UNM Rainforest Innovations

Local biotech company Agilvax, Inc., headquartered in Albuquerque, is commercializing a virus-like particle (VLP) technology platform, developed by researchers Dr. David Peabody and Dr. Bryce Chackerian from the University of New Mexico, for targeted cancer immunotherapies and vaccines.  The company’s AX09 cancer immunotherapy is being developed for one of the hardest to treat cancers—triple negative breast cancer.  The company recently appointed Dr. David T. Hung, founder and former CEO of Medivation, to its Board of Directors.  See the company’s press release, reprinted below.

Agilvax Elects Dr. David T. Hung, Former Founder and CEO of Medivation, to Its Board of Directors

January 9, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.– Agilvax, Inc. is a biotechnology company developing targeted antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of various cancers, including triple negative breast cancer, announced today that Dr. David T. Hung will join its Board of Directors.

Dr. Hung joins the Board with more than 25 years of leadership and management experience in the life sciences industry. Previously, he was the founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Medivation from 2004 through 2016 when it was acquired by Pfizer for approximately $14 billion.  Medivation developed Xtandi for the treatment of metastatic and non-metastatic prostate cancer from invention to FDA approval in seven years, one of the fastest development times in biopharmaceutical history.  In 2016, Xtandi had become the world’s leading prostate cancer therapy, with nearly $2.5 billion in annual revenue.  At Medivation, Dr. Hung built a pipeline of cancer therapies addressing significant unmet needs including a potentially best-in-class poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor (talazoparib) which was recently approved for germline BRCA-mutated, HER2-negative, locally advanced and/or metastatic breast cancer.  From April 2017 to February 2018, Dr. Hung was Chief Executive Officer and a director of Axovant Sciences, Inc. He received an M.D. alpha omega alpha from the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, and an A.B. summa cum laude in Biology from Harvard College.

“The addition of Dr. Hung to Agilvax’s Board provides an unparalleled strategic asset as Agilvax evolves to a clinical stage company,” said Federica Pericle, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Agilvax. “David is an accomplished scientist, entrepreneur, and leader in the life science industry.  His experience and guidance will be invaluable as Agilvax expands its drug development efforts and its oncology pipeline and engages with strategic partners.”

“Agilvax has developed a novel antibody-based approach to fight one of the most challenging and nonresponsive cancers. These drugs have the potential to change future treatment paradigms and most importantly, improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Hung. “I am excited to work with the leadership of Agilvax and my fellow board members to advance its products into the clinic.”

About Agilvax

Agilvax discovers and develops targeted antibody-based therapeutics for the treatment of various cancers. Agilvax’s lead product, AX09, produces antibodies that specifically inhibit the function of xCT, a protein that is over expressed on many different tumor types including breast cancer, hepatocellular cancer, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Agilvax is developing AX09 initially for the treatment of metastatic triple negative breast cancer.

Federica Pericle, PhD, MBA
President & CEO

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