AGOURA HILLS, Calif, Jan. 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Oncotelic Inc. (“Oncotelic), a privately held cancer immunotherapy company dedicated to the discovery and development of in situ cancer vaccines using a combination of TGF-beta inhibitor and traditional therapeutic cancer agents, today announced the appointment of Dr. Fatih Uckun as its Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Uckun will be responsible for Oncotelic’s clinical strategy and execution.

“As we move forward with our planned pivotal phase 2/3 trials for OT-101/Chemotherapy for approval for Glioblastoma and Pancreatic cancer, Dr. Uckun’s decades of oncology drug development experience will be critical in developing a first in class in situ cancer vaccine for hard-to-treat cancers,” said Vuong Trieu, Ph.D., co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oncotelic. “Dr. Uckun embodies Oncotelic’s core values: dedication to patients, passion for science, and excellence in execution. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Uckun as part of Oncotelic’s leadership team.”

“It is an exceptionally exciting time to join Oncotelics to support a global registration strategy for its in situ cancer vaccine”, said Fatih Uckun, MD, PhD. “The in situ cancer vaccine of Oncotelic displays a high clinical impact potential owing to its ability to robustly reactivate exhausted immune cells around the cancer tissue by a unique mechanism of action. I very much look forward to working with the talented and experienced leadership team of Oncotelic and our collaborators to diligently advance the OT-101 clinical trial program with the vision of bringing a new treatment option to cancer patients who are in urgent need for therapeutic innovations.”

About Dr. Uckun:

Dr. Uckun is an elected Member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), an honor society for physician-scientists, and an active member of several professional organizations. He received numerous awards for his work on monoclonal antibodies, recombinant cytokines and fusion proteins, radiation sensitizers, kinase inhibitors and targeted therapeutics for difficult-to-treat cancers, including the Stohlman Memorial Award of the Leukemia Society of America, the highest honor given to a Leukemia Society Scholar.

Dr. Uckun earned his doctoral degrees at the University of Heidelberg, Germany where he also served as an active member of the autologous bone marrow transplant and peripheral stem cell transplant clinical research teams of the Tumor Center. Dr. Uckun completed his residency training in pediatrics, clinical fellowship training in Hematology/Oncology/Blood and Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation as well as postdoctoral research training in immunology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Uckun has more than 30 years of professional experience in developmental therapeutics with a special emphasis on targeted therapeutics/precision medicines and biopharmaceuticals. He has published more than 500 peer-reviewed papers, authored numerous review articles and book chapters and and is an inventor on numerous patents.

Dr. Uckun worked as a Professor of Therapeutic Radiology-Radiation Oncology, Pharmacology, and Pediatrics as well as Director of the Biotherapy Institute at the University of Minnesota (1986-1997), where he became the first recipient of the Endowed Hughes Chair in Biotherapy, and as a Professor of Pediatrics and Head of Translational Research in Leukemia and Lymphoma of the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at the University of Southern California (2009-2015). From 2012-2015, Dr. Uckun served as chair of the Biotargeting Working Group and a Member of the Coordination and Governance Committee of the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer. Prior to joining Oncotelic, Dr. Uckun served as Head of Immuno-Oncology at Ares Pharmaceuticals and Executive Medical Director and Strategy Lead in Global Oncology and Hematology at Syneos Health. Prior to this, he was Vice President of Research and Clinical Development at Nantkwest, Chief Scientific Officer of Jupiter Research Institute and, before that, held senior-level scientific and research positions at Parker Hughes Institute and its cancer center, Paradigm Pharmaceuticals, and the Children’s Cancer Study Group.

About Oncotelic Inc.

Oncotelic is a privately held cancer immunotherapy company dedicated to the development of first in class in situ cancer vaccine as durable cure for difficult to treat cancer. This therapeutic cancer vaccine does not require extraction of the tumor and isolation of the antigen for immunization- a lengthy/laborious process with limited clinical effectiveness and has a broad-spectrum applicability for multiple cancer types. It showed promising clinical activity in phase 2 trials for the treatment of glioblastoma and pancreatic cancer. The company aims to translate its unique insights spanning three decades with original work at Genetic Therapy Inc using adenovirus as RNA therapeutics to the current deployment of antisense as RNA therapeutics for diseases caused by TGF-beta overexpression including cancer. The founding team of Oncotelic was responsible for the development of Abraxane as chemotherapeutic agents for breast, lung, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer. Abraxane was approved in 2005 and has $1B in sales annually and Cynviloq,a next generation Abraxane, was acquired by NantPharma for $1.9B. Oncotelic will leverage its deep expertise in oncology and RNA therapeutic drug development to promote the eventual cure and eradication of cancers. For more information, please visit

Oncotelic's Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "may," "will," "expect," "plan," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "believe" and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Oncotelic’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about the progress, timing, clinical development and scope of clinical trials and the reporting of clinical data for Oncotelic's product candidate OT-101, and the potential use of our product candidates to treat various cancer indications. Many factors may cause differences between current expectations and actual results including unexpected safety or efficacy data observed during preclinical or clinical studies, clinical trial site activation or enrollment rates that are lower than expected, changes in expected or existing competition, changes in the regulatory environment, failure of Oncotelic's collaborators to support or advance collaborations or product candidates and unexpected litigation or other disputes. Except as required by law, Oncotelic assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, even as new information becomes available.


David Nam