Basel (Switzerland), Mannheim (Germany), May 03, 2012 – VAXIMM AG, a Swiss-German biotech spin-off from Merck KGaA focusing on cancer vaccines, announced today the appointment of Jean- Paul Prieels as a new member of its Board of Directors. Dr. Prieels is a renowned industry expert in the vaccine field. He held various executive positions at GlaxoSmithKline, where he headed the vaccine research and development in Rixensart, Belgium, among others.
Dr. Prieels, who joined GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (formerly SmithKline Beecham Biologicals) in 1987, has been instrumental in developing several marketed vaccines, including cervical cancer vaccine CervarixTM, RotarixTM to protect from rotavirus infection, and SynflorixTM for the prevention of pneumococcal infections. He retired from GSK as Senior Vice President Research and Development in early 2011 and is currently a board member of several biotech companies in the vaccine field. “Vaximm has developed a promising T-cell vaccination platform and lead candidate vaccine, which targets the tumor vasculature to treat cancer patients. I was most compelled by the extraordinary results this vaccine has shown in preclinical testing,” said Jean-Paul Prieels. “I am happy to help the company in developing such new vaccines to fight cancer diseases.”
“We are very pleased that we could attract Jean-Paul Prieels to our Board of Directors at Vaximm,” said Dr. Klaus Breiner, Chairman of VAXIMM’s Board of Directors and Managing Partner at BB BIOTECH VENTURES. “With the breath of his experience and his network, he is an ideal addition to our team. We are looking forward to working with him.” VAXIMM’s lead product candidate VXM01 is being evaluated in a placebo-controlled phase I dose escalation study enrolling up to 45 pancreatic cancer patients, with results expected in H1, 2013.
VAXIMM is a privately held Swiss-German biotech company that is primarily focused on developing active immunotherapies (vaccines) for patients suffering from cancer. Its initial product candidate VXM01 is targeting the tumor vasculature, which is essential for tumors to grow beyond microscopic size. VXM01 has shown impressive anti-tumor activity in various animal studies and commenced human clinical trials in 2011. VAXIMM was formed in 2008 as a spin-off from Merck KGaA and was financed as a joint venture of BB Biotech Ventures and Merck to develop VXM01. Merck Serono Ventures, Sunstone Capital, and BioMedPartners joined as investors in 2010. VAXIMM AG and its fully owned subsidiary VAXIMM GmbH are based in Basel, Switzerland, and in Mannheim, Germany. For more information, please see www.vaximm.com.
Dr. Heinz Lubenau
Tel.: +49 621 8359 687 10