South San Francisco, CA, United States
South San Francisco, CA, United States

VaxGen was a biopharmaceutical company based in the San Francisco Bay Area.On July 28, 2010, VaxGen Inc. was acquired by diaDexus, Inc., in a reverse merger transaction. VaxGen, Inc. does not have significant operations. The company seeks to enter into a strategic transaction or series of strategic transactions. Previously, it was engaged in the development of vaccines that immunize against infectious disease. The company was founded in 1995 and was based in South San Francisco, California. Wikipedia.


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News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

BERKELEY, Calif., April 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aduro Biotech, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADRO), a biopharmaceutical company with three distinct immunotherapy technologies, today announced the promotion of Michele DeVries to vice president, regulatory affairs and Celeste Ferber to vice president, associate general counsel. “I am pleased to announce the promotion of Michele DeVries and Celeste Ferber, who have each demonstrated expertise in their respective areas that is critical to the continued growth and success of our company,” said Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and CEO of Aduro Biotech. “Both Michele and Celeste have played an integral role in our ongoing clinical and corporate development efforts, and we are pleased to add them to our leadership team.  As we advance our programs into late stage development and set our sights on commercialization, Michele’s proven track record of effectively liaising with regulatory agencies and corporate partners, and Celeste’s extensive expertise in counseling public companies and astute business acumen, will continue to be of great value to Aduro.” Michele DeVries, vice president, regulatory affairs, has been with Aduro since April 2013 and is responsible for all aspects of regulatory strategy, implementation and oversight of Aduro’s proprietary, partnered and licensed programs, both in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to Aduro, Ms. DeVries served as director of regulatory affairs for Intarcia Therapeutics where she managed key regulatory aspects of their drug delivery system, was the primary contact for regulatory authorities and responsible for all aspects of routine and specialized regulatory submissions including preparation for launch of four global Phase 3 studies. Before Intarcia, she held escalating regulatory affairs positions at VaxGen, InterMune and Tularik.  She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Celeste Ferber, vice president, associate general counsel, has been with Aduro since February 2016. Prior to Aduro, she was with Shearman & Sterling LLP, where she served as counsel in the capital markets group.  Ms. Ferber has over 15 years of experience advising public and private companies on corporate and finance matters, including securities offerings, mergers, acquisitions and strategic transactions, corporate governance and securities law compliance. Before Shearman & Sterling, Ms. Ferber was counsel at Morrison & Foerster LLP working in their Palo Alto, Hong Kong and San Diego offices. Ms. Ferber received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and her B.A. in Economics from Bucknell University. She is the author of numerous publications regarding legal matters. About Aduro Aduro Biotech, Inc. is an immunotherapy company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies that transform the treatment of challenging diseases. Aduro's technology platforms, which are designed to harness the body's natural immune system, are being investigated in cancer indications and have the potential to expand into autoimmune and infectious diseases. Aduro's LADD technology platform is based on proprietary attenuated strains of Listeria that have been engineered to express tumor-associated antigens to induce specific and targeted immune responses. This platform is being developed as a treatment for multiple indications, including mesothelioma, ovarian, lung and prostate cancers. Additionally, a personalized form of LADD, or pLADD, is being developed utilizing tumor neoantigens that are specific to an individual patient’s tumor. Aduro's STING Pathway Activator platform is designed to activate the STING receptor in immune cells, resulting in a potent tumor-specific immune response. ADU-S100 is the first STING Pathway Activator compound to enter the clinic and is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 study in patients with cutaneously accessible metastatic solid tumors or lymphomas. Aduro’s B-select monoclonal antibody platform includes a number of immune modulating assets in research and preclinical development. Aduro is collaborating with leading global pharmaceutical companies to expand its products and technology platforms. For more information, please visit www.aduro.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions or current expectations concerning, among other things, our technology platforms, plans, and the potential for eventual regulatory approval of our product candidates. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “will,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “project,” “seek”, “expect” or the negative or plural of these words or similar expressions.  Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those anticipated, including, but not limited to, our history of net operating losses and uncertainty regarding our ability to achieve profitability, our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, our ability to use and expand our technology platforms to build a pipeline of product candidates, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, our ability to operate in a competitive industry and compete successfully against competitors that have greater resources than we do, our reliance on third parties, and our ability to obtain and adequately protect intellectual property rights for our product candidates.  We discuss many of these risks in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

