PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Daniel J. O’Connor, chief executive officer, president and board member of Advaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADXS), a late-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of a proprietary Lm-based antigen delivery system, announced his resignation from the company and its board of directors today.
Anthony (Tony) Lombardo will immediately assume the role of interim CEO to continue leading Advaxis in its advancement of multiple cancer immunotherapies based on its proprietary Lm Technology™. Lombardo, who joined the company as chief business officer earlier this year, is an accomplished industry veteran with nearly 30 years of leadership experience in the life sciences industry, including previous positions as president and CEO of E-Z-EM Inc., a NASDAQ listed company, and president of ALI Imaging Systems, Inc. He will serve as interim CEO until a permanent leader is selected.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to lead Advaxis for the past several years,” said O’Connor. “The company has powerful technology and a strong management team. I have every confidence in their ability to ensure the company’s continued success.”
Since joining the company as chief executive officer and president in 2013, O’Connor has led Advaxis to the final phase of development for its lead product, spearheaded numerous clinical collaborations, and raised more than $250 million to drive the company’s medical, operational and commercialization plans forward. During his time at Advaxis, O’Connor joined the board of BioNJ and became a leader in the New Jersey biotechnology industry, earning recognition as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year.
“Dan O’Connor has guided Advaxis through a crucial stage in its expansion to become a well-capitalized, NASDAQ-traded company with a burgeoning clinical pipeline and growing scientific and intellectual property assets,” said David Sidransky, chairman of Advaxis’ board. “He has built a strong management team to move the company toward financial success. We thank Dan for his leadership and accomplishments at Advaxis and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
About Advaxis, Inc.
Located in Princeton, N.J., Advaxis, Inc. is a biotechnology company developing multiple cancer immunotherapies based on its proprietary Lm Technology™. The Lm Technology, using bioengineered live attenuated Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) bacteria, is the only known cancer immunotherapy agent shown in preclinical studies to both generate cancer fighting T cells directed against cancer antigens and neutralize Tregs and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) that protect the tumor microenvironment from immunologic attack and contribute to tumor growth. Advaxis' lead Lm Technology immunotherapy, axalimogene filolisbac, targets HPV-associated cancers and is in clinical trials for three potential indications: Phase 3 in invasive cervical cancer, Phase 2 in head and neck cancer, and Phase 2 in anal cancer. The FDA has granted axalimogene filolisbac orphan drug designation for each of these three clinical settings, as well as Fast Track designation for adjuvant therapy for HRLACC patients and a SPA for the Phase 3 AIM2CERV trial in HRLACC patients. Axalimogene filolisbac has also been classified as an advanced therapy medicinal product for the treatment of cervical cancer by the EMA’s CAT. Advaxis has two additional immunotherapy products: ADXS-PSA in prostate cancer and ADXS-HER2 in HER2 expressing solid tumors, in human clinical development. In addition, Advaxis and Amgen are developing ADXS-NEO, an investigational cancer immunotherapy treatment designed to activate a patient's immune system to respond against the unique mutations, or neoepitopes, contained in and identified from each individual patient's tumor, with plans to commence a Phase 1 clinical trial in 2017.