Dr. Thomas Hecht and Dr. Mathieu Simon join Board; Dr. Hecht appointed Chairman
Basel (Switzerland) and Mannheim (Germany), June 23, 2016 – VAXIMM AG, a Swiss-German biotech company focused on developing oral T-cell immunotherapies, today announced the election of Thomas Hecht, MD, and Mathieu Simon, MD, as new members to its Board of Directors. In addition, Dr. Hecht has been appointed as Chairman of the Board, taking over from Dr. Klaus Breiner, who will continue his role in the company as Vice-Chairman.
Thomas Hecht, MD is a seasoned manager and has extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Dr. Hecht is founder and owner of Hecht Healthcare Consulting, which provides marketing, clinical development and mergers & acquisitions services to the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. Previously, he was VP Marketing (Hematology, Oncology, New Products) at Amgen Europe. Before that, he held various positions of increasing responsibility in clinical development, medical affairs and marketing at Amgen Europe. He currently serves as Executive Chairman of Delenex Therapeutics AG, as Chairman of the Boards of Affimed N.V. and Cell Medica Ltd., and as Member of the Board of Humabs BioMed AG. He was previously Chairman of the Boards of ESBATech AG (acquired by Alcon/Novartis in 2009), SuppreMol GmbH (acquired by Baxalta in 2015), and Cytos AG. Prior to joining the biopharmaceutical industry, Dr. Hecht was certified in internal medicine and served as Co- Head of the Program for Bone Marrow Transplantation, University of Freiburg, Germany.
Mathieu Simon, MD, is Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer of Cellectis [NASDAQ: CLLS], one of the biopharmaceutical companies leading the development of CAR-T cell immunotherapies. He has been a member of the Cellectis Board of Directors since 2013. Prior to joining Cellectis, he was Senior Vice President Head of Global Pharmaceutical Operations at Pierre Fabre SA. From 1994 to 2010, Dr. Simon served at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in both senior corporate and regional roles in the US and Europe (Head of International Marketing and Medical Affairs and Managing Director of several Wyeth affiliates). Dr. Simon is an advisor to the European Commission D.G. Research and Innovation. He also serves as Senior Strategic Advisor to Messier Maris Partners, an international investment banking boutique. Dr. Simon was certified in internal medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, Paris VII.
Dr. Klaus Breiner, Vice-Chairman of VAXIMM, said: “Thomas and Mathieu have many years of highly relevant international experience in biotech and pharma, and we are all very pleased to have them join VAXIMM’s Board. Their strategic input and their broad network will be of important value as we grow our business, advance our clinical programs and pursue collaborations with other biopharmaceutical companies.”
Dr. Thomas Hecht said: “I am excited to have the opportunity to serve as Chairman of the Board of this emerging immune oncology company. I think VAXIMM’s oral T-cell immunotherapy programs and technology platform are very intriguing and have great potential. The recently completed Phase I/II program in pancreatic cancer has highlighted this potential in patients with advanced disease and very poor prognosis. We are now planning to roll out the development of VXM01 in other indications and combinations.”
Dr. Mathieu Simon added: “I am very pleased to join VAXIMM’s Board. The progress in immune oncology has dramatically changed the view of how we will treat cancer patients in the future. VAXIMM’s oral T-cell immunotherapies are an excellent addition to what is currently being developed elsewhere. I look forward to assisting the VAXIMM team in defining and implementing the most promising strategy for developing and partnering their products and technology.”
The following directors will continue to serve on the Board: Dr. Klaus Breiner (BB Biotech Ventures), Vice-Chairman, Dr. Jasper Bos (Merck Ventures), Patrick Burgermeister (BioMedPartners), Dr. Jean- Paul Prieels (independent), and Dr. Sten Verland (Sunstone Capital).
VAXIMM is a privately held, Swiss and 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 (so-called killer cells) to target specific structures of the tumor. VAXIMM’s 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 has recently completed a Phase I/II program in advanced pancreatic cancer and is currently in clinical trials in additional indications. In addition to VXM01, VAXIMM has a pipeline of complementary development candidates targeting different tumor structures. VAXIMM’s investors include BB Biotech Ventures, Merck Ventures, Sunstone Capital and BioMed Partners. VAXIMM AG is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Its wholly owned subsidiary, VAXIMM GmbH, located in Mannheim, Germany, is responsible for the Company’s clinical operations. For more information, please see www.vaximm.com.
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