BERKELEY, Calif., April 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aduro Biotech, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADRO), a biopharmaceutical company with three distinct immunotherapy technologies, today announced the promotion of Michele DeVries to vice president, regulatory affairs and Celeste Ferber to vice president, associate general counsel. “I am pleased to announce the promotion of Michele DeVries and Celeste Ferber, who have each demonstrated expertise in their respective areas that is critical to the continued growth and success of our company,” said Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and CEO of Aduro Biotech. “Both Michele and Celeste have played an integral role in our ongoing clinical and corporate development efforts, and we are pleased to add them to our leadership team.  As we advance our programs into late stage development and set our sights on commercialization, Michele’s proven track record of effectively liaising with regulatory agencies and corporate partners, and Celeste’s extensive expertise in counseling public companies and astute business acumen, will continue to be of great value to Aduro.” Michele DeVries, vice president, regulatory affairs, has been with Aduro since April 2013 and is responsible for all aspects of regulatory strategy, implementation and oversight of Aduro’s proprietary, partnered and licensed programs, both in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to Aduro, Ms. DeVries served as director of regulatory affairs for Intarcia Therapeutics where she managed key regulatory aspects of their drug delivery system, was the primary contact for regulatory authorities and responsible for all aspects of routine and specialized regulatory submissions including preparation for launch of four global Phase 3 studies. Before Intarcia, she held escalating regulatory affairs positions at VaxGen, InterMune and Tularik.  She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Celeste Ferber, vice president, associate general counsel, has been with Aduro since February 2016. Prior to Aduro, she was with Shearman & Sterling LLP, where she served as counsel in the capital markets group.  Ms. Ferber has over 15 years of experience advising public and private companies on corporate and finance matters, including securities offerings, mergers, acquisitions and strategic transactions, corporate governance and securities law compliance. Before Shearman & Sterling, Ms. Ferber was counsel at Morrison & Foerster LLP working in their Palo Alto, Hong Kong and San Diego offices. Ms. Ferber received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and her B.A. in Economics from Bucknell University. She is the author of numerous publications regarding legal matters. About Aduro Aduro Biotech, Inc. is an immunotherapy company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies that transform the treatment of challenging diseases. Aduro's technology platforms, which are designed to harness the body's natural immune system, are being investigated in cancer indications and have the potential to expand into autoimmune and infectious diseases. Aduro's LADD technology platform is based on proprietary attenuated strains of Listeria that have been engineered to express tumor-associated antigens to induce specific and targeted immune responses. This platform is being developed as a treatment for multiple indications, including mesothelioma, ovarian, lung and prostate cancers. Additionally, a personalized form of LADD, or pLADD, is being developed utilizing tumor neoantigens that are specific to an individual patient’s tumor. Aduro's STING Pathway Activator platform is designed to activate the STING receptor in immune cells, resulting in a potent tumor-specific immune response. ADU-S100 is the first STING Pathway Activator compound to enter the clinic and is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 study in patients with cutaneously accessible metastatic solid tumors or lymphomas. Aduro’s B-select monoclonal antibody platform includes a number of immune modulating assets in research and preclinical development. Aduro is collaborating with leading global pharmaceutical companies to expand its products and technology platforms. For more information, please visit www.aduro.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions or current expectations concerning, among other things, our technology platforms, plans, and the potential for eventual regulatory approval of our product candidates. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “will,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “project,” “seek”, “expect” or the negative or plural of these words or similar expressions.  Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those anticipated, including, but not limited to, our history of net operating losses and uncertainty regarding our ability to achieve profitability, our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, our ability to use and expand our technology platforms to build a pipeline of product candidates, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, our ability to operate in a competitive industry and compete successfully against competitors that have greater resources than we do, our reliance on third parties, and our ability to obtain and adequately protect intellectual property rights for our product candidates.  We discuss many of these risks in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

