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Tuesday, 21 August 2012
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics says CEO Manish Singh resigns, interim chief appointed
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (AMEX:IMUC) has said that Manish Singh has resigned from his role as CEO and president, effective immediately, with the company not citing any reason for the departure.
The board of the cancer therapeutics company has appointed founder John S. Yu, MD, as interim chief executive and president. Dr. Yu will also continue to serve as chief scientific officer and chairman.
The company said it has started a search for a permanent CEO.
"This is an exciting period in ImmunoCellular’s development as an emerging leader in cancer immunotherapy," said Dr. Yu in a prepared statement.
"With the broad potential inherent in our platform technology, and our demonstrated ability to execute on our clinical strategies, we are well positioned to expand our development portfolio into new cancer indications that represent significant unmet medical needs and for which our unique immunotherapeutic approaches hold great promise."
Yu said he looks forward to the completion of the company's phase II trial for its ICT-107 vaccine in glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain tumour.
"We hope that this trial will provide clinical validation of our platform and represent a potential breakthrough treatment for this deadly and intractable cancer," said Yu.
"We intend to continue to make progress in advancing our earlier stage product candidates, with the recent approval of an IND to initiate a Phase I trial of ICT-121 targeting CD133-positive cancer stem cells. We are developing a Phase I study with ICT-140 to treat ovarian cancer.”
ImmunoCellular said Yu is an "internationally renowned" neurosurgeon, and an expert in cancer immunotherapy, cancer stem cells and malignant brain tumors.
He is on the faculty of the department of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Shares of the company fell more than 16 per cent on the back of the news released late last night, to $2.44 Tuesday Morning.
Los Angeles-based ImmunoCellular's lead product candidate is ICT-107, a dendritic cell-based vaccine. Rather than simply targeting a single tumor-specific antigen, the company's vaccine pursues multiple different antigens found on cancer stem cells (CSCs).
In July, the company announced the expansion of its current phase 2b trial of ICT-107, in an effort to “further validate the study” and possibly short the trial by a few months.
The bio tech firm said that the trial will be expanded to include 123 patients, up from 102 that have either been treated or are scheduled to be treated.