- Top-tier healthcare executive joins Supervisory Board
Basel (Switzerland) and Mannheim (Germany), July 8, 2020 – VAXIMM AG, a Swiss/German biotech company focused on developing oral T-cell immunotherapies, today announced the appointment of Thomas D. Szucs, MD, as Chairman of the Supervisory Board. He succeeds Thomas Hecht, MD, whose mandate ended in June 2020.
“I am honored to welcome Thomas Szucs to VAXIMM. He brings a wealth of healthcare and life sciences expertise from his work in both private companies and public institutions. We look forward to working with him and to taking advantage of his holistic perspective on the business. His knowledge will be extremely valuable for VAXIMM as we advance our clinical programs and pursue new projects and strategic collaborations,” said Dr Heinz Lubenau, CEO and Co-founder of VAXIMM. “I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Thomas Hecht for his long-term support and trust in the work we are doing. His advice and extensive industry knowledge have been very much appreciated.”
Thomas D. Szucs, MD, has more than 30 years of experience in healthcare. He currently is Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine and Director of the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine at the University of Basel, Switzerland. He also serves on the board of AB2 Bio, a Swiss biotech company, and as Chairman of Helsana Group, the largest Swiss healthcare insurer. Previously, he acted as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Hirslanden Holding, the largest private hospital chain in Switzerland. Earlier in his career, he worked at F. Hoffman-La Roche, ulitmately as the global head of Health Economics, and has also served as Chairman of BB Biotech AG, Bioxell SpA and Intercell AG as well as Okairos AG, which was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2013. Dr. Szucs holds a medical degree from the University of Basel, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St Gallen, a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University and a master’s degree in international business law from the University of Zurich. He is a specialist recognized by the Swiss Medical Association (FMH) for pharmaceutical medicine, prevention and healthcare. In 2010, he received an honorary professorship from the University of Peking Health Sciences Centre, and in 2014 he received the Swiss Health Economics (SAG) Award.
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to contribute and advise VAXIMM as they advance their innovative oral T-cell immunotherapy and neoantigen programs,” commented Thomas D. Szucs, MD. “VAXIMM’s plug and play technology has the potential to address areas of major unmet need for safer, more effective cancer therapies.”
VAXIMM is a privately held, Swiss/German biotech company that is developing oral T-cell immunotherapies for patients suffering from cancer. VAXIMM’s product platform is based on a live attenuated, safe, orally available bacterial vaccine strain, which is modified to stimulate patients’ cytotoxic T-cells to target specific structures of the tumor. The Company has a pipeline of complementary development candidates targeting different tumor structures. Lead product candidate, oral VXM01, activates killer cells targeting tumor-specific vasculature and certain immune-suppressive cells, thereby increasing immune cell infiltration in solid tumors. VXM01 is currently in clinical development for several tumor types, including brain cancer. As part of a scientific collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Pfizer Inc., VAXIMM has an ongoing clinical trial evaluating VXM01 in combination with the human anti-PD-L1 antibody, avelumab. VAXIMM also has a neoantigen program currently in preclinical development; the Company’s platform allows for fast generation and delivery of personalized T-cell cancer vaccines and may overcome key issues faced by other neoantigen approaches.
VAXIMM has a strategic clinical trial collaboration with NEC Corporation for the development of personalized neoantigen cancer vaccines. VAXIMM also has a collaboration agreement with China Medical System Holdings (CMS), granting CMS full rights in China and other Asian countries (excluding Japan) to VAXIMM’s existing programs. VAXIMM’s investors include: BB Biotech Ventures, BCM Europe, BioMed Partners, CMS, M Ventures, NEC and Sunstone Capital. VAXIMM AG is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Its wholly owned subsidiary, VAXIMM GmbH, located in Mannheim, Germany, is responsible for the Company’s development activities. For more information, please see www.vaximm.com.
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