In her role as Vice President, Clinical Development, Dr. Rose will report to Advaxis’s Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, David J. Mauro, MD, Ph.D., and will oversee clinical development programs for the Company’sLm Technology™ platform. Advaxis has initiated three new clinical trials in 2015, including a combination study involving ADXS-PSA and Merck’s PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor KEYTRUDA®(pembrolizumab). In addition, the Company expects to initiate six additional clinical trials by the end of year to evaluate its Lm Technology™ immunotherapy in cervical cancer, HPV-associated anal cancer and HER2 expressing solid tumors.
Most recently, Dr. Rose served as Director, Oncology Clinical Research for Merck & Co., Inc. She joined Merck in October 2010 and in her role was the medical monitor for multiple programs including KEYTRUDA, for which she was the clinical lead for Hodgkin Lymphoma studies. Dr. Rose also designed, authored and executed clinical studies, and developed the hematology strategy.
“Within the past year, Advaxis has made steps to continue to strengthen our immunotherapy platform, requiring someone with Shelonitda’s clinical expertise to manage our clinical development,” said Daniel J. O’Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis. “She brings a wealth of experience monitoring clinical studies and has prior operational experience with Merck’s KEYTRUDA, an agent we are exploring in combination with our immunotherapy candidate, ADXS-PSA. Her experience will be essential as we progress our combination studies and expand our clinical development program.”
Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Rose was the Program Director for the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program and an Associate Professor of Medicine and of Pathology and Transfusion Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School from 2002 to 2010, and Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at The Texas A&M University Health Science Center Medical School from 2000 to 2002. Dr. Rose is the author of several scientific articles in hematology and oncology. She holds a medical degree from Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai Medical College, in Tamil Nadu, India, and completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology with the UMDNJ – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
In connection with her appointment, Dr. Rose received a one-time inducement award of 85,000 restricted shares, of which 21,250 (25%) are fully vested as of the grant date. The remaining shares vest annually over a three-year period. The Company approved the award as an inducement material to Dr. Rose entering into employment with the Company in accordance with NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
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 LmTechnology, using bioengineered live attenuated Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, is the only known cancer immunotherapy agent shown in preclinical studies to both generate cancer fighting T-cells directed against a cancer antigen and neutralize Tregs and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), that protect the tumor microenvironment from immunologic attack and contribute to tumor growth. Advaxis’s lead LmTechnology immunotherapy, ADXS-HPV, targets human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers and is in clinical trials for three indications: Phase 2 in invasive cervical cancer, Phase 1/2 in head and neck cancer, and Phase 1/2 in anal cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Advaxis orphan drug designation for each of these three indications. For additional information on Advaxis, visit www.advaxis.com and connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook,YouTube and Google+.
This news release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: statements regarding Advaxis’s ability to develop the next generation of cancer immunotherapies; and the safety and efficacy of Advaxis’s proprietary immunotherapy, ADXS-HPV. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, including the risk factors set forth from time to time in Advaxis’s SEC filings, including but not limited to its report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2014, which is available at http://www.sec.gov. Advaxis undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revision to these forward-looking statements, which may be made to reflect the events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements.
KEYTRUDA is a registered trademark of Merck & Co., Inc.