BERKELEY, Calif., April 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aduro Biotech, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADRO), a biopharmaceutical company with three distinct immunotherapy technologies, today announced the promotion of Michele DeVries to vice president, regulatory affairs and Celeste Ferber to vice president, associate general counsel. “I am pleased to announce the promotion of Michele DeVries and Celeste Ferber, who have each demonstrated expertise in their respective areas that is critical to the continued growth and success of our company,” said Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and CEO of Aduro Biotech. “Both Michele and Celeste have played an integral role in our ongoing clinical and corporate development efforts, and we are pleased to add them to our leadership team.  As we advance our programs into late stage development and set our sights on commercialization, Michele’s proven track record of effectively liaising with regulatory agencies and corporate partners, and Celeste’s extensive expertise in counseling public companies and astute business acumen, will continue to be of great value to Aduro.” Michele DeVries, vice president, regulatory affairs, has been with Aduro since April 2013 and is responsible for all aspects of regulatory strategy, implementation and oversight of Aduro’s proprietary, partnered and licensed programs, both in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to Aduro, Ms. DeVries served as director of regulatory affairs for Intarcia Therapeutics where she managed key regulatory aspects of their drug delivery system, was the primary contact for regulatory authorities and responsible for all aspects of routine and specialized regulatory submissions including preparation for launch of four global Phase 3 studies. Before Intarcia, she held escalating regulatory affairs positions at VaxGen, InterMune and Tularik.  She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Celeste Ferber, vice president, associate general counsel, has been with Aduro since February 2016. Prior to Aduro, she was with Shearman & Sterling LLP, where she served as counsel in the capital markets group.  Ms. Ferber has over 15 years of experience advising public and private companies on corporate and finance matters, including securities offerings, mergers, acquisitions and strategic transactions, corporate governance and securities law compliance. Before Shearman & Sterling, Ms. Ferber was counsel at Morrison & Foerster LLP working in their Palo Alto, Hong Kong and San Diego offices. Ms. Ferber received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and her B.A. in Economics from Bucknell University. She is the author of numerous publications regarding legal matters. About Aduro Aduro Biotech, Inc. is an immunotherapy company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies that transform the treatment of challenging diseases. Aduro's technology platforms, which are designed to harness the body's natural immune system, are being investigated in cancer indications and have the potential to expand into autoimmune and infectious diseases. Aduro's LADD technology platform is based on proprietary attenuated strains of Listeria that have been engineered to express tumor-associated antigens to induce specific and targeted immune responses. This platform is being developed as a treatment for multiple indications, including mesothelioma, ovarian, lung and prostate cancers. Additionally, a personalized form of LADD, or pLADD, is being developed utilizing tumor neoantigens that are specific to an individual patient’s tumor. Aduro's STING Pathway Activator platform is designed to activate the STING receptor in immune cells, resulting in a potent tumor-specific immune response. ADU-S100 is the first STING Pathway Activator compound to enter the clinic and is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 study in patients with cutaneously accessible metastatic solid tumors or lymphomas. Aduro’s B-select monoclonal antibody platform includes a number of immune modulating assets in research and preclinical development. Aduro is collaborating with leading global pharmaceutical companies to expand its products and technology platforms. For more information, please visit www.aduro.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions or current expectations concerning, among other things, our technology platforms, plans, and the potential for eventual regulatory approval of our product candidates. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “will,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “project,” “seek”, “expect” or the negative or plural of these words or similar expressions.  Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those anticipated, including, but not limited to, our history of net operating losses and uncertainty regarding our ability to achieve profitability, our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, our ability to use and expand our technology platforms to build a pipeline of product candidates, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, our ability to operate in a competitive industry and compete successfully against competitors that have greater resources than we do, our reliance on third parties, and our ability to obtain and adequately protect intellectual property rights for our product candidates.  We discuss many of these risks in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.


