-Appointment expected to aid advancement of Theriva’s discovery program and strengthen collaboration with the Institut Catala d’Oncologia (ICO) and the Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge (IDIBELL)-
ROCKVILLE, Md., May 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Theriva Biologics (NYSE American: TOVX), (“Theriva” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage company developing therapeutics designed to treat cancer and related diseases in areas of high unmet need, today announced the appointment of Dr. Ramon Alemany as Senior Vice President of Discovery, effective immediately. Dr. Alemany will oversee Theriva’s discovery and development pipeline and will continue to serve as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Alemany is Head of the Immunotherapy and Virotherapy Group at the ProCURE Program of the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) and the Oncobell Program of the Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge (IDIBELL). Dr. Alemany’s laboratory has developed unique oncolytic adenoviruses that are highly selective for replication in tumor cells, with modifications for tumor-targeting, tumor stroma degradation, evasion of neutralizing antibodies, and promotion of tumor immunogenicity.
“Ramon is an internationally recognized expert in oncolytic adenoviruses and as Co-Founder of VCN Biosciences, is uniquely suited to lead Theriva’s discovery program through its next critical phase of development,” said Steven A. Shallcross, Chief Executive Officer of Theriva Biologics. “The acquisition of VCN transformed Theriva’s pipeline, bringing our lead clinical candidate, VCN-01, a systemically administered oncolytic adenovirus designed to selectively replicate within the tumor, remodel the tumor matrix, and increase tumor immunogenicity. As we continue to build on the growing data that underscores VCN-01’s differentiated mechanisms of action, a key priority will be to identify new candidates to leverage the novel Albumin Shield technology and exciting additional technologies from our oncolytic virus (OV) platform. We look forward to Ramon’s guidance and strategic leadership in this new role. Additionally, we are grateful for the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with ICO and IDIBELL, the leading research institutions and long-term collaborators where our current OV technologies and products were invented and incubated.”
Dr. Alemany commented, “It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to expand Theriva’s discovery program and drive forward this new phase of growth. Together with the impressive team at Theriva and ICO/IDIBELL, we will synergistically build upon the foundation of compelling clinical and proof of mechanism data to develop new OVs that may significantly expand the therapeutic indications for our products. Combining novel viral payloads with the proprietary Albumin Shield technology to protect systemically administered oncolytic viruses from the host immune system has tremendous potential for our pipeline.”
About Dr. Alemany
Ramon Alemany, Ph.D., is an OV pioneer and an expert in oncolytic adenoviruses. He is Head of the Immunotherapy and Virotherapy Group at the Translational Research Laboratory of the ICO /IDIBELL, is co-founder of VCN Biosciences, a consultant for several virotherapy companies and a former President of the Spanish Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. Following Dr. Alemany’s Ph.D., at the University of Barcelona, he focused on the development of adenovirus vectors expressing anti-K-Ras and p53 at the MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX). Dr. Alemany has held leading research positions at the Gene Therapy Unit at Baxter Healthcare (Round Lake, IL) and at the University of Alabama (Birmingham, AL), where he collaborated with a team of top-level virologists. Dr. Alemany is the inventor on 15 oncolytic adenoviruses patents to date and has an outstanding publication record, with more than 160 papers. He also serves as editor in several gene therapy journals.
About ICO and IDIBELL
ICO (Institut Català d’Oncologia) is a public center of the Government of Catalonia (Spain), devoted to cancer prevention, treatment, and research, with multiple hospitals across Catalonia. ICO is part of the broader IDIBELL (Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Bellvitge) research center, which is located at L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, south of Barcelona. IDIBELL research is focused on cancer, neuroscience, translational medicine, and regenerative medicine.
About Theriva Biologics, Inc.
Theriva Biologics (NYSE American: TOVX), is a diversified clinical-stage company developing therapeutics designed to treat cancer and related diseases in areas of high unmet need. The Company’s wholly-owned Spanish subsidiary Theriva Biologics, S.L., has been developing a new oncolytic adenovirus platform designed for intravenous (IV), intravitreal and antitumoral delivery to trigger tumor cell death, improve access of co-administered cancer therapies to the tumor, and promote a robust and sustained anti-tumor response by the patient’s immune system. The Company’s lead clinical-stage candidates are: (1) VCN-01, an oncolytic adenovirus designed to replicate selectively and aggressively within tumor cells, and to degrade the tumor stroma barrier that serves as a significant physical and immunosuppressive barrier to cancer treatment; (2) SYN-004 (ribaxamase) which is designed to degrade certain commonly used IV beta-lactam antibiotics within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to prevent microbiome damage, thereby limiting overgrowth of pathogenic organisms such as VRE (vancomycin resistant Enterococci) and reducing the incidence and severity of acute graft-versus-host-disease (aGVHD) in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients; and (3) SYN-020, a recombinant oral formulation of the enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) produced under cGMP conditions and intended to treat both local GI and systemic diseases. For more information, please visit Theriva Biologics’ website at www.therivabio.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In some cases forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “should,” “potential,” “continue,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates,” and similar expressions, and include statements regarding the anticipated contribution of Dr. Alemany, advancing Theriva’s discovery program and strengthening the collaboration with the Institut Catala d’Oncologia (ICO) and the Biomedical Research Institute of Bellvitge (IDIBELL), synergistically building upon the foundation of compelling clinical and proof of mechanism data to develop new OVs that may significantly expand the therapeutic indications for the Company’s products and combining novel viral payloads with the proprietary Albumin Shield technology to protect systemically administered oncolytic viruses from the host immune system having tremendous potential for the Company’s pipeline . These forward-looking statements are based on management’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations and assumptions from thos e set forth or implied by any forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, among others, Dr. Alemany’s ability to contribute to the Company’s discovery program and strengthen our collaboration with ICO and IDIBELL, the Company’s ability to develop new OVs that may significantly expand the therapeutic indications for the Company’s products by synergistically building upon the foundation of compelling clinical and proof of mechanism data, the Company’s ability to combine novel viral payloads with the proprietary Albumin Shield technology to protect systemically administered oncolytic viruses from the host immune system , the Company’s ability to reach clinical milestones when anticipated, the Company’s ability to successfully operate the combined US and Spanish business entities , the Company’s product candidates demonstrating safety and effectiveness, as well as results that are consistent with prior results; the ability to complete clinical trials on time and achieve the desired results and benefits, continuing clinical trial enrollment as expected; the ability to obtain regulatory approval for commercialization of product candidates or to comply with ongoing regulatory requirements, regulatory limitations relating to the Company’s ability to promote or commercialize their product candidates for the specific indications, acceptance of product candidates in the marketplace and the successful development, marketing or sale of the Company’s products, developments by competitors that render such products obsolete or non-competitive, the Company’s ability to maintain license agreements, the continued maintenance and growth of the Company’s patent estate, the ability to continue to remain well financed and other factors described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 and its other filings with the SEC, including subsequent periodic reports on Forms 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release, and Theriva Biologics undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release on account of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law.
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