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ImmunoCellular Therapeutics CEO out, interim named

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The CEO of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd. is out and the biotechnology company's founder and chairman will serve as interim CEO while it searches for a long-term replacement.

Shares in ImmunoCellular plunged 12 percent in after-hours trading following the announcement.

The company said Monday that Manish Singh resigned as CEO, president and a director. He had been CEO since 2008 and previously managed medical-industry investments for a venture-capital firm.

John S. Yu was named interim CEO and president and will remain chairman and chief scientific officer. Yu, a neurosurgeon, is ImmunoCellular's founder and co-inventor of its brain tumor vaccine technologies.

The turnover at the top came less than a week after ImmunoCellular reported that its second-quarter loss widened to $6.5 million from $1.6 million a year earlier. The company reported no revenue in either period but said it had enough cash, $11.3 million, to fund 12 months of operations.

The company, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, is trying to develop and sell immune-based treatments for cancers that attack the brain and other organs. It is conducting a clinical trial of a treatment for a particularly lethal form of brain cancer called glioblastoma, and it is developing another study for treating ovarian cancer.

Yu called it "an exciting period in ImmunoCellular's development."

The shares fell 13 cents, or 4.3 percent, to close at $2.91. In extended trading after the CEO announcement, they fell another 36 cents to $2.55.

Through the close of regular trading, the shares had fallen 27 percent since hitting a 52-week high of $4 on May 31.