News Article | April 20, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

BERKELEY, Calif., April 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aduro Biotech, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADRO), a biopharmaceutical company with three distinct immunotherapy technologies, today announced the promotion of Michele DeVries to vice president, regulatory affairs and Celeste Ferber to vice president, associate general counsel. “I am pleased to announce the promotion of Michele DeVries and Celeste Ferber, who have each demonstrated expertise in their respective areas that is critical to the continued growth and success of our company,” said Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and CEO of Aduro Biotech. “Both Michele and Celeste have played an integral role in our ongoing clinical and corporate development efforts, and we are pleased to add them to our leadership team.  As we advance our programs into late stage development and set our sights on commercialization, Michele’s proven track record of effectively liaising with regulatory agencies and corporate partners, and Celeste’s extensive expertise in counseling public companies and astute business acumen, will continue to be of great value to Aduro.” Michele DeVries, vice president, regulatory affairs, has been with Aduro since April 2013 and is responsible for all aspects of regulatory strategy, implementation and oversight of Aduro’s proprietary, partnered and licensed programs, both in the U.S. and internationally. Prior to Aduro, Ms. DeVries served as director of regulatory affairs for Intarcia Therapeutics where she managed key regulatory aspects of their drug delivery system, was the primary contact for regulatory authorities and responsible for all aspects of routine and specialized regulatory submissions including preparation for launch of four global Phase 3 studies. Before Intarcia, she held escalating regulatory affairs positions at VaxGen, InterMune and Tularik.  She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Celeste Ferber, vice president, associate general counsel, has been with Aduro since February 2016. Prior to Aduro, she was with Shearman & Sterling LLP, where she served as counsel in the capital markets group.  Ms. Ferber has over 15 years of experience advising public and private companies on corporate and finance matters, including securities offerings, mergers, acquisitions and strategic transactions, corporate governance and securities law compliance. Before Shearman & Sterling, Ms. Ferber was counsel at Morrison & Foerster LLP working in their Palo Alto, Hong Kong and San Diego offices. Ms. Ferber received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and her B.A. in Economics from Bucknell University. She is the author of numerous publications regarding legal matters. About Aduro Aduro Biotech, Inc. is an immunotherapy company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies that transform the treatment of challenging diseases. Aduro's technology platforms, which are designed to harness the body's natural immune system, are being investigated in cancer indications and have the potential to expand into autoimmune and infectious diseases. Aduro's LADD technology platform is based on proprietary attenuated strains of Listeria that have been engineered to express tumor-associated antigens to induce specific and targeted immune responses. This platform is being developed as a treatment for multiple indications, including mesothelioma, ovarian, lung and prostate cancers. Additionally, a personalized form of LADD, or pLADD, is being developed utilizing tumor neoantigens that are specific to an individual patient’s tumor. Aduro's STING Pathway Activator platform is designed to activate the STING receptor in immune cells, resulting in a potent tumor-specific immune response. ADU-S100 is the first STING Pathway Activator compound to enter the clinic and is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 study in patients with cutaneously accessible metastatic solid tumors or lymphomas. Aduro’s B-select monoclonal antibody platform includes a number of immune modulating assets in research and preclinical development. Aduro is collaborating with leading global pharmaceutical companies to expand its products and technology platforms. For more information, please visit www.aduro.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions or current expectations concerning, among other things, our technology platforms, plans, and the potential for eventual regulatory approval of our product candidates. In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “may,” “will,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “project,” “seek”, “expect” or the negative or plural of these words or similar expressions.  Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those anticipated, including, but not limited to, our history of net operating losses and uncertainty regarding our ability to achieve profitability, our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, our ability to use and expand our technology platforms to build a pipeline of product candidates, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, our ability to operate in a competitive industry and compete successfully against competitors that have greater resources than we do, our reliance on third parties, and our ability to obtain and adequately protect intellectual property rights for our product candidates.  We discuss many of these risks in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” contained in our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.


