LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/28/13 -- MMRGlobal, Inc. (OTCQB: MMRF) ("MMR" or the "Company") today announced that Ivor Royston, M.D. has agreed to join the Company's Board of Directors effective immediately. MMR's Board of Directors voted unanimously to authorize management of the Company to extend an invitation to Dr. Royston to serve on the Board. MMR's management and the Board believe it is in the best interest of the Company and its stockholders to have a director whose expertise in biopharmaceutical investing and medical oncology/immunology can help exploit its biotech assets and leverage its equity to identify strategic partners and M&A opportunities in biotech. Dr. Royston will also assist management in recruiting qualified executives and advisors to help the Company market and exploit its existing biotech assets.
Dr. Royston, a physician, scientist and entrepreneur-financier, is Founding Managing Member of Forward Ventures and a recognized leader in cancer research. He is credited as a founding father of San Diego's biotech industry. He co-founded Hybritech, Inc., San Diego's first biotechnology company, in 1978, which was then acquired by Eli Lilly & Co. In 1986, Dr. Royston co-founded IDEC Corporation, which merged with Biogen to form Biogen Idec, discoverer of Rituxan®, the first FDA-approved monoclonal antibody to treat B-cell lymphoma.
MMRGlobal currently holds issued patents for its anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies in the U.S., Australia and Mexico, and has additional antibody patents pending in Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Europe, Japan and South Korea. The market value for anti-CD20 antibodies is over $7 billion as demonstrated by Rituxan® which is due to go off patent in 2015. Because Dr. Royston is considered a world class expert on these types of cancer therapies, the Company believes his value in helping exploit these antibody assets could be significant.
MMR acquired its biotechnology assets in January 2009 as a result of a reverse merger with Favrille, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company funded significantly in part by Forward Ventures. More than $100 million was invested in the development of these assets which include the Company's global patent portfolio, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, and thousands of patient tumor samples, data and related materials collected from the Company's FavId/Specifid idiotype vaccine trials to treat lymphoma patients, which the Company has been advised by experts may have significant value to pharmaceutical companies interested in new therapies for B-cell lymphoma.
According to Robert H. Lorsch, MMR's CEO, "Based on his knowledge of the Company's biotech assets, Dr. Royston is uniquely qualified to be a director of MMR and help the Company identify opportunities to expand our life sciences business through strategic relationships, partnerships and other strategic opportunities. Dr. Royston is a respected physician, immunologist, entrepreneur and humanitarian with a background as a venture capitalist who has led numerous biotech investments and financings. Working with Dr. Royston, the Company plans on continuing its efforts to enter into relationships with pharmaceutical companies, universities and others to license and otherwise exploit these assets."
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