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Dr. Ivor Royston, Oncologist, Entrepreneur, Investor and a Founder of San Diego Biotech, Joins Viropro Board

Dienstag, 08.12.2015 15:05 von PR Newswire

PR Newswire

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Viropro, Inc. (OTCBB: VPRO), which has previously announced it will be changing its name to Axxiom, today announced that Ivor Royston, M.D. has agreed to join its Board of Directors effective immediately.

Dr. Royston is Founding Managing Member of Forward Ventures and a recognized leader in cancer research. He is widely recognized as a founding father of San Diego's biotech industry. In 1978, he co-founded Hybritech, Inc., San Diego's first biotechnology company, which was subsequently acquired by Eli Lilly & Co. In 1986, Dr. Royston co-founded IDEC Corporation, discoverer of Rituxan®, the first FDA-approved monoclonal antibody to treat B-cell lymphoma, prior to its merger with Biogen.

"We are delighted to have an executive and entrepreneur of Dr. Royston's stature join our Board," said Bruce Cohen, Chairman.  "His decades of industry leadership and keen understanding of breakthroughs in cancer therapy will be truly transformative for Viropro as we continue our efforts to build a world-class company."

Because Dr. Royston is a renowned expert in Immuno-Oncology therapies, Viropro believes his value in helping exploit this product category could be significant, especially in light of Viropro's previously announced intention to acquire NovaRx.  In addition Dr. Royston will support Viropro's ongoing pursuit of strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and the acquisition of underappreciated assets.  He will also play a pivotal role in recruiting senior executives for Viropro.  Viropro's Board of Directors was unanimous in its approval of this nomination. 

The effort to recruit Dr. Royston was spearheaded by Dr. Kenneth A. Sorensen, a member of Viropro's Board of Directors, who also directed the process leading to the proposed acquisition of NovaRx.  "Dr. Royston's background is ideal both for Viropro's long term strategy of building a diversified portfolio of high value assets and the immediate task of completing the clinical development of the NovaRx cancer immunotherapy portfolio," said Dr. Sorensen. 

Dr. Royston has also been instrumental in the formation, financing and development of numerous biotechnology companies including Applied Molecular Evolution (acquired by Eli Lilly); Corixa (acquired by GlaxoSmithKline); Dynavax; LigoCyte (acquired by Takeda); Morphotek (acquired by Eisai); Sequana Therapeutics (acquired by Celera); TargeGen (acquired by Sanofi); and Triangle Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead). Dr. Royston currently serves on the Boards of Syndax, Biocept and Viracta. Dr. Royston received his B.A. (1967) and M.D. (1970) degrees from Johns Hopkins University and completed post-doctoral training in internal medicine and medical oncology at Stanford University. From 1990 until 2000, Dr. Royston was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center (formerly the San Diego Regional Cancer Center). From 1977 to 1990, he held various positions in academic medicine and cancer center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine. In 1994, he received the San Diego Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Dr. Royston to a six-year term on the National Cancer Advisory Board. In 2006, Dr. Royston was inducted into the San Diego Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

This release contains "forward-looking statements" made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect management's current knowledge, assumptions, judgment and expectations regarding future performance or events. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such statements are reasonable, they give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct and you should be aware that actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the company's limited cash reserves and its ability to obtain additional capital on acceptable terms, or at all, including the additional capital which will be necessary to execute the company's future plans.

All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary notice. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. The company has no obligation, and expressly disclaims any obligation to update, revise or correct any of the forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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SOURCE Viropro, Inc.