HOUSTON, July 28, 2020 (Newswire.com) - Memgen, Inc., a private biotechnology company developing innovative immune-based drugs for the control of infectious diseases and cancer, announced today that Dr. Thomas Monath, a world-renowned virologist and vaccinologist, has joined the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board. The addition of Dr. Monath highlights the potential of the Company’s vaccine program as it advances its COVID-19 vaccine candidate to the clinic.
Dr. Monath, Managing Partner and Chief Scientific Officer of Crozet Biopharma, has worked in leadership positions in US government agencies and in the biotechnology sector, and had primary responsibility for bringing multiple innovative vaccines into clinical development, including Ebola Zaire, cell-based smallpox, dengue, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, cytomegalovirus, influenza, live and inactivated yellow fever, Helicobacter pylori, and Clostridium difficile, four of which are now licensed and commercialized.
In addition to Memgen, Tom serves on the boards of Juvaris Inc., Sentinext Plc, and US Biologic Inc. and on the Scientific Advisory Boards of RapidMicro Biosystems, GeoVax and SutroVax. Between 2006-2012, Dr. Monath was a Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a leading venture capital firm where he oversaw investments in the vaccine space. Before joining the industry, Dr. Monath served in the uniformed services of US Public Health Service and the US Army, retiring as a Colonel. During that time, he was Director, Division of Vector-Borne Viral Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Chief, Virology Division at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).
Tom received his AB degree from Harvard College and his MD from Harvard Medical School and is board-certified in internal medicine. He has received many prestigious awards, including the Nathanial A. Young Award, the Richard M. Taylor Award, the Walter Reed Medal and the James H. Steele Award. He has served on numerous government and international committees on infectious diseases, biosecurity, WHO expert committees and the National Vaccines Advisory Committee (USA), and is Past-President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and an elected Fellow of the Society. He has published over 425 scientific papers and 6 books on virology and vaccine development and has 35 patents.
Dr. Monath noted, “I am pleased and excited to join the Scientific Advisory Board of Memgen. The Company’s novel CD40 ligand technology offers differentiated potential as an immune stimulant and vaccine adjuvant, and I look forward to working with the company to develop products that will address COVID-19.”
Dr. Gregory Brown, Memgen’s CEO, stated, “We are honored and thrilled to have a professional of Dr. Monath’s stature join our Scientific Advisory Board, and to welcome him to the Memgen SAB. His expertise and insight into vaccine development will be a powerful addition to the team as we advance our COVID-19 vaccine candidates into the clinic.”
Memgen is developing new therapies to harness the power of the immune system to protect people from COVID-19 and other diseases, and to cure the most difficult cancers. The Company’s pipeline products all utilize its proprietary CD40 ligand technology, MEM40, which has already been tested in people and has demonstrated the ability to elicit powerful, antigen-specific anti-tumor immune responses, while doing so safely.
Memgen’s COVID-19 vaccine, MemVax, is designed to be used alone or in combination with other COVID-19 vaccines to generate a strong, durable immune response. MemVax is a highly specific immune stimulant that can work with COVID-19 antigens across a range of delivery approaches. Memgen has over 100,000 doses of MemVax ready to go into clinical trials, and an active file with the US FDA. Memgen plans to soon begin clinical trials of MemVax alone and in collaboration with other companies developing complementary COVID-19 vaccines.
The Company’s lead cancer immunotherapy, MEM-288, was developed in collaboration with Moffitt Cancer Center. It is an oncolytic virus engineered to selectively target cancer cells and to supercharge the immune system through expression of two unique and powerful immune modulators: MEM40 and the powerful cytokine interferon beta. MEM-288 generates a strong systemic anti-tumor immune response following intra-tumoral vaccination in multiple tumors. Memgen expects to begin clinical testing with MEM-288 in advanced cancers this year.
In this press release, unless the context requires otherwise, “Memgen”, the “Company,” “Companies,” “we,” “our,” and “us” refers to Memgen, Inc.
Gregory B. Brown, M.D.
For Memgen: Gregory B. Brown, M.D.