Biothera Pharmaceuticals Announces Management Changes
EAGAN, MN — December 13, 2018 — Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that Chief Executive Officer Barry Labinger has resigned to pursue another opportunity, effectively immediately. Biothera Holding Corp. Chairman Richard Mueller has been appointed acting CEO. Jeremy Graff, Ph.D., has been named President in addition to his position as Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Graff will have responsibility for Research, Clinical Operations and Manufacturing.
Since joining Biothera Pharmaceuticals in 2014 as Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Graff has led research demonstrating the synergy between Imprime PGG and immune checkpoint inhibitors—the focus of the Company’s clinical development plan. Under Dr. Graff’s leadership, Biothera has refined its understanding of the anti-cancer therapeutic activity of Imprime PGG and further validated its biomarker-driven, patient selection strategies. Before joining Biothera, Dr. Graff held numerous leadership positions at Eli Lilly and Company, culminating in his role in developing the Lilly Translational Oncology effort. Prior to joining Lilly, Dr. Graff completed his post-doctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, researching epigenetic loss of metastasis suppressor genes. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky, studying oncogenic ras signaling and metastasis. He is a frequent author and serves on the editorial board of Cancer Research, the flagship journal of the American Association of Cancer Research.
“Jeremy is a strong leader whose extensive pharmaceutical industry and oncology research experience, as well as his deep knowledge of Imprime PGG, will be invaluable as we focus on completing our phase 2 study in triple negative breast cancer by early next year,” said Mr. Mueller. “We thank Barry for his many contributions over the past three years and we wish him well in his new endeavor.”
“I’m pleased to have an opportunity to play a larger role in leading Biothera Pharmaceuticals and the development of Imprime PGG,” said Dr. Graff. “The early data from our ongoing clinical trials in advanced melanoma and triple negative breast cancer are promising, and we look forward to completing these studies.”
Mr. Mueller currently is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Biothera Holding Corp. Previously, he was President and CEO of Biothera Holding Corp., focusing on leading its global immune health ingredient business (Biothera Health Inc.) with sales in more than 60 countries. Mr. Mueller has held numerous other executive management and board positions during his career, including: President, Textron Omniquip Alliance Group (NYSE: TXT); President/CEO, Weslock Inc.; Chairman/CEO, Playcore Inc. (AMEX: PCO); and Managing Director/President, Toro-Wheel Horse (NYSE: TTC). Mr. Mueller has also held a number of senior management positions with both Toro and 3M Company earlier in his career. He received a bachelor’s degree from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.
In addition, Steven Karel has been appointed Chief Business Officer of Biothera Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Karel will be responsible for business development and partnering. Mr. Karel has held several leadership positions during his 20 years at Biothera, including Chief Financial Officer and more recently Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for all research and technology.
Andrew D. C. LaFrence continues in his current position as Chief Financial Officer, responsible for all accounting and financing activities.
About Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Biothera Pharmaceuticals is a privately held clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing Imprime PGG, a Phase 2 cancer immunotherapy that has been shown in preclinical studies to enhance the efficacy of anti-cancer immune responses in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitor, tumor-targeting and anti-angiogenic antibodies. Biothera Pharmaceuticals has clinical research agreements with leading pharmaceutical companies and research institutions to evaluate Imprime PGG in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors in multiple cancer indications, including:
• Merck to evaluate Imprime PGG and KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in Phase 2 studies in advanced melanoma and metastatic triple negative breast cancer.
• Genentech to study Imprime PGG in combination with TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab) and AVASTIN® (bevacizumab) in metastatic colorectal cancer.
• The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium, which is evaluating Imprime PGG and KEYTRUDA in a Phase 1b/2 trial in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.