Philadelphia (May 10, 2016) – Oncoceutics, Inc. announced the expansion of its team and office footprint at its Philadelphia headquarters in order to meet the needs of its growing clinical programs. Currently, the company is enrolling patients in five clinical trials at four of the leading cancer centers in the United States: Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Fox Chase Cancer Center, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Massachusetts General Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The company’s new hires, detailed below, will provide Oncoceutics with the skills and resources to meet the demands of these clinical studies.
Eve Damiano is a consultant responsible for Clinical Operations and Regulatory Compliance. She oversees the operational aspect of the company’s ongoing clinical trials and provides guidance on regulatory affairs and clinical data management. Ms. Damiano has over 30 years of professional experience in the biotechnology sector, specializing in regulatory affairs and GxP compliance. She has prepared numerous applications to support investigation and marketing of FDA regulated products. Ms. Damiano earned her BS degree from California University of Pennsylvania and MS degree from The Drexel College of Medicine and has been a Regulatory Affairs Certified (RAC) professional since 2006.
Ketan Desai, MD, PhD is the company’s consulting Medical Adviser and oversees all matters related to the company’s ongoing clinical trials, with a specific focus on safety and clinical protocols. Dr. Desai has conducted more than 25 clinical studies. He has also developed the clinical development program and overall strategy of more than 10 products and companies, filed 10 INDs and 4 NDA/sNDA. He did his residency at Washington University, fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine, and a PhD from St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri.
Bryce Istvan is Associate – Finance and Business Development. He is responsible for the day-to-day financial operations of the company, including accounting, financial reporting, and grant management, and will support senior management with investor relations, public relations and business development. He joins Oncoceutics having most recently been an Analyst at Osage University Partners, a Philadelphia-area venture capital firm focused on investing in university spinout companies. He is a graduate of Drexel University, with a B.S. in Finance and Entrepreneurship.
Varun Prabhu, PhD is Associate Research Scientist. He is responsible for supporting Oncoceutics’ grant efforts, preclinical research and academic collaborations. Prior to joining the company, he worked collaboratively with Oncoceutics as a researcher in the lab of scientific founder Dr. Wafik El-Deiry, on the mechanism of action, biomarkers and combinatorial efficacy of ONC201. He completed his B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Institute of Chemical Technology in India, received a M.S. in Biotechnology from the University at Buffalo, SUNY and earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from Pennsylvania State University.
Concurrent with these hires, Oncoceutics has expanded its physical presence at Philadelphia’s University City Science Center, the first and largest urban research park in the United States.
“We are pleased to have provided Oncoceutics with a home for its rapid growth into a clinical Phase II stage company,” said Christopher Laing, MRCVS, Ph.D., Vice President, Science and Technology at the University City Science Center. “This team has demonstrated expertise in translational research, taking ONC201 from academia into the clinic at leading cancer centers both in our region and nationally. We look forward to providing the resources necessary for the company to flourish as it grows.”
“The deep pool of life science talent in the Philadelphia area has provided Oncoceutics with exceptional individuals and resources that have taken the company to where it is today,” said Wolfgang Oster, MD, PhD and Oncoceutics’ Chairman and CEO. “Our team now includes graduates from the University of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State University, Drexel University, and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. We look forward to continuing to advance our ongoing clinical programs within this vibrant community.”
Oncoceutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage drug discovery and development company targeting potent suppressor pathways in human cancer. The first lead compound that entered clinical development from this program is ONC201, a small molecule with an active angular structure and a first-in-class mechanism of action that causes significant anti-tumor activity in a variety of human cancers. The company recently completed a successful Phase I study in solid tumors and has begun Phase II clinical programs in both solid and hematological malignancies. Oncoceutics has been awarded several competitive grants for its development programs with ONC201 and its other candidates in this new class of compounds. In addition, outside interest in the company’s portfolio has resulted in several R&D alliance agreements between Oncoceutics and leading comprehensive cancer centers, including The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. The company has established a robust intellectual property position, including several issued patents.