Therapy Areas: Oncology
Sesen Bio Names Honig, Jewett to Board of Directors
21 July 2021 - - US-based clinical company Sesen Bio (NASDAQ: SESN) has appointed Dr. Peter K Honig, MPH, former senior vice president and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs and Group Head of Development China and Japan at Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), and Dr. Michael A.S. Jewett, FRCSC, FACS, a practicing Oncologist and global Key Opinion Leader to the Sesen Bio board of directors, the company said.

The company's Biologics License Application for the company's lead program, Vicineum, is currently under Priority Review with the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) in the US with a target Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date of August 18, 2021.

Peter K Honig, MD, MPH is an experienced leader in the strategic and tactical aspects of medicine and vaccine development with expertise in clinical pharmacology, clinical programs, setting clinical trial design, compliance, medical product safety, and medical product regulation.

Dr. Honig recently retired from Pfizer as senior vice president and Head of Global Regulatory Affairs and Group Head of Development China and Japan.

Dr. Honig led Pfizer's commitment to patient safety by working across the organization to ensure regulatory effectiveness, quality control and compliance throughout all stages of product development and post-approval.

Prior to joining Pfizer, he held senior leadership positions at AstraZeneca and Merck Research Laboratories and with the FDA, including a role as the first director of the Office of Drug Safety in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

In addition to his industry and FDA experience, Dr. Honig has been the PhRMA representative to the International Conference on Harmonisation Steering Committee from 2002 to 2021, is a past president of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ASCPT) and is currently an associate editor of their flagship journal.

Dr. Honig received medical and public health degrees from Columbia University in New York.

Michael A.S. Jewett, MD, FRCSC, FACS is a prominent Oncologist who is internationally recognized for his life-saving innovations in surgical oncology, his advocacy of patient-centered clinical care, and his contributions to research in the field of bladder cancer.

Dr. Jewett is currently a professor in the Departments of Surgical Oncology and Surgery (Urology) at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network and the University of Toronto.

A graduate of Queen's University, Faculty of Medicine, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, where BCG for bladder cancer was first prescribed, Dr. Jewett completed his Urology training at the University of Toronto, Canada and Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Dr. Jewett has played a leading role in national and international consensus statements, including as a committee chair for the International Consultation on Bladder Tumors in 2004 Consensus.

He has appeared before the FDA as an expert including the presentation that led to the historic approval of BCG for NMIBC.

Dr. Jewett has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, mostly in Uro-oncology and in technology assessment and medical informatics. Dr. Jewett was a member of the inaugural Medical Advisory board of the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.

He is an Honorary Member of the American Urological Association and the European Association of Urology and has been a visiting professor in more than 40 institutions and associations.

In December 2020, Dr. Jewett was appointed to the Order of Canada based on his achievements listed above, among others.

In the US, the company believes it remains on track for an FDA decision on its BLA for Vicineum by the target PDUFA date August 18, 2021.

Vicineum, a locally administered fusion protein, is Sesen Bio's lead product candidate being developed for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Vicineum 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. Vicineum is constructed with a stable, genetically engineered peptide tether to ensure the payload remains attached to the antibody binding fragment until it is internalized by the cancer cell.

This fusion protein design 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 in the follow-up stage of a Phase 3 registration trial in the US for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive NMIBC.

In February 2021, the FDA accepted for filing the company's BLA for Vicineum for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive NMIBC and granted the application Priority Review with a target PDUFA date of August 18, 2021.

Additionally, Sesen Bio believes that cancer cell-killing properties of Vicineum promote an anti-tumor immune response that may potentially combine well with immuno-oncology drugs, such as checkpoint inhibitors.

For this reason, the activity of Vicineum 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, Inc. is a late-stage clinical company advancing targeted fusion protein therapeutics for the treatment of patients with cancer.

The company's lead program, Vicineum, also known as oportuzumab monatox, is currently in the follow-up stage of a Phase 3 registration trial for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

In February 2021, the FDA accepted for filing the company's BLA for Vicineum for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive NMIBC and granted the application Priority Review with a target PDUFA date of August 18, 2021.

Sesen Bio retains worldwide rights to Vicineum with the exception of Greater China and the Middle East and North Africa, for which the company has partnered with Qilu Pharmaceutical and Hikma Pharmaceuticals, respectively, for commercialization.

Vicineum is a locally administered targeted fusion protein composed of an anti-EpCAM antibody fragment tethered to a truncated form of Pseudomonas Exotoxin A, which is being developed for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive NMIBC.

Sesen Bio continues to monitor the rapidly evolving environment regarding the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our company.

The company has not yet experienced any disruptions to our operations as a result of COVID-19, however, we are not able to quantify or predict with certainty the overall scope of potential impacts to our business, including, but not limited to, our ability to raise capital and, if approved, commercialize Vicineum.

Sesen Bio remains committed to the health and safety of patients, caregivers and employees.
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