CULVER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ImmunityBio, Inc. (NASDAQ: IBRX), a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, today announced two key executive appointments that bring industry-leading market growth and access experience to the company. Helen Luu will serve as the company’s first Chief Commercial Officer, joining ImmunityBio from her position as CEO of CAR-T developer Cell BT. The company also named Sigrid Schreiner as Senior Vice President of Global Market Access. She joins the company from Stemline Therapeutics (now Menarini Group), a global commercial-stage oncology therapeutics company.
“The timing is right for ImmunityBio to build out our commercial team and we could not have chosen stronger commercial leaders than Helen and Sigrid,” said Richard Adcock, President and CEO, ImmunityBio. “Their combined 35 years of commercial expertise in oncology therapeutics is well aligned with our growth strategy as we advance our Phase 3 trials for bladder and lung cancer and continue to make progress with our various Phase 2 trials. We are excited to have them on our team and value the energy they will inject into this key aspect of the business.”
As Chief Commercial Officer, Luu will take on the vital responsibilities of the company’s global commercial strategy, including the design and execution of expansion into the oncology and urology markets, as well as establishing key external alliances to support the commercial success of ImmunityBio. With more than 16 years of experience in multichannel and specialty biotech operations, Luu thrives in rapidly changing, highly competitive environments and specializes in business development, corporate restructuring, sales optimization, and process improvement to drive corporate revenue.
“I am thrilled to join ImmunityBio at this exciting time as the company approaches the potential global launch of the company’s oncology portfolio,” said Helen. “And I look forward to working with the ImmunityBio leadership team to ensure patients around the world will have access to the company’s innovative therapies.”
Luu joined Cell BT as its first Chief Operating Officer where she was responsible for directing the company’s strategic positioning and operations, as well as expanding the scope of its pipeline. Prior to Cell BT, Luu was the head of business development at Dendreon, the leading innovator of immunotherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer. During her 10-year tenure at Dendreon, she held various commercial leadership roles and responsibilities, including the successful launch of the national urologic oncology hospital sales team to strategically accelerate revenue growth. Luu began her biotech career at Gilead Sciences and was the top sales contributor for three consecutive years.
Schreiner brings more than 25 years of biopharma experience to ImmunityBio. She will be responsible for developing the company’s global payer, reimbursement, and distribution strategies, as well as managing patient access and key accounts.
Prior to her role at Stemline Therapeutics, Schreiner held market access roles with Dendreon, Lash Group (AmerisourceBergen), Immunex, and CTI Biopharma. She also led strategic planning and process improvement projects at Deloitte Management Consulting for health plans and physician organizations.
Luu joins ImmunityBio effective September 7, 2021, while Schreiner joins the company effective September 13, 2021.
ImmunityBio is a leading late-clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing next-generation therapies that drive immunogenic mechanisms for defeating cancers and infectious diseases. The company’s immunotherapy platform activates both the innate (natural killer cell and macrophage) and adaptive (T cell) immune systems to create long-term “immunological memory.”
ImmunityBio has a comprehensive immunotherapy pipeline with more than 40 clinical trials (company sponsored or investigator initiated)—of which 25 are at Phase II and III stages of development—across 19 indications in solid and liquid cancers and infectious diseases. Currently 17 first-in-human immunotherapy agents are in clinical testing and, to date, over 1,800 patients have been studied with our antibody cytokine fusion proteins, albumin chemo immunomodulators, Adeno and yeast vaccines and our off-the-shelf natural killer cell products. Anktiva™ (ImmunityBio’s lead cytokine infusion protein) is a novel interleukin-15 (IL-15) superagonist complex and has received Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track Designations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for BCG-unresponsive CIS non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).
The company’s platforms are based on the foundation of four separate modalities: Antibody cytokine fusion proteins, synthetic immunomodulators, second-generation human adenovirus (hAd5) and yeast vaccine technologies, and state-of-the-art, off-the-shelf natural killer cells, including autologous and allogenic cytokine-enhanced memory NK cells. ImmunityBio is currently developing a dual construct COVID-19 vaccine candidate using its hAd5 platform.
ImmunityBio is a leading producer of cryopreserved and clinical dose forms of off-the-shelf natural killer (NK) cell therapies. The company has established GMP manufacturing capacity at scale with cutting-edge cell manufacturing expertise and ready-to-scale facilities, as well as extensive and seasoned R&D, clinical trial, and regulatory operations and development teams. For more information, please visit: www.immunitybio.com
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, such as statements regarding the development of therapeutics for cancer and infectious diseases, the advancement of our Phase II and III trials, and regulatory approval, commercialization and commercial success of ImmunityBio’s product candidates and related matters. Statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact are considered forward-looking statements, which are usually identified by the use of words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “continues”, “could”, “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “potential”, “predicts”, “projects,” “seeks,” “should,” “will,” and variations of such words or similar expressions. Statements of past performance, efforts, or results of our clinical trials, about which inferences or assumptions may be made, can also be forward-looking statements and are not indicative of future performance or results. Forward-looking statements are neither forecasts, promises nor guarantees, and are based on the current beliefs of ImmunityBio’s management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to ImmunityBio. Such statements reflect the current views of ImmunityBio with respect to future events and are subject to known and unknown risks, including business, regulatory, economic and competitive risks, uncertainties, contingencies and assumptions about ImmunityBio, including, without limitation, (i) the ability of ImmunityBio to continue its planned preclinical and clinical development of its development programs, and the timing and success of any such continued preclinical and clinical development and planned regulatory submissions, (ii) inability to retain and hire key personnel, (iii) uncertainty of the expected financial performance and successful integration of the combined company following completion of the recent merger of ImmunityBio with NantCell (the “Merger”), including the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from the Merger will not be realized or will not be realized within the expected time period, (iv) whether interim, initial, “top-line” and preliminary data from ImmunityBio’s clinical trials that it announces or publishes from time to time may change as more patient data become available and are subject to audit and verification procedures that could result in material changes in the final data, (v) ImmunityBio’s ability to obtain additional financing to fund its operations and complete the development and commercialization of its various product candidates, (vi) ImmunityBio’s ability to obtain, maintain, protect and enforce patent protection and other proprietary rights for its product candidates and technologies, (vii) ImmunityBio’s ability to successfully commercialize its product candidates and (viii) the unknown future impact of the COVID-19 pandemic delay on certain clinical trials or their milestones and/or ImmunityBio’s operations or operating expenses. More details about these and other risks that may impact ImmunityBio’s business are described under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Form 8-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 10, 2021, Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on August 12, 2021 and in subsequent filings made by ImmunityBio with the SEC, which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. ImmunityBio cautions you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. ImmunityBio does not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statement or other information in this press release, except to the extent required by law.