SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immune Design, a biotech company focused on the development of novel immune-based therapies for cancer and other human diseases, today announced the appointment of Frank J. Hsu, M.D. as its Vice President, Head of Oncology.
A distinguished medical oncologist and immunologist, Dr. Hsu brings an extensive clinical research and product development career spanning both academic and industry settings. This includes initiating the first clinical trial of an anti-cancer vaccine based on antigen-pulsed dendritic cells while at Stanford and overseeing clinical development for late- and early-stage biologic and small molecule oncology products while at Genzyme and Zyngenia. At Immune Design, Dr. Hsu will oversee the translational medicine and clinical development of our immunotherapeutic oncology programs.
"Frank's contributions to immunotherapy research and oncology product development are truly expansive and include oversight of successful development and product registrations," said Carlos Paya, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Immune Design. "He is a great addition to our expanded management team and will contribute to the advancement of our oncology product pipeline, which includes ID-G305 and ID-LV305."
Dr. Hsu recently served as Chief Medical Officer for Zyngenia, Inc., where he was responsible for strategic planning and clinical development of multi-specific, multi-valent agents for the company's lead programs in immune-mediated diseases and oncology. Prior to that, Dr. Hsu was Senior Medical Director at Genzyme in the Transplant and Oncology Division. For more than nine years, he was responsible for the clinical development of products in the areas of hematology, oncology and stem cell transplant. He supervised the clinical development of Campath® and Thymo®, investigational antibodies including GC1008, anti-cancer vaccines, and helped lead the successful development and global new drug registrations of Mozobil®. He also actively supported business development, partnership management, medical affairs, and corporate acquisitions.
Dr. Hsu received his B.S. from Stanford University, his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and his residency training in Internal Medicine at UCSF. From 1990-1996, he was a clinical and research fellow in Oncology at Stanford University, and from 1996-2003, he served as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Oncology and as co-Director of the Immunology Research Program of the Yale Cancer Center. During his academic career, Dr. Hsu's research focused on non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, Hodgkin's disease and multiple myeloma. His work involved both basic immunology and translational efforts to develop novel anti-cancer antibodies and idiotype vaccines and included the first clinical trial of tumor antigen-pulsed dendritic cells. He has authored multiple scientific papers and was a recipient of several awards and fellowships, including ones from the James S. McDonnell Foundation for Molecular Medicine in Cancer Research and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In addition to his current role, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Grunebaum Cancer Research Foundation.
"Immune Design's platforms are focused on targeting tumor antigens into dendritic cells in vivo and hold promise in generating clinically meaningful anti-cancer immune responses both alone and in combination with other agents," said Dr. Hsu. "I look forward to assisting in the development of the product candidates being advanced into the clinic using these platforms."
Immune Design's oncology product candidates are derived from the company's dual technology platform technologies. Lead candidates include ID-LV305, an investigational cancer therapeutic generated from the company's lentiviral vector platform, and ID-G305, generated from the company's GLA platform. Both ID-LV305 and ID-G305 have been engineered to target the same set of tumors expressing a specific antigen. Immune Design plans to initiate clinical trials of these product candidates as single agents, in combination with each other as a third product candidate (ID-CMB305) and in combination with other complementary cancer immunotherapy approaches.
About Immune Design
Immune Design is a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company based in Seattle, WA. Immune Design brings together some of the world's leaders in the field of molecular immunology to develop a synergistic platform of next generation vaccines designed to treat cancer, infectious diseases, allergy, and autoimmune disorders. The company employs leading edge technologies that target dendritic cells for more precise activation of the immune response. These include a novel lentiviral vector engineered to deliver antigen-encoding nucleic acids directly to dendritic cells in vivo and a TLR4 agonist that activates dendritic cells by up-regulating key molecules for efficient antigen presentation and produces Th1 cytokines to enhance the immune response. For more information, visit www.immunedesign.com.
CONTACT: Julie RathbunRathbun Communicationsjulie@rathbuncomm.com
Source: Immune Design