Industry leader with extensive oncology experience joins company as VB-111 advances toward registration
TEL AVIV, Israel, June 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VBL Therapeutics (Nasdaq:VBLT) today announced the appointment of Corinne Epperly, MD, MPH, as U.S. Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Epperly is an oncology expert with industry background in drug development, strategy, commercialization and operations. She will have key responsibilities in forming VBL's marketing strategy and commercialization plan for its Phase 3 candidate VB-111 and will work with VBL's leadership team to advance corporate strategy and U.S. activities. Dr. Epperly will report to Dr. Dror Harats, Chief Executive Officer of VBL.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Epperly to VBL’s senior leadership team,” said Dror Harats, CEO of VBL Therapeutics. “She brings strong experience in oncology drug development and commercialization, particularly in glioblastoma. Among other achievements, she has led multibillion-dollar global transactions and complex international negotiations, as well as corporate strategy and commercial execution. Her impressive skills and industry track record will be valuable assets to VBL as we continue to advance our lead therapeutic candidate, VB-111, in multiple oncology indications.”
Dr. Epperly said, “I look forward to joining VBL and making an immediate contribution at this exciting time for the company. VBL-111 has already demonstrated great potential as an immuno-oncology agent, having generated positive clinical data and evidence of a survival benefit in glioblastoma, ovarian cancer and thyroid cancer. I look forward to working with VBL’s senior team to help bring this drug to patients as efficiently as possible."
Dr. Epperly joins VBL after seven years at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), where she delivered results across diverse roles spanning marketing, M&A, strategic operations and medical strategy. Most recently she was involved in leading the preparation for the commercial launches of OPDIVO® (nivolumab) in both hepatocellular carcinoma and in glioblastoma. While at BMS she led U.S. immuno-oncology safety management, advancing the safety strategy with oncology stakeholders. Dr. Epperly also served as the Global Mergers & Acquisitions Lead in the Strategic Transactions Group at BMS. Prior to joining BMS, she was a member of the Global Healthcare Investment Research team at Goldman Sachs, based in London, where she helped relaunch the European Pharmaceutical and Biotech Team. Dr. Epperly holds a dual graduate degree, an M.D. and an MPH from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her medical training at the University of North Carolina Hospitals with the Department of Pediatrics. She also earned a Distinguished B.A. from the University of Virginia where she studied biochemistry and biology. Prior to medical school she conducted biomedical research in Experimental Immunology on checkpoint inhibition and tumor suppressor genes in the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
Vascular Biogenics Ltd., operating as VBL Therapeutics, is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class treatments for cancer. The Company's lead oncology product candidate, ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111), is a first-in-class, targeted anti-cancer gene-therapy agent that is positioned to treat a wide range of solid tumors. It is conveniently administered as an IV infusion once every two months. It has been observed to be well-tolerated in >200 cancer patients and we have observed its efficacy signals in an "all comers" Phase 1 trial as well as in three tumor-specific Phase 2 studies. Ofranergene obadenovec is currently being studied in a Phase 3 pivotal trial for recurrent Glioblastoma, conducted under an FDA Special Protocol Assessment (SPA).
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, which are often indicated by terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "goal," "intend," "look forward to," "may," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would" and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the clinical development of ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111), including our expectations regarding the timing of results from the GLOBE study, and its therapeutic potential and clinical results. These forward-looking statements are not promises or guarantees and involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described or projected herein include uncertainties associated generally with research and development, clinical trials and related regulatory reviews and approvals, and the risk that historical clinical trial results may not be predictive of future trial results. In particular, results from our pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial of ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111) in rGBM may not support approval of ofranergene obadenovec for marketing in the United States, notwithstanding the positive results seen in prior clinical experience. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other risks can be found in the Company's regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including in our annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2016. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. VBL Therapeutics undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.
OPDIVO® is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
Michael RiceLifeSci Advisors, LLC
Matt Middleman, M.D.
LifeSci Public Relations