Celsion Corporation Announces Formation of Vaccine Advisory Board

Lawrenceville, New Jersey, UNITED STATES

Board to provide guidance in developing the PLACCINE platform for the prevention and treatment of infectious agents, including SARS-CoV-2

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., Feb. 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Celsion Corporation (NASDAQ: CLSN), an oncology drug development company, today announced the formation of a Vaccine Advisory Board and the appointment of its first two members:

  • Britt A. Glaunsinger, Ph.D., Professor, Virology & Molecular Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, and
  • Dr. Xinzhen Yang, M.D., Ph.D., Independent Professional Consultant for the Gerson Lehman Group and former Director of Viral Vaccines / Program Lead of the HCMV Vaccine Program at Pfizer Inc.

“We are delighted to launch our Vaccine Advisory Board with these impressive scientists as charter members,” said Michael H. Tardugno, Celsion’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We view Drs. Glaunsinger’s and Yang’s agreement to advise us on the development of our TheraPlas technology-based PLACCINE DNA vaccine platform for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and other dangerous viruses as a vote of confidence in our technology. We look forward to adding more talented individuals to this advisory board, as well as to making key internal hires as we advance this promising platform.”

With more than 20 years of academic experience in microbiology and virology, Dr. Glaunsinger has held research positions and professorships at the University of California, San Francisco, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of California, Berkeley (with tenure), where she holds the UC Berkeley Class of 1963 Endowed Chair. In recent years, she served as Vice Chair, Gordon Conference on Viruses and Cells; Member of the 2020 COVID-19 Rapid Research Response Scientific Advisory Board, Innovative Genomics Institute; Member of the advisory board of the 2020 COVID-19 Catalyst Fund; Chair of the 2020 Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases; and, Chair of the 2021 Gordon Conference on Viruses and Cells. A prolific researcher, Dr. Glaunsinger has published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles on viruses.

Dr. Glaunsinger earned a B.S. in molecular and cell biology from the University of Arizona, a Ph.D. in molecular virology from the Baylor College of Medicine and was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a lifetime member of the American Society for Virology, and is a member of the American Society for Microbiology and the RNA Society.

Dr. Yang has global experience leading cross-functional teams to develop products from scientific discovery to preclinical to clinical evidence development. He has advanced expertise in virology, vaccinology and immunology with extensive research and teaching experience in leading institutions in academia and in the pharmaceutical industry. He currently serves as a consultant for the Gerson Lehman Group. Previously, Dr. Yang joined Pfizer in 2014 and held positions of increasing responsibility, serving as Director, Viral Vaccines and Program Lead of The HCMV (human cytomegalovirus) Vaccine program. At Pfizer he served as a member of the Vaccine Technical Review Committee and as a member of Vaccine Clinical Review Committee. Previously he served on the faculty of the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, where he led pioneering epidemiological studies on HIV/AIDS in China. Dr. Yang has published many peer-reviewed articles.

Dr. Yang earned an M.S. in epidemiology and holds the M.D. degree equivalent from Fudan University (formerly the Shanghai Medical University) and a Ph.D. in Molecular Virology from Baylor College of Medicine. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School, where he also was an Instructor of Pathology and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Virology.

About the PLACCINE platform

PLACCINE is Celsion’s proprietary plasmid and DNA delivery technology and the subject of a provisional patent application that covers a broad range of next-generation DNA vaccines and was announced on January 28, 2021. An adaptation of the Company’s TheraPlas technology, PLACCINE is a DNA vaccine technology platform characterized by a single plasmid DNA with multiple coding regions. The plasmid vector is designed to express multiple pathogen antigens along with a potent immune modifier. It is delivered via a synthetic delivery system and has the potential to be easily modified to create vaccines against a multitude of infectious diseases, addressing:

  • Viral Mutations: PLACCINE may offer broad-spectrum and mutational resistance (variants) by targeting multiple antigens on a single plasmid vector.
  • Enhanced Efficacy: The potent immune modifier IL-12 may improve humoral and cellular responses to viral antigens and can be incorporated in the plasmid.
  • Durable Efficacy: PLACCINE delivers a DNA plasmid-based antigen that can result in durable antigen exposure and a robust vaccine response to viral antigens.
  • Storage & Distribution: PLACCINE allows for stability that is compatible with manageable vaccine storage and distribution.
  • Dosing & Administration: PLACCINE is a synthetic delivery system that should require a simple injection that does not require viruses or special equipment to deliver its payload.

About Celsion Corporation

Celsion is a fully integrated, clinical stage biotechnology company focused on advancing a portfolio of innovative cancer treatments, including immunotherapies, DNA-based therapies and directed chemotherapies through clinical trials and eventual commercialization. The company’s product pipeline includes GEN-1, a DNA-based immunotherapy for the localized treatment of ovarian cancer. ThermoDox®, a proprietary heat-activated liposomal encapsulation of doxorubicin, is under investigator-sponsored development for several cancer indications. Celsion also has two feasibility stage platform technologies for the development of novel nucleic acid-based immunotherapies and other anti-cancer DNA or RNA therapies. Both are novel synthetic, non-viral vectors with demonstrated capability in nucleic acid cellular transfection. For more information on Celsion, visit www.celsion.com.

Forward-looking Statements

Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon current beliefs, expectation, and assumptions and include statements regarding the platform having the potential to provide broad protection against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and possible future mutations of SARS-CoV-2 or other coronaviruses. These statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict, including the ability of the Company’s platform to provide broad protection against COVID-19, and possible future mutations of SARS-CoV-2 or other coronaviruses, the issuance of a patent to the Company for use of its technology platform for treating or preventing infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, unforeseen changes in the course of research and development activities and in clinical trials; the uncertainties of and difficulties in analyzing interim clinical data, particularly in small subgroups that are not statistically significant; FDA and regulatory uncertainties and risks; the significant expense, time and risk of failure of conducting clinical trials; the need for Celsion to evaluate its future development plans; possible acquisitions or licenses of other technologies, assets or businesses; possible actions by customers, suppliers, competitors or regulatory authorities; and other risks detailed from time to time in the Celsion's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Celsion assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events, new information or otherwise.

Celsion Investor Contact
Jeffrey W. Church
Executive Vice President and CFO

LHA Investor Relations
Kim Sutton Golodetz

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