News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.marketwired.com

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwired - May 8, 2017) - Graybug Vision, Inc., a venture-stage pharmaceutical company committed to developing potentially transformative therapies for ocular diseases including wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma, today announced that Valerie Smith has been appointed Vice President, Global Clinical Development Operations, where she will be responsible for leading the operational execution of the global clinical development programs in retinal disease and glaucoma. Valerie brings more than 20 years of drug development experience in Clinical Operations and Project Management and has held leadership roles at Amgen, Genentech, Onyx, Shire, SARcode Bioscience, BioMarin, Solvay and VaxGen. In her prior roles at Genentech, SARcode and Shire, she was integral to the successful clinical operations of the major proof-of-concept and pivotal studies that led to the submission and approval of two major breakthrough ophthalmic drugs: Lucentis® for wet age-related macular degeneration and Xiidra® for treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease. Graybug Vision's Chief Medical Officer Charles Semba, MD, commented, "We are pleased to welcome Valerie to our senior management team. Her prior achievements in ophthalmology and extensive operational leadership skills will provide an immediate impact to the capabilities of Graybug Vision in the planning and implementation of our global clinical trials in wet AMD and other studies of vision-threatening diseases." Valerie began her career at Solvay Pharmaceuticals and subsequently at Quintiles, Inc., and has been involved in research and development on investigational products in endocrinology, gastroenterology, psychiatry, neurology, pain, vaccines, orphan diseases, hematology, oncology and cardiology. She received a BS degree in Psychology from Georgia Southern University and an MBA degree from Kennesaw State University. Graybug Vision is developing novel products for the treatment of people with ocular diseases. The company's proprietary injectable products are designed to enable less frequent administration and to reduce the burden of treatment for patients with ocular diseases. The company's lead product, GB-102, has the potential for twice per year injections to treat patients with neovascular (wet) AMD. Graybug Vision has developed a library of compounds to treat glaucoma, a leading cause of progressive, irreversible vision loss worldwide, by lowering intraocular pressure alone or in combination with neuroprotection when injected twice per year into the subconjunctiva. For more information, please visit www.graybug.com.


Clones, regrown hearts, money and death — Last week, the San Diego biotech http://www.stemagen.com/ announced that it had cloned human embryos by transplanting the nuclei of adult skin cells into oocytes, or human egg cells. The cloned embryos reportedly into blastocysts, the five-day-old clumps of roughly 100 cells from which researchers can, if all goes well, extract stem cells. (The research isn’t aimed at creating cloned babies.) Although not of immediate practical use, the ability to use embryo cloning to make genetically matched stem cells would be a big step forward for the field, since the technique could be used to produce stem-cell lines specifically for the study of particular genetic disease. The Stemagen embryos, however, didn’t actually yield any stem cells, leaving some researchers skeptical that the company had actually achieved what it claimed. The NYT has more. Another team of researchers at the University of Minnesota recently created a beating rat heart in the laboratory, although the work didn’t grow the heart from scratch and didn’t specifically use stem cells. The team used detergents to clear living cells from a dead rat heart, leaving the outer structure and valves as a scaffold that cold be “repopulated” by injected cells from newborn rats, which eventually developed into working heart muscle that pumped blood and conducted electrical signals. Eventually it may be possible to do the same with hearts taken from human cadavers and stem cells extracted from a patient’s bone marrow, potentially yielding a newly transplantable heart. Meanwhile, stem-cell pioneer James Thomson, a University of Wisconsin biologist, argued for a major boost in state stem-cell funding, saying that Wisconsin needs to hand out $50 million a year in order to compete with California’s $3 billion program. And in sad news, a 9-year-old girl with a fatal genetic condition called Batten disease died after being treated in a clinical trial with neural stem cells intended to correct a brain-enzyme deficiency in Batten patients. Preliminary results suggested the death was a result of her disease and not the stem-cell therapy, developed by the Palo Alto, Calif., biotech Stemcells. Test, genes and politics — A federal advisory panel raised concerns over the proliferation of genetic tests, complaining of misleading or false marketing as well as the possibility that patients could be harmed by basing medical decisions on inaccurate tests. Unsurprisingly, many tests fall through loopholes in federal regulation, partly as the result of divided responsibilities between Medicare and the FDA. No agency even knows how many such tests are currently on the market. New tests — or the prospect of them — are popping up all the time, such as a recent finding that five specific DNA variations may help predict a man’s risk of prostate cancer, a test that, predictably enough, will be commercialized within the next few months by a startup called Proactive Genomics. The panel doesn’t appear to have addressed personal-genomics services like 23andMe or deCODEme, but chances seem good that Washington will want to weigh in sooner or later. Making the most of clinical data — Reported results of drug trials and other medical interventions tend to be heavily skewed toward “positive” trials that appear to demonstrate the effectiveness of whatever therapy is being studied. Efforts to encourage reporting of “negative” results — that is, those that show no effect, which can also yield useful information — have faced an uphill battle. Over at Fierce Biotech, the founder of Raven Biotechnologies — a company best known around here for its attempt to swallow the corpse of VaxGen — cites her personal experience to argue that neither drug companies nor scientific journals are inclined to publish negative results. “The publishing industry and pharma reinforce each other’s biases” toward positive news, Jennie Mather writes. Meanwhile, in the NYT, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center biostatistician Andrew Vickers bemoans the culture of secrecy that discourages even academic cancer researchers from sharing their data from clinical trial more openly. Allowing others access to the data could not only improve clinical trial designs, but potentially point the way to new diagnostic tests and treatments. Pharma, biotech under fire — Politicians are turning up the heat on the drug industry, the WSJ notes, listing efforts to allow reimportation of cheap Canadian drugs, force Medicare to negotiate drug-price discounts, permit generic forms of biotech drugs and enact healthcare reform as among the major threats to Big Pharma and Big Biotech. In California, a recent report from the California Healthcare Institute raises similar concerns about the biotech industry, arguing that increased government oversight could crimp drug development. New drug approvals are already at a 24 year low, the In Vivo blog noted recently, although research productivity at drug companies seems to be the major culprit.


