Meissa Vaccines Names Daly as Business Chief, Wells as Manufacturing Chief
14 October 2020 - - US-based biotechnology company Meissa Vaccines has appointed William Daly, J.D., MBA, as chief business officer and Keith H. Wells, Ph.D., as chief manufacturing officer, the company said.

Daly brings more than 30 years of broad experience in the biotech and pharma industry, covering business development, operations, finance, and strategy.

Dr. Wells has been involved in the development of more than 90 vaccines and biopharmaceutical products, and most recently advised the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) on the advanced development, licensure, and acquisition of medical countermeasures.

Meissa's COVID-19 live attenuated vaccine candidate, MV-014-210, was developed on the company's codon deoptimized RSV vaccine platform with the goal of creating safe, potent, stable, and cost-effective intranasal vaccines.

The company's platform technology has the potential to solve challenging obstacles in modern vaccinology such as suboptimal immune responses, vaccine stability, and manufacturing. 

Initial clinical data from the company's RSV vaccine candidate showed induction of mucosal IgA in the majority of vaccine recipients.

Daly's experience in the biotech and pharma industry includes senior leadership roles in business and corporate development at Ortho Biotech (now Janssen Pharmaceuticals, owned by Johnson and Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)), Chiron (acquired by Novartis), Allergan, Cougar biotechnology, Halozyme Therapeutics (NASDAQ: HALO), and Akebia Therapeutics.

Prior to Meissa, he was the senior vice president, Business Development and Alliance Management at Portola Pharmaceuticals. Previous to that, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence at venBio Partners and also served as president and CEO of Heart Metabolics, a venBio portfolio company.

Prior to working in biotech and pharma, Daly spent 10 years in investment banking and practiced corporate and securities law for 11 years.

With more than 30 years of experience, Wells has worked with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, multinational biopharmas, and biotech companies to advance the development of vaccines and biologic products against measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, rotavirus, vaccinia, encephalitis viruses, Zika virus, and seasonal and pandemic influenza.

Prior to joining Meissa, Wells served as a scientific and technical advisor to BARDA for manufacturing scale-up and regulatory pathways of medical countermeasures and vaccines.

He also held positions of increasing responsibility in manufacturing and process and product development at Acambis,

The Salk Institute government Services Division, and Merck and Co., Inc. Dr. Wells was also a member of the steering committee for the DARPA/UPMC 21st Century Biodefense Advanced Development and Manufacturing of Biological Countermeasures effort.

Meissa is a private biotechnology company focused the advancement of vaccines for respiratory viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

Meissa was founded on proprietary technologies employing reverse genetics and codon deoptimization for rational design of more effective live attenuated vaccines.

The technology is exclusively licensed from Emory University and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Meissa is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif.