OncoSec Appoints Bridget O'Keeffe, Ph.D. as Vice President of Clinical Development
Biotech industry veteran brings more than 15 years of clinical development and leadership experience largely focused on Oncology, including the combination of cytokines and check-point inhibitors
PENNINGTON, N.J. and SAN DIEGO, Feb. 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- OncoSec Medical Incorporated (NASDAQ:ONCS) (the "Company" or "OncoSec") today announced the appointment of Bridget O'Keeffe, Ph.D., a biotech industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience, as Vice President of Clinical Development effective February 18, 2021.
"It is with great pleasure that we welcome Dr. O'Keeffe to OncoSec in her new role during a critical time of growth for the company," said Sandra Aung, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical Development Officer. "At OncoSec, our mission is to bring safe and effective therapeutic options to patients who need it most. Having had the opportunity of previously working closely with Dr. O'Keeffe at Nektar Therapeutics, where she assumed a variety of leadership positions, I am confident her contributions will help propel our collective vision of delivering the next wave of paradigm-shifting therapeutic solutions for our patients."
Dr. O'Keeffe most recently served as Senior Director of Clinical Development for Nektar Therapeutics, where she built and trained an oncology clinical science team and provided clinical development leadership in the development of company processes and policy through interdepartmental, company-wide committees, working groups and initiatives. During her time with the company, Dr. O'Keeffe was also appointed Clinical Development Lead of the global Phase 3 randomized study for NKTR-214 (bempegaldesleukin) + OPDIVO® (nivolumab) in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC), for which she managed and led medical science strategy, Steering Committee and key opinion leader interactions, health authority/ethics committee responses, team training and clinical oversight of data collection and review.
Prior to Nektar, Dr. O'Keeffe held additional clinical development positions of increasing responsibility at Exelixis, Genentech, Clovis Oncology, Achaogen, and Calithera. In these roles, Dr. O'Keeffe served as medical monitor for multiple oncology studies in RCC, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC); provided scientific and medical expertise in the launch preparation for Rubraca® (rucaparib); participated on the clinical filing team for the new drug application (NDA) for ZEMDRI (plazomicin); and contributed to the early development of CABOMETYX® (cabozantinib). Dr. O'Keeffe earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley and her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Asian Studies at Case Western Reserve University.
As of February 18, 2021, Dr. O'Keeffe will be granted an initial grant of 35,000 stock options. These stock options will have an exercise price equal to the closing price of the Company's common stock on the date of grant and will be 25% vested on the date of grant, with the remaining 75% vesting quarterly over a two-year period. These stock options were granted as an inducement to Dr. O'Keeffe entering into employment with the Company in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
OncoSec's gene therapy technology combines TAVOTM (tavokinogene telseplasmid), a DNA plasmid-based interleukin-12 (IL-12), with an intra-tumoral electroporation gene delivery platform to achieve endogenous IL-12 production in the tumor microenvironment that enables the immune system to target and attack tumors throughout the body. TAVO has demonstrated a local and systemic anti-tumor response in several clinical trials, including the pivotal Phase 2b trial KEYNOTE-695 for metastatic melanoma and the KEYNOTE-890 Phase 2 trial in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). TAVO™ has received both Orphan Drug and Fast-Track Designation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.
About OncoSec Medical Incorporated
OncoSec Medical Incorporated (the "Company," "OncoSec," "we" or "our") is a late-stage biotechnology company focused on developing cytokine-based intratumoral immunotherapies to stimulate the body's immune system to target and attack cancer. OncoSec's lead immunotherapy investigational product candidate – TAVO™ (tavokinogene telseplasmid) – enables the intratumoral delivery of DNA-based interleukin-12 (IL-12), a naturally occurring protein with immune-stimulating functions. The technology, which employs electroporation, is designed to produce a controlled, localized expression of IL-12 in the tumor microenvironment, enabling the immune system to target and attack tumors throughout the body. OncoSec has built a deep and diverse clinical pipeline utilizing TAVO™ as a potential treatment for multiple cancer indications either as a monotherapy or in combination with leading checkpoint inhibitors; with the latter potentially enabling OncoSec to address a great unmet medical need in oncology: anti-PD-1 non-responders. Results from recently completed clinical studies of TAVO™ have demonstrated a local immune response, and subsequently, a systemic effect as either a monotherapy or combination treatment approach along with an acceptable safety profile, warranting further development. In addition to TAVO™, OncoSec is identifying and developing new DNA-encoded therapeutic candidates and tumor indications for use with its new Visceral Lesion Applicator (VLA), to target deep visceral lesions, such as liver, lung or pancreatic lesions. For more information, please visit www.oncosec.com.
TAVO™ is a trademark of OncoSec Medical Incorporated.
KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.
Risk Factors and Forward-Looking Statements
This release, as well as other information provided from time to time by the Company or its employees, may contain forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide the Company's current beliefs, expectations and intentions regarding future events and involve risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond the Company's control) and assumptions. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify forward-looking statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements may include words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "should," "will" and "would" and similar expressions (including the negative of these terms). Although we believe that expectations reflected in the forward- looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. The Company intends these forward-looking statements to speak only at the time they are published on or as otherwise specified and does not undertake to update or revise these statements as more information becomes available, except as required under federal securities laws and the rules and regulations of the Securities Exchange Commission ("SEC"). In particular, you should be aware that the success and timing of our clinical trials, including safety and efficacy of our product candidates, patient accrual, unexpected or expected safety events, the impact of COVID-19 on the supply of our candidates or the initiation or completion of clinical trials and the usability of data generated from our trials may differ and may not meet our estimated timelines. Please refer to the risk factors and other cautionary statements provided in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2020 and subsequent periodic and current reports filed with the SEC (each of which can be found at the SEC's website www.sec.gov), as well as other factors described from time to time in the Company's filings with the SEC.
Assistant Vice President, Business Development & Operations
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SOURCE OncoSec Medical Incorporated
Released February 18, 2021