Viventia Bio Inc. Expands Leadership Team, Names Erick Lucera as Chief Financial Officer and Gregory Adams, Ph.D., Chief Product Development Officer

20:00 EDT 4 Jun 2015 | Globe Newswire

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, June 5, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Viventia Bio Inc., a late clinical-stage company advancing a broad pipeline of novel anti-cancer agents, today announced the expansion of the Company's leadership team with the appointments of Erick Lucera to the position of Chief Financial Officer and Gregory Adams, Ph.D., to the newly created position of Chief Product Development Officer. Mr. Lucera will be responsible for all financial planning and reporting and will head investor relations and external communications activities. Dr. Adams will lead Viventia's team in advancing the company's oncology pipeline of novel Targeted Protein Therapeutics, fully biologic engineered proteins based on human antibody fragments that effectively deliver cytotoxic payloads directly to tumor cells. Viventia is anticipated to advance two lead clinical candidates, Vicinium™ and Proxinium™, into Phase 3 testing this year for bladder cancer and head & neck cancer, respectively. The Company also has an earlier-stage pipeline of de-immunized, systemic anti-cancer product candidates entering Phase 1/2 in Q1 2016. The appointments of Dr. Adams and Mr. Lucera are effective immediately, and both individuals will report to Stephen Hurly, Viventia's Chief Executive Officer.

"Viventia has attained significant momentum, with our two lead products to advance in Phase 3 clinical testing this year. I am excited that based on this progress we are able to attract Erick and Greg, as well as other highly accomplished professionals, to our growing team," commented Mr. Hurly. "Erick brings extensive financial expertise and a broad network of industry relationships, and Greg's immunology, antibody, and cancer background is ideally suited to the advancement of our discovery platform and product development pipeline."

Mr. Lucera brings to Viventia 20 years of experience in the life sciences, including 15 years on the "buy side" as a portfolio manager and analyst following the healthcare sector. Prior to joining Viventia, Mr. Lucera served as Vice President, Corporate Development at Aratana Therapeutics, where he helped the company grow its product pipeline through several acquisitions and in licensing transactions and assisted in the company' IPO process and additional financings. Prior to joining Aratana, Mr. Lucera served as Vice President and Healthcare Analyst at Eaton Vance Investment Managers. Previously, Mr. Lucera was a Portfolio Manager at Intrepid Capital, where he successfully constructed and managed a portfolio constructed across biotech, pharmaceutical, device, and service companies. Prior to that, Mr. Lucera held various leadership positions at Independence Investments, including Head of Healthcare Research. Mr. Lucera began his career as a staff auditor and accountant at PwC, the US member firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers. He holds a CPH in public health from Harvard University, and M.S.F. in quantitative finance from The Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School of Management of Boston College, an MBA from Indiana University Bloomington, and a B.S. in accounting from Lerner College of Business and Economics of University of Delaware and obtained the CPA designation in the State of Pennsylvania.

"During my career in biotech investing, I have had the opportunity to see many of today's leading firms in the earlier stages of their development," remarked Mr. Lucera. "Since my initial introduction to Viventia and subsequent due diligence, it has become very apparent to me that Viventia holds great potential and may be one of the most exciting cancer-focused, development-stage companies in the industry."

Dr. Adams brings to Viventia over 25 years of experience as an immunologist developing antibody-based agents for the treatment and detection of cancer.  He was Co-founder and CEO of computational antibody design company RAbD Biotech LLC, where he played a pivotal role in the development of lead agent RAD-003, a first-in-class biologic agent for the treatment of ovarian cancer.  Prior to this, Dr. Adams was the Director of Biological Research and Therapeutics at Fox Chase Cancer Center, where he led a laboratory group focused on developing antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates for the treatment of breast, ovarian and renal cancer. Greg was on the Scientific Advisory Board of Viventia for 12 years before joining. In addition, he has served on the Scientific Advisory Boards of a number of other antibody biotechnology companies, including Endo Pharmaceuticals, Symphogen, Avipep, AvidBiologics and YM Biosciences, and he currently serves on the Editorial Boards of Cancer Immunology Research, MAbs and Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals and recently rotated off of the editorial board of Cancer Research. He also is Adjunct Associate Professor, Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Adams received his B.A. in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of California, Davis.

"I am a firm believer in the potential of targeted protein payloads and have always been impressed with Viventia's technology," commented Dr. Adams. "From my perspective, Viventia's approach and its world-class team are uniquely positioned to lead this field forward to major advances in serving cancer patients."

About Viventia Bio

Viventia Bio is a late clinical-stage company advancing a broad pipeline of novel anti-cancer agents based on the Company's Targeted Protein Therapeutics (TPTs) platform. TPTs are fully biologic fusion constructs containing antibody fragments, a proprietary linker, and protein toxin payloads. The Company believes its platform offers significant advantages in treating cancer versus earlier technologies, including superior tumor targeting and better cancer cell-killing properties thru the utilization of protein payloads versus small molecules, as well as enhanced linker stability and more efficient manufacturing.

Viventia's lead clinical candidates, Vicinium™ and Proxinium™, are anticipated to progress in Phase 3 testing in 2015 for locoregional treatment of patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) and squamous cell carcinoma of the head & neck (SCCHN), respectively. Earlier-stage programs are focused on de-immunized, systemic candidates, including VB6-901, indicated for solid tumors and expected to enter Phase 1 testing in the first quarter of next year, as well as additional preclinical candidates targeting solid tumors. Viventia was founded by life sciences entrepreneur and philanthropist Leslie L. Dan.

CONTACT: Justin Jackson, Burns McClellan, on behalf of Viventia Bio
         212-213-0006, ext.327

More From BioPortfolio on "Viventia Bio Inc. Expands Leadership Team, Names Erick Lucera as Chief Financial Officer and Gregory Adams, Ph.D., Chief Product Development Officer"

Quick Search


Relevant Topics

Cancer Disease
Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start - for example, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer; cancer th...

  Bladder Cancer Brain Cancer Breast Cancer Cancer Cervical Cancer Colorectal Head & Neck Cancers Hodgkin Lymphoma Leukemia Lung Cancer Melanoma Myeloma Ovarian Cancer Pancreatic Cancer ...

Within medicine, nutrition (the study of food and the effect of its components on the body) has many different roles. Appropriate nutrition can help prevent certain diseases, or treat others. In critically ill patients, artificial feeding by tubes need t...