Dr. Robert Shepard Joins Biothera as Chief Medical Officer
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EAGAN, Minn.--(Business Wire)-- Biothera has named Robert C. Shepard, M.D., F.A.C.P. as Chief Medical Officer with responsibility for overseeing the clinical development of Imprime PGG®, the company`s targeted immunotherapeutic drug that works synergistically with monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of a wide range of cancers, including colorectal and lung cancer. "We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Shepard to the Biothera team," said Daniel Conners, president of Biothera`s Pharmaceutical Group. "His distinguished career in oncology and experience in clinical development make him the ideal candidate to lead our clinical development program." Shepard Bio Dr. Shepard`s extensive experience includes the complete clinical development of several drugs and immune therapies for patients with cancer. Previously he held senior positions at several biotech and pharmaceutical companies, including senior director and head of U.S. Oncology at i3 Oncology and medical director of clinical research and development in oncology at AstraZeneca. Dr. Shepard also was a medical officer at the oncology branch of CBER at the FDA where he was involved in the review of Avastin® and Erbitux®, the monoclonal antibodies combined with Imprime PGG in Biothera`s Phase II trials in colorectal and lung cancer. He has 15 years of clinical research experience at Harvard, Tufts, Hopkins, and the University of Virginia. At UVa, Dr. Shepard was the principal investigator (PI) for the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, and PI for 29 oncology clinical trials. Dr. Shepard is board-certified in oncology, hematology and internal medicine. He received an A.B. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Magna cum Laude from Harvard University and a M.D. from the Duke University School of Medicine Medical Scientist Training Program. Biothera Drug Development Biothera`s clinical development program is focused on metastatic colorectal cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Dr. Shepard will manage all of Biothera`s clinical initiatives including: * A dual-arm Phase Ib/IIa trial conducted in colorectal cancer patients. Biothera recently reported at ASCO the results of the first arm of the trial, which combines Imprime PGG and the standard of care (Erbitux and Irinotecan®). The second arm of the study, which is now fully enrolled, is evaluating the effectiveness of Imprime PGG and Erbitux without chemotherapy. * A Phase II clinical trial with metastatic colorectal cancer patients that have a KRAS gene mutation. Launched in May 2009, the trial combines Imprime PGG and Erbitux. * An open-label, randomized Phase II non-small cell lung cancer trial that combines Imprime PGG with Avastin and Carboplatin® and Paclitaxel®. * An open-label, randomized Phase II non-small cell lung cancer trial that combines Imprime PGG with Erbitux and Carboplatin and Paclitaxel. Both lung cancer trials are expected to begin dosing in the next few weeks. Other Personnel Changes Biothera recently promoted Myra Patchen, Ph.D. to Chief Scientific Officer, Pharmaceutical Group. Dr. Patchen has been with Biothera for several years, most recently as executive vice president of Pharmaceutical Development. She has extensive research experience with Imprime PGG and other yeast-derived beta glucans. The company also has named Quanren He, M.D., Ph.D., D.A.B.T., C.C.C.P., as Director of Pharmacology/Toxicology. Previously, Dr. He held several positions at CyDex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Lenexa, Kansas, including director of drug safety and medical affairs. Dr. He reports to Dr. Patchen. "We are extremely pleased with the pharmaceutical development team at Biothera," said Conners. "We are confident that their leadership will result in continued success of Imprime PGG." About Biothera, the Immune Health Company Biothera is a biotechnology company dedicated to improving immune health. The company is developing pharmaceuticals that target, direct and activate the innate immune system to fight cancer. (www.biothera.com) Biothera, the Immune Health Company David Walsh, 651-256-4606 (direct) VP Communications email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2009
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