BERKELEY, Calif., June 28, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) today announced the formation of a six-member Scientific Advisory Board with significant experience in research, development, and commercialization in the fields of oncology and immunology.
Scientific Advisory Board Members
“We are excited to have assembled a Scientific Advisory Board with such great expertise,” said Robert L. Coffman, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Dynavax. “These six individuals have all made significant contributions in oncology and immunology, including discoveries that have proven to be transformative to immuno-oncology and vaccine development. As we expand our oncology platform and explore new vaccine opportunities, this board will be an invaluable resource for Dynavax.”
Dennis Carson, M.D.
Dr. Carson is currently a member of the Board of Directors at Dynavax. He was at the Scripps Clinic for 14 years, where he advanced to become head of the clinical immunology division. While at Scripps, he developed the drug cladribine for the effective treatment of hairy cell leukemia, as well as two approved clinical diagnostic agents. Dr. Carson directed the Stein Institute for Research on Aging for thirteen years, and then the Moores Cancer Center for eight years. During this period, he also co-founded several biotechnology companies focused on vaccines and oncology which successfully developed new drugs, based upon patents from his research laboratory in the fields of DNA immunization, nucleoside analogs, and Wnt signaling. He received his M.D. from Columbia University and his B.A. from Haverford College. Dr. Carson completed his residency in internal medicine and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego.
Laura Q.M. Chow, M.D.
Dr. Chow serves as the Associate Director of the Phase I Developmental Therapeutics Program and as an Attending Medical Oncologist at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She has been at the University of Washington since 2010 and has been recently promoted to full Professor and is currently an Associate Member of Clinical Research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Her clinical expertise is in head and neck cancers (including thyroid cancer), and lung cancers with a research focus on immunotherapy, novel therapeutics and early phase clinical trials. She has run, as the principal investigator, more than 35 clinical trials in both the phase I and thoracic head and neck cancer programs and has published close to 70 peer-reviewed publications. She teaches and presents nationally and internationally on immune-checkpoint inhibitors in lung cancer and head and neck cancers, immuno-oncology drug development and clinical trial design. Dr. Chow earned her M.D. at the University of British Columbia.
Miriam Merad, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Merad began at Mount Sinai in 2004, and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor with Tenure in 2007 and to Full Professor in 2010. In 2014, she obtained an Endowed Chair in Cancer Immunology. Dr. Merad’s laboratory studies the contribution of macrophages and dendritic cells to cancer and inflammatory disease in mice and humans. Dr. Merad’s pioneering work mapping the regulatory network of dendritic cells (DCs) resulted in identification of a lineage of DC, the CD103+ DC, that is now considered a key target to improve antiviral and antitumor immunity. These insights, along with other significant discoveries, are now being used to develop novel macrophage and dendritic cell-specific targets for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. She has authored more than 160 primary papers and reviews in high profile journals. Dr. Merad receives funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for her research on innate immunity and their contribution to human disease. Dr. Merad obtained her MD at the University of Algiers, Algeria. She did her residency in Hematology and Oncology in Paris, France and obtained her PhD in immunology in collaboration between Stanford University and University of Paris VII.
Drew M. Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Pardoll is the Director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and Director of the Cancer Immunology Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. He joined the departments of oncology and medicine at Johns Hopkins University in 1988. Dr. Pardoll has published over 300 papers as well as over 20 book chapters on the subject of T cell immunology and cancer vaccines. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Cell, and has served as a member of scientific advisory boards for the Cancer Research Institute, the University of Pennsylvania Human Gene Therapy Gene Institute, the Biologic Resources Branch of the National Cancer Institute, the Harvard-Dana Farber Cancer Center, the American Association of Clinical Oncology and the American Association of Cancer Research, along with several successful biotech companies. He has made a number of advances in Cellular Immunology, including the discovery of gamma - delta T cells, NKT cells and interferon-producing killer dendritic cells. Over the past two decades, Dr. Pardoll has studied molecular aspects of dendritic cell biology and immune regulation, particularly related to mechanisms by which cancer cells evade elimination by the immune system. He is an inventor of a number of immunotherapies, including GVAX cancer vaccines and Listeria monocytogenes based cancer vaccines. Dr. Pardoll discovered one of the two ligands for the PD-1 inhibitory receptor and leads the Hopkins cancer immunology program that developed PD-1 pathway-targeted antibodies, demonstrating their clinical activity in multiple cancer types. Dr. Pardoll attended Johns Hopkins University where he earned his M.D., Ph.D., in 1982 and completed his Medical Residency and Oncology Fellowship in 1985.
Stanley A. Plotkin, M.D.
Prior to his current roles, Dr. Plotkin was Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology at UPenn and Professor of Virology at the Wistar Institute, while also serving as Director of Infectious Diseases and Senior Physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors at Dynavax until March 2018. In 1991, Dr. Plotkin left the University to join the vaccine manufacturer, Pasteur-Mérieux-Connaught (now called Sanofi Pasteur), where he served as Medical and Scientific Director. He has been chairman of the Infectious Diseases Committee and the AIDS Task Force of the American Academy of Pediatrics, liaison member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and Chairman of the Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee of the National Institutes of Health. He developed the rubella vaccine now in standard use, is co-developer of a rotavirus vaccine and has worked extensively on the development and application of other vaccines including polio, rabies, varicella, and cytomegalovirus. He earned his bachelor's degree from New York University and his MD at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He received his GME from the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
E. John Wherry, Ph.D.
Dr. Wherry was appointed Assistant Professor in 2005 in the Immunology Program at The Wistar Institute and then joined the Department of Microbiology in the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in 2010. Dr. Wherry’s research has focused on pioneering work to define the cellular and molecular nature of Immune Exhaustion - or failure of normal immune system function – in chronic infection and cancer. His work helped identify the role of the “checkpoint” molecule PD-1 and the ability to block this pathway and reinvigorate the immune function from exhausted T cells. He also has identified novel combinations of immune treatments including one of the first to demonstrate the efficacy of co-inhibitory receptor blockade that may be future therapeutics for cancer and infections. Dr. Wherry received his Ph.D. at Thomas Jefferson University in 2000 then did postdoctoral research at Emory University from 2000-2004.
Dynavax is a fully-integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on leveraging the power of the body's innate and adaptive immune responses through toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation. Dynavax discovers and develops novel vaccines and immuno-oncology therapeutics. The Company’s first commercial product, HEPLISAV-B® [Hepatitis B Vaccine (Recombinant), Adjuvanted], was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in November 2017 for prevention of infection caused by all known subtypes of hepatitis B virus in adults age 18 years and older. Dynavax's lead immunotherapy product, SD-101, is an investigational cancer immunotherapeutic currently being evaluated in Phase 1/2 studies and its second cancer immunotherapeutic, DV281, is in Phase 1 development. For more information, visit www.dynavax.com.
Director, IR & Corporate Communications
Rachel St. Martin