BERKELEY, Calif., and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, March 18, 2019 – BriaCell® Therapeutics Corp. (“BriaCell®” or the “Company”) (TSX-V:BCT) (OTCQB:BCTXF), a clinical-stage biotechnology company specializing in targeted immunotherapy for advanced breast cancer, today announces changes to its Board of Directors.
BriaCell® is pleased to welcome the appointment of Dr. Rebecca Taub, M.D., and Mr. Vaughn C. Embro-Pantalony to its Board of Directors. Dr. Saeid Babaei, Mr. Rahoul Sharan, and Mr. Martin Schmieg, members of BriaCell’s Board of Directors, have resigned from the Board of Directors effective immediately.
The following members of the Board of Directors will be included in BriaCell’s Management Information Circular for its Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 10, 2019:
Dr. William V. Williams, Director and Chief Executive Officer;
Mr. Jamieson Bondarenko, Director and Acting Chairman of the Board;
Dr. Charles Wiseman, Director;
Dr. Rebecca Taub, Director;
Mr. Vaughn C. Embro-Pantalony, Director.
Rebecca Taub, M.D., has served as chief medical officer and executive vice president, R&D, and director of the board for Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pursuing novel therapeutics, since 2016. She acted as chief executive officer and director of the board of privately-held Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Inc., since inception through its merger with Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. Previously, Dr. Taub served as senior vice president, R&D, of VIA Pharmaceuticals, and as vice president, research, metabolic diseases, at Hoffmann-La Roche where she oversaw clinical development and drug discovery programs for a number of indications including the conduct of a series of Phase I and II proof of concept clinical trials. She led drug discovery including target identification, lead optimization and advancement of preclinical candidates into clinical development. She previously worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company in a variety of positions. Prior to becoming a pharmaceutical executive, Dr. Taub was professor of genetics and medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She has authored over 120 research articles, served as an assistant professor at the Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, and was associate investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Yale University School of Medicine and bachelor’s degree from Yale College.
“I am impressed with the technology, and the progress BriaCell has made so far,” Dr. Taub said. “I have been able to help companies grow and develop therapies during my career. I look forward to sharing my experience with BriaCell’s Board and management team to help BriaCell® with its mission of developing novel therapeutics for advanced breast cancer patients who have a very grim expectation for life.”
Mr. Embro-Pantalony is chairman of the board of Soricimed Biopharma Inc., a private clinical-stage biopharma company developing targeted cancer therapies. He is also a director of Microbix Biosystems Inc., a leading manufacturer of viral and bacterial antigens and reagents for the global diagnostics industry, where he also served as president and chief executive officer from 2012 to 2017. He has held other executive positions in life sciences with responsibility for finance, business development, strategic planning and information technology including vice president, finance, and chief financial officer of Novopharm Limited; vice president, information technology, and chief information officer of Bayer Inc.; vice president, finance, and administration of Bayer Healthcare; and general manager, nitrogen products, for Terra International (Canada) Ltd. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and his master of business administration degree from University of Windsor. He is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant and a Chartered Director (C. Dir.) and is Audit Committee Certified (A.C.C.) through the Directors College, McMaster University.
“I am very excited to be joining BriaCell’s Board. This is a unique opportunity to help BriaCell® become a leading immuno-oncology company by addressing a global unmet need.” stated Mr. Embro-Pantalony.
“Both Dr. Taub and Mr. Embro-Pantalony are widely-regarded forces in the biopharma industry, bringing expert prowess in clinical oncology, corporate partnership strategy and board governance,” BriaCell’s Director and Acting Chairman of the Board Jamieson Bondarenko said. “On behalf of BriaCell’s Board of Directors, management team, and shareholders, I would like to thank Dr. Babaei, Mr. Sharan and Mr. Schmieg for their significant contributions to BriaCell® and wish them the very best in their future ventures.”
“It has been a great privilege to serve as chairman of BriaCell’s Board of Directors and be a part of the team that transformed BriaCell® into a leading developer of personalized off-the-shelf immunotherapy since its inception in 2014”, Dr. Babaei said. “Under Dr. Williams’ leadership, I am proud to report that BriaCell® has accomplished a number of important drug development milestones despite numerous roadblocks in the course of the last few years. I strongly believe that the new Board members, with their experience, will provide the Company with the corporate strategy and scientific expertise to further advance the Company’s goals and add shareholder value. As entrepreneurs and trusted leaders, both Dr. Taub and Mr. Embro-Pantalony have proven track records of success and deep experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Their experience and insights will be instrumental in guiding BriaCell® through its next chapter of clinical development, particularly as the Company advances Bria-IMT™, and Bria-OTS™ BriaCell’s novel off-the-shelf personalized immunotherapy for advanced breast cancer, into later stages of development. I wish BriaCell’s team the very best and look forward to watching them achieve great things in the coming years. Finally, I would like to thank my fellow departing Board members, Mr. Sharan and Mr. Schmieg, for their service and dedication to the Company. On behalf of the team, we wish them the best in their future endeavors.”
BriaCell® is an immuno-oncology focused biotechnology company developing targeted and safe approaches for the management of cancer.
BriaCell® is currently conducting a Phase I/IIa clinical trial of Bria-IMT™, its lead candidate, in a combination study with pembrolizumab [KEYTRUDA®; manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK)]. The combination study is listed in ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT03328026.
BriaCell® is developing Bria-OTS™, an off-the-shelf personalized immunotherapy, for advanced breast cancer. Bria-OTS™ immunotherapy treatments are personalized to match the patient without the need for personalized manufacturing. Bria-OTS™, which is expected to cover over 90% of the patient population, is designed to produce a potent and selective immune response against the cancer of each patient while eliminating the time, expense and complex manufacturing logistics associated with other personalized immunotherapies.
For additional information on BriaCell®, please visit: briaCell.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
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.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For further information, please contact:
BriaCell® Therapeutics Corp.
Manager, Corporate Development