BURLINGAME, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Humanigen, Inc., (HGEN) (“Humanigen”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on preventing and treating cytokine release syndrome (CRS) with lenzilumab, the company’s proprietary Humaneered® anti-human granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) monoclonal antibody, announced that several executives have been appointed to key positions at Humanigen.
Effective immediately, Dale Chappell, MD, MBA, has joined Humanigen to serve as its Chief Scientific Officer, David L. Tousley, CPA, MBA, has joined the company as Chief Accounting and Administrative Officer, Corporate Secretary and Treasurer, and Omar Ahmed, PharmD, has been promoted to the position of Senior Vice President, Clinical, Medical and Scientific Affairs. All three positions report to Cameron Durrant, MD, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, Humanigen.
Dr. Chappell began his career as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellow at the National Cancer Institute where he studied tumor immunology and published in the field of T-cell therapy, immunology pathways, and GM-CSF, giving him clear insights into the development and execution of our business strategy. He is also the founder of Black Horse Capital with decades of biotechnology investment experience.
Mr. Tousley has held roles including Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and President and Chief Operating Officer at companies including Pasteur Merieux Connaught (now Sanofi Pasteur), AVAX Technologies, Inc. and DARA BioSciences. Mr. Tousley has led functions including finance and accounting, procurement, customer account management, strategic and financial planning and management, corporate governance, equity capital financing and business development, and raised in excess of $400 million in equity and debt financings in his career.
Dr. Ahmed has over 20 years of executive leadership experience building industry-leading specialty care portfolios, establishing strategic partnerships, and launching transformational blockbuster therapies. Dr. Ahmed held responsibilities for advancing Janssen’s $10 billion global immunology portfolio, from early development to late-stage development, including lifecycle management for Remicade, Simponi and Stelara and served as a board member for the Janssen EMEA Emerging Markets, covering 42 countries in the Middle East, West Asia and Africa Region. He also held leadership positons at Novartis and at Roche Pharmaceuticals.
“We are pleased that both Dr. Chappell and Mr. Tousley, who have previously operated in interim capacities with the Company, have joined us as full-time members of the Humanigen team,” stated Dr. Cameron Durrant. “Their appointments, along with Dr. Ahmed’s promotion, provide us with continuity and ongoing scientific and operational bench strength as we move the company forward. Filling these key leadership roles with proven executives who are highly regarded within the biotechnology sector, and who have been deeply involved with the strategic direction of our company, is a next step in our plan to rapidly grow into an organization committed to bringing important therapies to patients around the globe,” Dr. Durrant concluded.
About Humanigen, Inc.
Humanigen, Inc. is developing its portfolio of clinical and pre-clinical therapies for the treatment of cancers and infectious diseases via its novel, cutting-edge GM-CSF neutralization and gene-knockout platforms. We believe that our GM-CSF neutralization and gene-editing platform technologies have the potential to reduce the inflammatory cascade associated with coronavirus infection. The company’s immediate focus is to prevent or minimize the cytokine release syndrome that precedes severe lung dysfunction and ARDS in serious cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The company is also focused on creating next-generation combinatory gene-edited CAR-T therapies using strategies to improve efficacy while employing GM-CSF gene knockout technologies to control toxicity. In addition, the company is developing its own portfolio of proprietary first-in-class EphA3-CAR-T for various solid cancers and EMR1-CAR-T for various eosinophilic disorders. The company is also exploring the effectiveness of its GM-CSF neutralization technologies (either through the use of lenzilumab as a neutralizing antibody or through GM-CSF gene knockout) in combination with other CAR-T, bispecific or natural killer (NK) T cell engaging immunotherapy treatments to break the efficacy/toxicity linkage, including to prevent and/or treat graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Additionally, Humanigen and Kite, a Gilead Company, are evaluating lenzilumab in combination with Yescarta® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) in patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma in a clinical collaboration. For more information, visit www.humanigen.com
This release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current knowledge, assumptions, judgment and expectations regarding future performance or events. Although management believes that the expectations reflected in such statements are reasonable, they give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct and you should be aware that actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Words such as “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “potential,” “possible,” “goals,” “accelerate,” “continue,” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding our clinical and pre-clinical therapies and our development programs for them. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to our lack of profitability and need for additional capital; our dependence on partners to further the development of our product candidates; the uncertainties inherent in the development and launch of any new pharmaceutical product; the outcome of pending or future litigation; and the various risks and uncertainties described in the “Risk Factors” sections and elsewhere in the Company’s periodic and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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