Policy & Regulation
Dan Retires from Sesen Bio Board of Directors
19 July 2019 - - Leslie L. Dan has retired from US-based fusion protein therapeutics developer Sesen Bio's (NASDAQ: SESN) board of directors, the company said.
With the retirement of Dan, the company's board of directors will be comprised of five directors of which four are independent.
The company's board of directors intends to fill the director vacancy resulting from Dan's retirement.
Dan began his career in the pharmaceutical industry in 1964 when he founded Novopharm Ltd., a pharmaceutical distribution business focused on providing less expensive generic medicines to the public.
Novopharm went on to become one of Canada's largest generic pharmaceutical companies with approximately USD 750m in revenue and over 3,000 employees, before becoming part of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in 2000.
After the successful sale of Novopharm, Dan turned his efforts and expertise to the development of anti-cancer products where his skills as a pharmacist and experience as a drug manufacturer led to the founding of Viventia Bio Inc. in 2012, where he served as president and secretary from 2012 to 2015.
In 2016, Viventia was sold to what is now Sesen Bio, where Dan continued to support Sesen's efforts by serving on the company's board of directors.
Dan's important work at Viventia led to the development of a promising early pipeline and the company's lead, late Phase 3 asset, Vicinium, for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
Vicinium, a locally-administered fusion protein, is Sesen Bio's lead product candidate being developed for the treatment of high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).
Vicinium is comprised of a recombinant fusion protein that targets epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) antigens on the surface of tumor cells to deliver a potent protein payload, Pseudomonas Exotoxin A. Vicinium is constructed with a stable, genetically engineered peptide tether to ensure the payload remains attached until it is internalised by the cancer cell, which is believed to decrease the risk of toxicity to healthy tissues, thereby improving its safety.
In prior clinical trials conducted by Sesen Bio, EpCAM has been shown to be overexpressed in NMIBC cells with minimal to no EpCAM expression observed on normal bladder cells.
Sesen Bio is currently conducting the Phase 3 VISTA trial, designed to support the registration of Vicinium for the treatment of high-risk NMIBC in patients who have previously received a minimum of two courses of bacillus Calmette-Guérin and whose disease is now BCG-unresponsive.
Additionally, Sesen Bio believes that Vicinium's cancer cell-killing properties promote an anti-tumor immune response that may potentially combine well with immuno-oncology drugs, such as checkpoint inhibitors.
The activity of Vicinium in BCG-unresponsive NMIBC is also being explored at the US National Cancer Institute in combination with AstraZeneca's immune checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab.
Sesen Bio is a late-stage clinical company advancing targeted fusion protein therapeutics for the treatment of patients with cancer.
The company's lead programme, Vicinium, also known as VB4-845, is currently in a Phase 3 registration trial, the VISTA trial, for the treatment of high-risk, BCG-unresponsive non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).
Vicinium is a locally-administered targeted fusion protein composed of an anti-EPCAM antibody fragment tethered to a truncated form of Pseudomonas Exotoxin A for the treatment of high-risk NMIBC.
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