Friday, 11 January 2013

ImmunoCellular appoints Gary S. Titus to board, shares rise

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (AMEX:IMUC) Wednesday announced the appointment of Gary S. Titus to its board of directors, sending shares up over five per cent.
Shares of the company were higher by 10 cents as at about 1:45 p.m. EDT, trading at $2.02.
Titus, who is currently the senior VP and CFO of SciClone Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SCLN), has in excess of 20 years of business experience in the healthcare and biopharmaceutical industries. 
ImmunoCellular added that Titus has “extensive experience” in working with public corporations in a variety of areas, including financial planning and analysis, SEC reporting, investor relations, business development, and corporate strategy.
“Gary’s [Titus] strategic financial planning skills, strong commitment to fiscal responsibility and regulatory compliance and broad financial leadership experience in both research and development-based and commercial operating companies make him an ideal addition to ImmunoCellular’s board of directors,” said CEO Andrew Gengos. 
Gengos noted that with a reputation a broad management and planning skill set, Titus will be “especially valuable” as the company advances its pipeline and expands its business as it looks to become a leader in cancer immunotherapy.
Prior to SciClone, Titus served as senior VP of finance and CFO at Kosan Biosciences, prior to its acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY). Before his tenure at Kosan, Titus was CFO and VP at Nuvelo, Inc. 
Titus has also held a variety of positions at other companies, including Metabolex, Intrabiotics Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) healthcare division LifeScan. 
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics is a Los Angeles-based clinical-stage company that is developing immune-based therapies for the treatment of brain and other cancers.
Last month, the company named Andrew Gengos as president and CEO. Gengos replaced Manish Singh, who resigned as chairman and CEO in August, 2012. 
In November 2012, ImmunoCellular unveiled its third-quarter earnings and said it had around $10 million of cash on hand to fund the development of its clinical programs, not taking into account the near $20 million it raised in a recent public offering. 
The company's development pipeline of cancer vaccines is led by ICT-107, which is anticipated to complete a Phase IIb trial at the end of 2013. 
ICT-107 is a dendritic cell-based vaccine that works by activating a patient's immune system against specific tumor-associated antigens. This is done by extracting dendritic cells from a patient, loading them with the tumour-related antigens, and re-injecting them back into the patient's body to trigger an immune response against cancer cells presenting these antigens.
Rather than simply targeting a single tumor-specific antigen, ImmunoCellular's vaccine pursues multiple different antigens found on cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are thought to be the originators of common tumor cells, and lead to cancer’s re-growth after chemotherapy.

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