Inovio Pharmaceuticals has expanded its senior management team with two appointments to help advance the company's growing pipeline of preclinical and clinical DNA vaccines. Inovio has appointed Dr. Laurent Humeau as vice president of R&D and Dr. Jan Marie-Albert Van Tornout as vice president of Clinical Development.
Previously, Humeau was senior director of Translational Research, Human Therapeutics Division for Intrexon and chief scientific officer at VIRxSYS. At Inovio, Humeau will provide the technical and strategic leadership for its R&D group including: preclinical development of immunotherapy and vaccine candidates, immunology and immune monitoring approaches, method development, product characterization and analytical development.
Van Tornout will bring his broad experience as a lead oncology pharmaceutical executive to Inovio's cancer programs, overseeing its oncology pipeline strategy, planning clinical development and steering early and late-stage clinical programs. Before joining Inovio, Van Tornout was executive director and global oncology medical lead for Astellas Pharma. Previously, he was group director and lead, Oncology Development at Bristol Myers Squibb and medical director/Global Safety for Amgen.
Building on the best-in-class immune response data already reported by Inovio, Humeau and Van Tornout will play an integral role in advancing Inovio's portfolio of immunotherapy technologies with their multi-disease potential and rapidly expanding list of experimental candidates, new therapeutic cancer products, clinical study opportunities and partnering prospects. Inovio's lead DNA immunotherapy product, VGX-3100, designed to treat HPV-related cancers and pre-cancers, will generate efficacy and immunogenicity data from a phase II trial for high grade cervical dysplasia mid-year 2014. Inovio also plans to expand testing of this product to treat HPV-related cervical and head and neck cancers, the latter the most rapidly growing cancer in men. Last year, Inovio signed a $400 million collaboration with Roche to co-develop its therapeutic vaccine for prostate cancer, INO-5150, which is expected to enter clinical trials this year.