News Article | March 28, 2008
Site: www.siliconbeat.com

Few biotech companies have offered as much promise and delivered as much disappointment as South San Francisco’s VaxGen. Founded in 1995, it started out on a promising quest to use synthetic proteins in an HIV vaccine. But after eight years of development and tests, the product, AIDSVAX, turned out to do nothing. Then in 2002 and 2003, amid lingering the post-9/11 fears, federal officials gave VaxGen $101.2 million to start developing a new anthrax vaccine. In 2004, the government followed up with an $877.5 million contract — the largest awarded under President Bush’s Project BioShield — to provide 75 million doses of the vaccine. That tidy bit of business came crashing down in December 2006 after the vaccine was found not to be ready for human testing, as promised. The government revoked the contract, and the company cut its workforce by about 90 percent. In November, after casting about for some way to survive, VaxGen put its hopes in a proposed merger with neighboring Raven Biotechnologies, which is working on cancer treatments. Initial reaction seemed positive, but opposition soon cropped up among shareholders of both companies, and by today, when VaxGen had scheduled the stockholders meeting that it hoped would seal the deal, it was clear that like the HIV vaccine and the anthrax vaccine, this too was not going to work. “We are obviously very disappointed that the proposed merger with Raven was not approved by our stockholders,” said James Panek, VaxGen’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “Despite the strong support of some institutions and solid support by so many individual investors, it has become quite clear that there is sufficient opposition, such that this merger will not be approved.” The prognosis for recovery is grim. VaxGen’s board said it would “immediately assess the company’s strategic alternatives, including a possible liquidation of the company.”


