated cancer antigens, self-antigens and next-generation antigens.
TheraT® and VaxWave® are not approved anywhere globally and their safety and efficacy have not been established.
Find out more about HOOKIPA online at www.hookipapharma.com.
*Registered in Europe; Pending in the US.
HOOKIPA Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements related to its board membership and potential growth and success driven by such members. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause HOOKIPA’s research and clinical development programs, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties inherent in the drug development process, including HOOKIPA’s programs’ early stage of development, the process of designing and conducting preclinical and clinical trials, the regulatory approval processes, the timing of regulatory filings, the challenges associated with manufacturing drug products, HOOKIPA’s ability to successfully establish, protect and defend its intellectual property and other matters that could affect the sufficiency of existing cash to fund operations. HOOKIPA undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of the company in general, see HOOKIPA’s most recent Registration Statement on Form S-1 and any current and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
For further information, please contact:
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