HOPKINTON, Mass., Feb. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SBPH), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of viral infections, inflammatory diseases and certain cancers, today announced the appointment of Atif Abbas, M.D., as Vice President, Head of Oncology & Immunology Clinical Development.
“We are thrilled to have Atif, an innovative and experienced developer of novel oncology and immunology compounds, join Spring Bank to lead our oncology and immunology clinical development team,” said Martin Driscoll, president and chief executive officer of Spring Bank. “During his two-decade career, he has played key roles in drug development programs, product registration activities, product launches and life cycle management within the immuno-oncology field. We look forward to his scientific and medical guidance as we progress into the clinic our lead STING agonist product candidate, SB 11285, for the treatment of cancer.”
Dr. Atif Abbas added, “I am delighted to join the Spring Bank team. With its compelling compound pipeline and proprietary small molecule chemistry platform, Spring Bank’s technology is well positioned and has the potential to improve the conditions of cancer patients and those infected with viral diseases. I am excited to step into this new role and help with the development and advancement of SB 11285.”
Dr. Abbas is a pharmaceutical physician with nearly 20 years of clinical development, medical affairs and pharmacovigilance experience in oncology and immunology therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Spring Bank, he was associate vice president of clinical development in oncology at the biopharmaceutical company, Kadmon Inc. Prior to his work with Kadmon, he was a consultant physician at Ziopharm Oncology and Celgene Corp. where he provided scientific and medical expertise regarding drug development and clinical trials. Prior to this, he held roles of increasing responsibility in oncology clinical development and clinical safety at Merck KGaA, Astellas Pharma and Exelixis Inc. He has also held consultant physician roles with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer. In addition to his pharmaceutical experience, he was a senior house surgeon at the Mayo Hospital and Children’s Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan. Dr. Abbas received his M.B., B.S./M.D. from King Edward Medical University, Lahore.
In conjunction with Dr. Abbas’ appointment, Spring Bank reported an inducement option grant to Dr. Abbas in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). The award was approved by the Compensation Committee as an inducement material to Dr. Abbas entering into employment with Spring Bank. The inducement grant consisted of an option to purchase up to 40,000 shares of common stock. The options will be exercisable at a price of $10.39 per share (the closing price on February 19, 2019, the date of grant) and will vest as to 25% of the shares on February 19, 2020, and as to an additional 2.08% of the shares per month thereafter, provided that he remains employed by Spring Bank on the vesting date.
About Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals
Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of a novel class of therapeutics using its proprietary small molecule nucleotide platform. The company designs its compounds to selectively target and modulate the activity of specific proteins implicated in various disease states. The company’s lead product candidate, inarigivir, is being developed for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV). Inarigivir is designed to activate within infected cells retinoic acid-inducible gene 1 (RIG-I), which has been shown to inhibit HBV viral replication and induce the intracellular interferon signaling pathways for antiviral defense. The company is also developing its lead STING agonist product candidate, SB 11285, an immunotherapeutic agent for the treatment of selected cancers.
Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Chief Financial Officer
LifeSci Advisors, LLC
Ashley R. Robinson