PENNINGTON, N.J. and SAN DIEGO, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- OncoSec Medical Incorporated (NASDAQ:ONCS) (the "Company" or "OncoSec"), a company developing late- stage intra-tumoral cancer immunotherapies, today announced that Sandra Aung, Ph.D. joined the Company as Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical Development Officer.
Dr. Aung will be responsible for overseeing KEYNOTE-695, the Company's Phase 2b trial evaluating intratumoral delivery of its interleukin-12 (IL-12) based immunotherapy, TAVO™ (tavokinogene telseplasmid), in combination with intravenous KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in patients with unresectable, advanced melanoma, as well as overseeing OncoSec's additional clinical trials evaluating TAVO.
"Prior to joining OncoSec, Dr. Aung was an integral part of the development of Nektar Therapeutics' lead clinical compound, pegylated interleukin-2 (IL-2) (bempeg), in combination with immune checkpoint therapies for multiple solid tumors. She led the effort in achieving Breakthrough Therapy Designation for their melanoma therapy, which resulted in their transformational deal with Bristol Myers Squibb," said Daniel J. O'Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer of OncoSec. "Her extensive scientific and clinical experience with immune modulating cytokines and checkpoint therapies, in addition to her strong relationship with clinical investigators and key opinion leaders (KOLs) in the field of melanoma, makes her ideal to lead KEYNOTE-695 as we complete enrollment. We are thrilled to add her to the leadership team at this important time for the Company."
Dr. Aung stated, "OncoSec's unique IL-12 plasmid and gene delivery platform has the potential to become a life-extending treatment option for patients diagnosed with cancer where current therapies have proven insufficient. I am particularly excited to be joining the Company as it prepares to report new clinical data for the KEYNOTE-695 trial in November at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). My immediate focus is to successfully complete KEYNOTE-695 to bring what I believe is an important new therapy to patients in need."
Dr. Aung brings over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry having led teams and projects in companies of different sizes. Dr. Aung has a versatile background in autoimmunity, immune-oncology, and infectious disease and has authored over 20 peer-reviewed publications and received multiple Small Business Innovate Research (SBIR) grants from the National Cancer Institute/ National Institutes of Health (IH/NCI) for her work in immune-oncology drug development. Dr. Aung helped lead Nektar Therapeutics' lead clinical compound, pegylated interleukin-2 (IL-2) (bempeg), from First-In-Human studies to multiple Phase 3 registrational trials in less than 3 years. Dr. Aung's cross industry and academic relationships with KOLs and more importantly expertise with high dose IL-2 (Proleukin®) were instrumental for this success. Dr. Aung's extensive immuno-oncology drug development experience additionally comes from previous research and leadership positions she held at UbiVac, Inc. and Cell Genesys, Inc. Dr. Aung earned her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Vanderbilt University and performed her post-doctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute.
Dr. Aung will also assume all clinical development leadership responsibilities from Kellie Malloy, who previously served as Chief Clinical Development Officer and Chief Operating Officer and who will be leaving the Company to pursue another opportunity.
Mr. O'Connor added, "We greatly benefitted from Kellie's experience and guidance in the advancement of KEYNOTE-695 and other clinical programs. We wish her all the best in her new endeavor."
In connection with her appointment, Dr. Aung received a one-time inducement award of 300,000 stock options, of which 75,000 (25%) are fully vested as of the grant date. The remaining shares vest twelve months from the date of grant. The Company approved the award as an inducement material to Dr. Aung entering into employment with the Company in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
About OncoSec Medical Incorporated
OncoSec Medical Incorporated (the "Company," "OncoSec," "we" or "our") is a late-stage biotechnology company focused on developing cytokine-based intratumoral immunotherapies to stimulate the body's immune system to target and attack cancer. OncoSec's lead immunotherapy investigational product candidate – TAVO™ (tavokinogene telseplasmid) – enables the intratumoral delivery of DNA-based interleukin-12 (IL-12), a naturally occurring protein with immune-stimulating functions. The technology, which employs electroporation, is designed to produce a controlled, localized expression of IL-12 in the tumor microenvironment, enabling the immune system to target and attack tumors throughout the body. OncoSec has built a deep and diverse clinical pipeline utilizing TAVO™ as a potential treatment for multiple cancer indications either as a monotherapy or in combination with leading checkpoint inhibitors; with the latter potentially enabling OncoSec to address a great unmet medical need in oncology: anti-PD-1 non-responders. Results from recently completed clinical studies of TAVO™ have demonstrated a local immune response, and subsequently, a systemic effect as either a monotherapy or combination treatment approach along with an acceptable safety profile, warranting further development. In addition to TAVO™, OncoSec is identifying and developing new DNA-encoded therapeutic candidates and tumor indications for use with its new Visceral Lesion Applicator (VLA), to target deep visceral lesions, such as liver, lung or pancreatic lesions. For more information, please visit www.oncosec.com. TAVO™ is a trademark of OncoSec Medical Incorporated.
TAVO™ is a trademark of OncoSec Medical Incorporated.
KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.
Risk Factors and Forward-Looking Statements
This release, as well as other information provided from time to time by the Company or its employees, may contain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide the Company's current beliefs, expectations and intentions regarding future events and involve risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond the Company's control) and assumptions. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "should," "will" and "would" and similar expressions (including the negative of these terms). Although we believe that expectations reflected in the forward- looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. The Company intends these forward-looking statements to speak only at the time they are published on or as otherwise specified, and does not undertake to update or revise these statements as more information becomes available, except as required under federal securities laws and the rules and regulations of the Securities Exchange Commission ("SEC"). In particular, you should be aware that the success and timing of our clinical trials, including safety and efficacy of our product candidates, patient accrual, unexpected or expected safety events, the impact of COVID-19 on the supply of our candidates or the initiation or completion of clinical trials and the usability of data generated from our trials may differ and may not meet our estimated timelines. Please refer to the risk factors and other cautionary statements provided in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2019 and subsequent periodic and current reports filed with the SEC (each of which can be found at the SEC's website www.sec.gov), as well as other factors described from time to time in the Company's filings with the SEC.
Monica Rouco Molina, Ph.D.
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