Humanigen Names Dr. Tarek Sahmoud as Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Sahmoud brings more than two decades of experience in oncology drug development and regulatory affairs, including work in CAR-T

Brisbane, California, UNITED STATES

BRISBANE, Calif., April 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Humanigen, Inc. (OTCQB:HGEN), a biopharmaceutical company developing cutting-edge CAR-T optimization and oncology treatments, today announced Tarek Sahmoud, M.D., Ph.D., as its chief medical officer, initially a part-time role reporting to the company’s chief executive officer.

Dr. Sahmoud brings more than 25 years of experience in oncology drug development and medical and regulatory affairs to Humanigen. During his career, Dr. Sahmoud has led global oncology drug development programs in solid tumor and hematologic malignancies through regulatory approval and has advised on CAR-T programs. Dr. Sahmoud currently consults with leading CAR-T companies on their clinical and regulatory plans. He recently served as chief medical officer for H3 Biomedicine, a precision medicine company, and prior to that, he was vice president, oncology clinical development and medical affairs (USA), and global associate therapeutic area head (global) at Boehringer Ingelheim. He has served at Celgene as corporate vice president and global head of clinical development in solid tumors and immunoncology. Previously, Dr. Sahmoud was at Novartis as vice president and senior global clinical program head, oncology global drug development. He also held roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb as executive director, global medical affairs, oncology and at AstraZeneca as senior global medical director and US physician for breast cancer. In addition, he served at EORTC where he was responsible for all clinical trials coordination for several of the disease groups. Dr. Sahmoud received his medical degree from Cairo University Medical School, Egypt, and he holds a Ph.D. in public health, epidemiology and biostatistics from the University of Bordeaux II, France.

“Tarek is a strong addition to the Humanigen team, as he brings world-class abilities in oncology drug development and global regulatory strategy, coupled with domain expertise in the rapidly evolving CAR-T and immunoncology fields,” said Cameron Durrant, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Humanigen. “Tarek will be instrumental in helping to guide the impending start of our clinical work to show lenzilumab’s potential to optimize CAR-T therapy to make it safer, better and more routine – and position our platform portfolio for maximum value for our stakeholders.”

“I am excited to work with Humanigen and its clear opportunity and scientific rationale in granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor’s (GM-CSF) role in CAR-T-induced toxicities, including the unmet need of neurotoxicity, and optimizing CAR-T therapy overall,” said Dr. Sahmoud. “I look forward to guiding the strategy and execution of Humanigen’s development programs to fulfill the ultimate goal of helping patients with significant unmet needs in oncology.”

About Lenzilumab

Lenzilumab is a first-in-class, novel Humaneered® recombinant monoclonal antibody designed to target and neutralize circulating granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), the myeloid inflammation factor involved in the recruitment of myeloid cells to a tumor and a central actor in leukocyte differentiation, autoimmunity and inflammation. There is also extensive evidence linking GM-CSF expression to serious and potentially life-threatening side effects in chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy, such as neurotoxicity and Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS). Humanigen is working with leading CAR-T experts to develop lenzilumab as a potential prophylactic treatment to minimize neurotoxicity associated with CAR-T cancer therapy. In addition, lenzilumab is currently being evaluated as a potential treatment for rare leukemias in a phase 1 trial (NCT02546284) in patients with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) with additional potential in juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), a rare pediatric cancer. In previous clinical trials, lenzilumab has shown to be safe and well-tolerated in more than 100 patients, including those with rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and healthy volunteers. It is a potent inhibitor of GM-CSF in vivo

About Humanigen 

Humanigen, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing cutting-edge CAR-T optimization and oncology treatments. Derived from the company’s Humaneered® platform, lenzilumab and ifabotuzumab are monoclonal antibodies with first-in-class mechanisms. Lenzilumab, which targets GM-CSF, is in development as a potential medicine to make CAR-T therapy safer and more effective, as well as a potential treatment for rare hematologic cancers such as CMML and JMML. Ifabotuzumab, which targets Ephrin type-A receptor 3 (EphA3), is being explored as a potential treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and other deadly cancers, as well as a backbone for a novel CAR-T construct and bispecific antibody platform. For more information, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements that are intended to be subject to protection afforded by the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect management's current knowledge, assumptions, judgment and expectations regarding future performance or events. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such statements are reasonable, they give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct and you should be aware that actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Words such as "will," "expect," "intend," "plan," "potential," "possible," "goals," "accelerate," "continue," and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding our expectations for executing on the key priorities and anticipated milestones described above in regard to the phase 1b/2 trial of lenzilumab for the prevention of neurotoxicity associated with CAR-T and the phase 1 study as a potential treatment for CMML, and the investigator-sponsored phase 0/1 radio-labeled imaging trial of ifabotuzumab as a potential treatment of GBM. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, the risks inherent in Black Horse Capital and its affiliates owning more than 50% of our outstanding common stock, including their ability to control the company; our lack of profitability and the need for additional capital to operate our business as a going concern; the uncertainties inherent in the development and launch of any new pharmaceutical product; the outcome of pending or future litigation; and the various risks and uncertainties described in the "Risk Factors" sections and elsewhere in the Company's periodic and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary notice. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. We undertake no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements made in this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.


Al Palombo