Berkeley, CA and Vancouver, BC – May 31, 2017 – BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. (“BriaCell” or the “Company”) (TSXV: BCT) (OTCQB: BCTXF), announced today the establishment of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) engaging a number of highly-experienced leading experts in the field of immune-oncology. Briacell is an immuno-oncology focused biotechnology company with a proprietary vaccine, Briavax™, that has stimulated the rapid and widespread regression of breast cancer metastases in a preliminary clinical study (C. L. Wiseman, MD, and A. Kharazi, MD, The Breast Journal, 2006). The SAB will serve as a strategic resource to BriaCell as it continues to develop the vaccine, design additional clinical trials, and expand its pharmacological pipeline. In addition to guiding BriaCell’s research and development activities, the SAB will also identify new target indications and will evaluate strategic assets that leverage the management’s expertise in novel therapeutics.
“We are honored to have attracted these renowned experts to BriaCell’s SAB,” says Bill Williams, President & CEO of BriaCell. “This is an exciting time for BriaCell as our technology is advancing rapidly and we are increasing our R&D initiatives. The background and experience of our SAB members is quite remarkable, and we are confident that their expert guidance would be highly valuable in guiding the development of BriaVax™ and in the expansion of BriaCell’s therapeutic pipeline.”
The SAB members, experts in in the areas of key importance to BriaCell, are the following:
Doug Faller, M.D., Ph.D., Dr. Faller is a Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; former Director of the Cancer Center; and former Vice-Chairman, Division of Medicine, of Boston University School of Medicine. He is a hematologist/oncologist, author of hundreds of scientific papers and recipient of numerous grants. He is an acknowledged expert in basic molecular and cellular biology of virus- and oncogene-transformed cells and tumors. He leads a translational research program which develops molecular cancer therapeutics derived from his basic research, and tests them in clinical trials. He has been the scientific founder of several biotech start-ups including HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals, Phoenicia Biosciences and Viracta Therapeutics.
Thomas Kieber-Emmons, Ph.D., Dr. Kieber-Emmons is known for his work on molecular and structural immunology, developing peptide mimetics of carbohydrate antigens as vaccines in both the cancer and pathogen areas, an acknowledged pioneer in this field. Dr. Kieber-Emmons has both translational and clinical trial experience. Dr. Kieber-Emmons has brought the first carbohydrate mimetic peptide through preclinical development to Phase II Clinical Trials in Breast Cancer and in other cancer indications. Dr. Kieber-Emmons was recruited from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where he holds the Jossetta Wilkins Chair in Breast Cancer Research, and is a Director at the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute.
Brian Metcalf, Ph.D., Dr. Metcalf recently retired as CSO from Global Blood Therapeutics. GBT currently has a Phase III study underway with GBT440 for sickle cell anemia. Earlier he served as head, drug discovery at Incyte Pharmaceuticals. During his tenure at Incyte, the company was transformed from a genomics information company to one focused on drug discovery, culminating in the discovery of Jakafi, a JAK1/2 kinase inhibitor. Jakafi was approved for the treatment of myelofibrosis by the FDA in 2011. Prior to Incyte, Metcalf was the chief scientific officer of Kosan Biosciences. Prior to that, he served in a number of executive management positions with SmithKline Beecham over the course of 17 years, most recently as worldwide head of discovery chemistry and platform technologies. Dr. Metcalf is credited with the discovery Sabril, for epilepsy and has numerous patents and publications in the drug discovery arena.
Maria Trojanowska, Ph.D, Dr. Trojanowska is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Arthritis Center at the Boston University School of Medicine. An expert in immunology and fibrotic diseases, her research focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie pathogenic processes responsible for tissue fibrosis and vasculopathy in scleroderma.
Robert Williams, Ph.D., Dr. Williams is a University Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Colorado State University. He is an innovative scientist who has been instrumental in the development of several biotechnology companies, including Microcide, Xcyte Therapies, HemaQuest, Arch Therapeutics and Cetya Therapeutics. Author of over three-hundred scientific papers, nineteen patents and recipient of numerous research grants, his research interests currently focus on the study of significant problems in synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, process chemistry and pharmaceutical drug formulation. His research program at Colorado State University, is focused on designing, synthesizing and developing small-molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases, multiple drug-resistant bacterial infectious diseases and hemoglobinopathies. His academic lab is focused on the chemistry of natural products and utilizes the tools of organic synthesis to study the biosynthesis, and mechanism of action of numerous families of biomedically relevant natural products. Dr. Williams also has extensive expertise in the chemistry of amino acids, peptides, alkaloids and heterocyclic compounds. Dr. Williams is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the American Chemical Society Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products in 2011, the American Chemical Scoiety Arthur C. Cope Scholars Award in 2002, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Senior Award in 2009 among others.
BriaCell is an immuno-oncology focused biotechnology company developing a more targeted, less toxic approach to cancer management. BriaCell’s mission is to serve late-stage cancer patients with no available treatment options.
Immunotherapy has come to the forefront of the fight against cancer, harnessing the body’s own immune system in recognizing and selectively destroying the cancer cells while sparing normal ones. Immunotherapy, in addition to generally being more targeted and less toxic than commonly used types of chemotherapy, is also thought to be a strong type of approach aimed at preventing cancer recurrence.
BriaVax™, the Company’s lead product candidate, is a genetically engineered whole-cell vaccine derived from a human breast tumor cell line. It is believed to activate the immune system to recognize and eliminate cancerous cells by inducing tumor-directed T cell and potentially antibody responses. The Company has already demonstrated encouraging clinical results, and is intent on building upon these results to further advance BriaVax™ through additional FDA-approved clinical trials in order to help cancer patients with limited therapeutic options. The results of two previous Phase I clinical trials (one with the precursor cell line not genetically engineered to produce GM-CSF and one with BriaVax™) have been encouraging in patients with advanced solid tumors. Most notably, one patient with metastatic breast cancer responded to BriaVax™ with substantial reduction in tumor burden including lung and brain metastases.
For additional information on BriaCell, please visit our website: https://briacell.com/
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Except for the statements of historical fact, this news release contains “forward-looking information” within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation which involves known and unknown risks relevant to the Company in particular and to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in general, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from current expectation. These risks are more fully described in the Company’s public filings available at www.sedar.com. Other forward-looking information in this news release includes but is not limited to the intended use of proceeds of the Offering and other terms of the Offering, the expected timing of completion of the Offering, the Company’s ability to satisfy the conditions to completion of the Offering and the need for additional financing.
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