THE WOODLANDS, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Opexa Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPXA), a biopharmaceutical company developing personalized immunotherapies for autoimmune disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica (NMO), is pleased to announce that Dr. Jason Kralic has joined the company in the new role of Vice President of Business Development. Dr. Kralic will be responsible for business development activities, including partnering, licensing and managing external relationships, and he will report directly to Neil Warma, President and CEO of Opexa.
"We are pleased to have Jason join Opexa’s team to head up our business development activities. Jason has a wealth of experience gained from overseeing worldwide business development for neurosciences R & D while at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). In addition, Jason has a proven track record in negotiating both in-licensing and out-licensing deals and in developing strategic partnerships. Jason’s addition complements the strong management capabilities we have at Opexa and his expertise will be instrumental in continuing to position Opexa as a leader in precision immunotherapy,” stated Mr. Warma.
Opexa’s lead T-cell immunotherapy therapy, Tcelna® received Fast Track designation from the U.S. FDA and is currently in development in a Phase 2b clinical trial for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). The trial is fully enrolled with data expected in the second half of 2016. Opexa entered an option and license agreement with Merck Serono for Tcelna for the multiple sclerosis indications worldwide, excluding Japan. Opexa retains all rights to all other disease indications developed off its proprietary T-cell platform, including OPX-212 which is in early, pre-IND development for the treatment of neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a rare (orphan) disease for which there are no approved treatments.
Dr. Kralic is a neuroscience-trained business development executive who most recently served as Head of Business Development for the Neurosciences Therapy Area Unit at GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Kralic joined GSK in 2009 as Director of Scientific Licensing in Worldwide Business Development covering late stage development and was promoted in 2011 to manage all Neurosciences R&D business development. Prior to GSK, Dr. Kralic served in scientific licensing roles at UCB Pharma and Schwarz Biosciences. Dr. Kralic holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and completed his post-doctoral training at the University of Zurich.
Opexa is a biopharmaceutical company developing a personalized immunotherapy with the potential to treat major illnesses, including multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as other autoimmune diseases such as neuromyelitis optica (NMO). These therapies are based on Opexa’s proprietary T-cell technology. The Company’s leading therapy candidate, Tcelna®, is a personalized T-cell immunotherapy that is in a Phase 2b clinical development program (the Abili-T trial) for the treatment of secondary progressive MS. Tcelna consists of myelin-reactive T-cells, which are expanded ex vivo from the patient’s peripheral blood and reintroduced into the patient in an attenuated form via subcutaneous injections. This process triggers a potent immune response against specific subsets of autoreactive T-cells known to attack myelin for each individual patient.
For more information visit the Opexa Therapeutics website at www.opexatherapeutics.com.
Cautionary Statement Relating to Forward-Looking Information for the Purpose of "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Statements contained in this release, other than statements of historical fact, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "expects," "believes," "may," "intends," "potential" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements, including without limitation statements regarding the safety, efficacy and projected development timeline of drug candidates such as Tcelna® and OPX-212, constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon our current expectations and involve assumptions that may never materialize or may prove to be incorrect. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties, which include without limitation our ability to raise additional capital to continue our development programs, our ability to successfully develop potential products such as Tcelna, our ability to obtain, maintain and protect intellectual property rights (including for Tcelna and pipeline candidates such as OPX-212), as well as other risks associated with the process of discovering, developing and commercializing drug candidates that are safe and effective for use as human therapeutics. These and other risks are described in detail in our SEC filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. All forward-looking statements contained in this release speak only as of the date on which they were first made by us, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after such date.