A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/96307afe-58e4-46f6-9fcf-849d3c61f4bb.
Dr. Blunt joined Covance in 1998, holding several positions increasing in responsibility over nearly 20 years. He was responsible for medical monitoring for ongoing oncology trials across all phases, frequently interacting with staff at clinical trial sites, and providing oncology subject matter expertise company-wide. He also led Covance’s immuno-oncology curriculum and global training.
“As both a clinical oncologist and drug developer, Al brings tremendous insight and experience from years of planning, leading and executing clinical trials that have led to successful approvals and commercial launches,” said Chris Duke, Chief Operating Officer of Advaxis.
As Vice President of Medical for Advaxis, Dr. Blunt is responsible for leading the company’s clinical development strategy and activities from pre-clinical to commercial phase trials, including development of trial protocols to preparing regulatory filings, and participating in interactions with regulatory authorities relating to clinical matters.
“Advaxis’ versatile and complementary technology and drug candidates have great potential to provide an immuno-therapeutic approach to patients who currently have limited options for treating cervical cancer, anal cancer and many other cancers,” said Dr. Blunt. “I look forward to working with the company’s leadership and hundreds of clinicians throughout the world who are working to bring these much-needed therapies to patients.”
Dr. Blunt holds a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a B.S. in biochemistry from the City College of the City University of New York. He completed his residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and his fellowship in pediatric hematology-oncology at the Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He received an American Cancer Society Clinical Fellowship and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship for Physicians Award.
Dr. Blunt’s appointment was effective March 7. As part of his compensation, he receives 54,500 restricted stock units in Advaxis, of which 25 percent vest immediately and the remaining shares vest annually over the next three years.
About Advaxis, Inc.
Located in Princeton, N.J., Advaxis, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing multiple cancer immunotherapies based on its proprietary Lm Technology™. The Lm Technology, using bioengineered live attenuated Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) bacteria, is the only known cancer immunotherapy agent shown in preclinical studies to both generate cancer fighting T cells directed against cancer antigens and neutralize Tregs and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) that protect the tumor microenvironment from immunologic attack and contribute to tumor growth. Advaxis’ lead Lm Technology immunotherapy, axalimogene filolisbac, targets HPV-associated cancers and is in clinical trials for three potential indications: Phase 3 in invasive cervical cancer, Phase 2 in head and neck cancer, and Phase 2 in anal cancer. The FDA has granted axalimogene filolisbac orphan drug designation for each of these three clinical settings, as well as Fast Track designation for adjuvant therapy for high risk locally advanced cervical cancer (HRLACC) patients and a Special Protocol Assessment for the Phase 3 AIM2CERV trial in HRLACC patients. Axalimogene filolisbac has also been classified as an advanced therapy medicinal product for the treatment of cervical cancer by the EMA’s CAT. Advaxis has two additional immunotherapy products: ADXS-PSA in prostate cancer and ADXS-HER2 in HER2 expressing solid tumors, in human clinical development. In addition, Advaxis and Amgen are developing ADXS-NEO, a preclinical investigational cancer immunotherapy treatment designed to activate a patient’s immune system to respond against the unique mutations, or neoepitopes, contained in and identified from each individual patient’s tumor, with plans to enter the clinic in 2017.