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pfizer Inc. announced today that Kathrin U. Jansen, Ph.D., has been appointed Senior Vice President, Vaccine Research & Development, and will be responsible for leading all Pfizer vaccine research and development programs, effective June 1st, 2015. Dr. Jansen will report directly to Mikael Dolsten, M.D., Ph.D., President of Worldwide Research and Development at Pfizer, and will be based in Pfizer’s Pearl River, New York research site. “With over two decades of experience as a vaccine researcher, Kathrin is a world-class scientist with a remarkable track-record of delivering first-in-class vaccines in areas with serious unmet patient need such as human papillomavirus infection and Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B,” said Dr. Dolsten. “She has also played a pivotal role in advancing Pfizer’s Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile vaccine candidate programs, the licensure of Prevnar 13 in both infant and adult indications, and the development of the diagnostic assays that enabled the CAPiTAi. I am confident that she will continue to lead our Vaccine Research organization with a sharp focus on delivering potential vaccine breakthroughs for infectious diseases.” Dr. Jansen was previously Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Vaccine Research and Early Development Research Unit. Dr. Jansen’s Pfizer career started when she joined Wyeth, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer, in 2006, where she was responsible for leading vaccine research with a focus on infectious disease targets, early development and clinical testing. Earlier in her career, Dr. Jansen served as VaxGen's Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President for Research and Development and also directed a number of vaccine research efforts at Merck Research Laboratories, including the company’s novel bacterial vaccine programs. Her efforts led to the licensure of the world's first cervical cancer vaccine for the prevention of human papillomavirus infection (HPV). “There is a remarkable scientific opportunity in vaccine research ahead of us and Pfizer’s vaccine research and development team is fully focused on addressing major neonatal, infant, adolescent and adult infections and pioneering therapeutic immunotherapy across diseases including cancer,” said Dr. Jansen. “We are building on the rich foundation of our scientific heritage with Prevnar and other vaccines to design and develop vaccine candidates that are unique - and most importantly - with the potential to significantly improve patients’ lives.” Dr. Jansen received her doctoral degree in microbiology, biochemistry and genetics from Phillips Universität, Marburg, Germany. Following completion of her formal training and postdoctoral work at the Institute for Mikrobiologie in Marburg, Dr. Jansen continued her postdoctoral training with Professor G.P. Hess at Cornell University. She then joined the Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology in Geneva, Switzerland. Since 2010, Dr. Jansen has been adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine. Dr. Jansen will succeed Dr. Emilio Emini, who has accepted a position at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the head of their HIV program. Dr. Jansen will lead an organization of approximately 550 colleagues comprised of clinicians, vaccine process/analytical/and formulation development, and other laboratory scientists. Vaccine Research and Development Unit includes Vaccine Research and Early Development, Vaccine Immunotherapeutics, Vaccine Clinical Research and Vaccine Operations and High Throughput Clinical Testing. As of February 2015, Pfizer’s clinical vaccine pipeline includes five programs from Phase I through III targeting diseases caused by Staph aureus, Clostridium difficile and Meningitis B, as well as smoking cessation and asthma. Pfizer Inc.: Working together for a healthier world® At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products. Our global portfolio includes medicines and vaccines as well as many of the world's best-known consumer health care products. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. To learn more, please visit us at www.pfizer.com. DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The information contained in this release is as of April 6, 2015. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments. This release contains forward-looking information about Pfizer’s research and development and pipeline of vaccines that involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including, without limitation, the ability to meet anticipated clinical trial commencement and completion dates as well as the possibility of unfavorable clinical trial results, including unfavorable new clinical data and additional analyses of existing clinical data; whether and when regulatory submissions may be made in any jurisdictions for any of these pipeline products; whether and when such applications may be approved by regulatory authorities, which will depend on the assessment by such regulatory authorities of the benefit-risk profile suggested by the totality of the efficacy and safety information submitted; decisions by regulatory authorities regarding labeling and other matters that could affect the availability or commercial potential of any of these pipeline products; and competitive developments. A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned "Risk Factors" and "Forward-Looking Information That May Affect Future Results", as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the SEC and available at www.sec.gov and www.pfizer.com.


News Article | March 5, 2009
Site: www.siliconbeat.com

Remember VaxGen, the South San Francisco firm that won an $877.5 billion federal contract in 2004 to make an anthrax vaccine only to have the money yanked away two years later when it missed a deadline for testing the vaccine? The poor company has been on the skids ever since. It laid off most of its workforce. And when it tried to merge with its neighbor, Raven biotechnologies, it had to drop the idea last year after some of its major stockholders objected. Now, what’s left of VaxGen is in beef with its landlord. In a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, VaxGen said ts landlord is trying to terminate VaxGen’s lease at 349 Oyster Point Boulevard. How far the once-high flying company has fallen.

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