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JACKSONVILLE, Florida – May 16, 2018 – TapImmune Inc. (NASDAQ: TPIV), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company, today announced that it has assembled a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) composed of leading experts in the field of immuno-oncology and cell therapy and that will become effective in conjunction with the proposed merger between the Company and Marker Therapeutics, Inc. The goal of the SAB will be to support the continued clinical development of the Company’s transformative, non-genetically engineered, multi-antigen T cell therapy platform. Foundational members of the SAB include senior medical scientists from the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, including its founding Director and former President of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) and of the International Society for Cell Therapy, Malcolm K. Brenner, M.D., Ph.D. Joining Dr. Brenner are colleagues Helen E. Heslop, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon), the current president of ASGCT, and Cliona M. Rooney, Ph.D., who collectively laid the foundation and were the first to validate the use of antigen-specific T cell transfer to prevent and cure viral malignancies in stem cell transplant patients.
Peter Hoang, President and CEO of TapImmune, stated, “I am absolutely delighted and humbled to have the support and commitment of world leaders in the advancement of immunotherapy such as Malcolm Brenner, Cliona Rooney and Helen Heslop to help us advance our platform. Dr. Brenner is a household name within the CAR-T and TCR field for his pioneering work in advancing T cell therapies. As the founding Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, he created one of the world’s foremost institutions in the field of T cell therapies, and he is among the field’s most prominent and well-regarded thought leaders based on his scientific and translational studies.
“Dr. Heslop is the current President of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy and a key investigator in the translation of the science of immunology from the laboratory into the clinic. She is one of the field’s best-known experts in developing methods and procedures for generating cytotoxic T cell lymphocytes that can be used to drive life-changing therapeutic results for patients. Dr. Rooney is a global leader in the field of T cell-based therapy, authoring many seminal studies in virus and non-virus-associated malignancies. Her work has helped change the lives of hundreds of patients while meaningfully advancing the science of cancer treatment.
“We’re proud to attract such world-leading advisors as we seek to transform the field of cell therapy for cancer. Our highly differentiated platform, which has generated potentially groundbreaking efficacy and safety results in early clinical trials, originated with this team at Baylor College of Medicine. I have tremendous respect for Drs. Brenner, Heslop, and Rooney and I’m honored to be able to access their unmatched expertise and experience, helping to ensure that the value our T cell therapies can deliver for patients is effectively validated in future clinical studies. We look forward to moving ahead with their support as the proposed merger is completed.”
SAB Member Bios:
Malcolm K. Brenner, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Brenner is the founding director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and the Fayez Sarofim Distinguished Service Professor at Baylor College of Medicine in the Departments of Medicine, Pediatrics, and Human and Molecular Genetics. He is also a member of the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center, the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Center, and the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor. Over the past 30 years, Dr. Brenner has devoted his career as a physician-scientist to the field of stem cell transplantation through the therapeutic use of T cell immunologic approaches and genetic engineering strategies. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Therapy and as former President of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) and International Society for Cell Therapy. Dr. Brenner has earned widespread recognition for his scientific achievements and leadership in the field, including the ASGCT Outstanding Achievement Award, Human Gene Therapy’s Pioneer Award, and the American Society of Hematology Mentor Award. Most recently Dr. Brenner has been elected to the prestigious National Academy of Medicine for his contributions. He obtained his BA and medical degrees as well as his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in the UK where he became a fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and the Royal College of Physicians. Dr. Brenner is a co-founder of ViraCyte, LLC.
Helen E. Heslop, M.D., D.Sc. (Hon)
Dr. Heslop is Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics and Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital. She is the Dan L. Duncan Chair and the Associate Director of Clinical Research at the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center. Trained as a physician-scientist, Dr. Heslop is a prominent figure engaged in translational research focusing on adoptive T cell immunotherapy to improve hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cancer therapy. In collaboration with Drs. Brenner and Rooney, her initial studies were the first to demonstrate the feasibility of using EBV-specific T cells to prevent and treat EBV-associated malignancy in stem cell transplant patients, thereby validating the safety and efficacy of adoptive T cell transfer as a therapeutic modality. Dr. Heslop was a Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Research Scientist and serves as the current President elect of the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) and a past President of the Foundation for Accreditation of Cell Therapy (FACT) and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. She received her M.B.ChB, M.D. and D.Sc. (Hon) in Hematology from the University of Otago in New Zealand. Dr. Heslop is a co-founder of ViraCyte, LLC.
Cliona M. Rooney, Ph.D.
Dr. Rooney is a Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Molecular Virology and Microbiology, and Immunology and Director of Translational Research Laboratories at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Rooney is renowned virologist and immunologist who, in collaboration with Drs. Heslop and Brenner, was the first to demonstrate that antigen-specific T cells generated in the laboratory could prevent and cure viral-associated malignancies in humans following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. She has been key in extending this successful strategy to develop and clinically test a range of post-transplant viral infections and diseases. Dr. Rooney serves on the Editorial Boards for several scientific journals, including Molecular Therapy, Cytotherapy, Molecular and Cellular Therapies. Dr. Rooney holds a Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Cambridge and a B.Sc. in Genetics from the University of East Anglia in England. Dr. Rooney is a co-founder of ViraCyte, LLC.
About TapImmune Inc.
TapImmune, Inc. is a leader in the TapImmune Inc. is a leader in the development of novel immunotherapies for cancer, with multiple Phase 2 and Phase 1b/2 clinical studies currently ongoing for the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer. The company's peptide- or nucleic acid-based immunotherapeutic products comprise multiple naturally processed epitopes (NPEs) designed to comprehensively stimulate a patient's killer T-cells and helper T-cells, and to restore or further augment antigen presentation by using proprietary nucleic acid-based expression systems. This unique approach can produce off-the-shelf T-cell vaccine candidates that elicit a broad-based T-cell response and can be given without respect to HLA type. The company's technologies may be used as stand-alone medications or in combination with other treatment modalities. TapImmune has announced a proposed merger with Marker Therapeutics, Inc. a privately-held clinical stage developer of a transformative, non-genetically engineered, multi-antigen T cell therapy platform, which will add a significant portfolio of clinical-stage cell therapies to create a leading immuno-oncology pipeline.
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Forward-Looking Statement Disclaimer
This release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements in this news release concerning the Company’s expectations, plans, business outlook or future performance, and any other statements concerning assumptions made or expectations as to any future events, conditions, performance or other matters, are “forward-looking statements”. Forward-looking statements are by their nature subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those stored in such statements. Such risks, uncertainties and factors include, but are not limited to the risks set forth in the Company’s most recent Form 10-K, 10-Q and other SEC filings which are available through EDGAR at www.sec.gov. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements.
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