Virion Therapeutics, LLC Announces the Appointment of M. Michelle Berrey, M.D., M.P.H. and Williamson Bradford, M.D., Ph.D. to Its Board of Directors

Philadelphia PA, July 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Virion Therapeutics, LLC, developer of T cell-based immunotherapies that utilize the first genetically encoded checkpoint inhibitor today announced M. Michelle Berrey, M.D., M.P.H. and Williamson “Bill” Bradford, M.D., Ph.D. have joined the Company’s Board of Directors.  In addition, Dr. Teresa Wright has notified the company of her decision to not seek an additional term on the Board.  

Andrew Luber, Pharm.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Virion commented “We are excited to have Drs. Berrey and Bradford join our Board; their diverse and extensive experience in drug development and executive management will be of great value to Virion as we grow and advance our programs into the clinic.  Both Bill and Michelle are biotech innovators having been pivotal in the discovery and development of the blockbuster drugs Esbriet® (pirfenidone for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)) and Sovaldi® (sofosbuvir for hepatitis C virus), respectively. I’d like to thank Dr. Wright for her contributions and leadership while serving on our Board for the past 3 years.”

M. Michelle Berry, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Berrey is currently President, Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer at Intercept Pharmaceuticals.  Prior to joining Intercept, she was President and Chief Executive Officer at Chimerix and previously served as Chief Medical Officer at Pharmasset from 2007 to 2012, prior to its acquisition by Gilead. While at Pharmasset, she played a critical role in the development of Sovaldi® (sofosbuvir), which established a transformational new treatment paradigm for patients with hepatitis C. Before joining Pharmasset, Dr. Berrey was Vice President, Viral Diseases, Clinical Pharmacology & Discovery Medicine at. GlaxoSmithKline, where she was responsible for the early development of compounds for the treatment of HIV, hepatitis viruses and hepatic fibrosis. Dr. Berrey received her M.D. from the Medical College of Georgia and a Master of Public Health from Emory University.

“I am excited to be joining Virion’s Board as VRON-0200 is advancing into the clinic.  The proposed program in patients with chronic Hepatitis B Virus infection could represent a significant advance in this therapeutic area if preclinical results translate to humans in the upcoming clinical studies,” said Dr. Berrey.   

Bill Bradford, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Bradford is an executive, scientist, and advisor with over 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Most recently he was Founder, Director, and Chief Medical Officer of Indalo Therapeutics and previously served at multiple companies including InterMune, where he successfully developed Esbriet® for IPF, and Genentech. Earlier he practiced as an infectious disease specialist at UCSF for 10 years. 

“I am a big advocate for disruptive technologies that can alter standard of care treatment paradigms and substantially improve patient outcomes - Virion’s technologies and development programs have the potential to do just that” said Dr. Bradford.  “I look forward to helping the Company grow at this exciting time in their history.” 


Virion Therapeutics, LLC, is a science driven company developing innovative immune-based treatments for virally associated cancers and chronic viral infections utilizing the first genetically encoded checkpoint inhibitor given via vaccination. Our novel T cell-based immunotherapies induce potent, diverse, and sustained T cell-mediated immune responses, allowing us to target common diseases with unmet medical needs. Founded in early 2018 to advance technology licensed from The Wistar Institute, an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in vaccine, cancer and infectious disease research, Virion has built an experienced biotechnology management team, augmented by its advisory board that has extensive domain knowledge in antiviral, vaccine, and oncology therapeutic arenas.


VRON-0200 is a pan genotypic, multi-region therapeutic vaccine for treatment of chronic HBV infections that contains three unique elements: 1) selected regions of HBV core and polymerase optimized for maximum immune recognition of multiple genotypes; 2) a series of heterologous chimpanzee adenoviral vectors to which humans have limited pre-existing neutralizing antibodies and that belong to different serotypes thereby allowing for optimal responses after prime-boost immunizations, and 3) gD, a genetically encoded inhibitor of an early T cell checkpoint that strengthens and broadens CD8+ T cell responses.  In contrast to monoclonal antibody checkpoint inhibitor therapies, gD is locally acting and rapidly cleared which results in a low risk for “off target” side effects.  In animals, a single intramuscular injection of VRON-0200 produces potent and broad CD8+ T cell responses with sustained multi-log reductions in HBV DNA in blood.  A Phase 1b study in chronically HBV-infected patients is scheduled to begin enrollment in late 2022.


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