Dr. Philippe Dro, a renowned life science entrepreneur will join the Board of Directors. The Scientific Advisory Board of Themis Bioscience will in the future benefit from the outstanding experience of Dr. Christian Mandl as chair.
Welcoming his new colleagues, Dr. Erich Tauber, CEO and founder of Themis comments: "Themis is heading towards exciting times with our lead project, a Chikungunya vaccine candidate entering clinical trials phase II this year. The combined industry and vaccine development expertise of Dr. Dro and Dr. Mandl creates a fantastic asset for the company during its growth and continued partnering efforts."
In the last 20 years Dr. Dro initiated and executed several strategic transactions. Prior to its acquisition by GSK, he served at the vaccine developer GlycoVaxyn AG as CEO and member of the Supervisory Board. Before that, he was leading Endoart S.A., a medtech company, in the position of CEO and Chairman of the Board through a successful sale process of the company to Allergan. When Actelion acquired Axovan AG, he was acting CFO and Head of Business Development. Prior to that, he served at Novartis, SkyePharma and Antares Pharma in a number of responsible functions.
Dr. Mandl has served as head of Novartis Vaccines' US research and as global head for all viral vaccine research projects. He directed a team of 300 scientists working on over 15 viral and bacterial vaccine pipeline projects and platform technologies. Prior to this he acted as Deputy Head of the Department of Virology at the Medical University of Vienna. He is an internationally renowned expert in flaviviruses and co-inventor on several patents related to the marketed vaccine for tick-born encephalitis.
With the appointment of Drs. Dro and Mandl Themis Bioscience's recent series of exceptional positive developments continues. In late 2014, the phase I clinical trial of the Chikungunya vaccine was successfully completed and results were published in "The Lancet" in early 2015. A few months later the company succeeded in raising several millions of additional capital from existing and new investors. Commenting on this, Dr. Tauber states: "The clinical data proved the suitability of our Themaxyn® platform that uses a standard anti-measles vaccine as a vector and constitutes the basis of our pipeline. The anti-measles vaccine has already proven itself a million times over, and hence offers an excellent safety profile and clear advantages in terms of a validated, low-cost production process. Our Investors appreciate this highly.
About Themis (January 2016):
Themis Bioscience GmbH develops prophylactic vaccines from the preclinical to the early clinical phase, focusing on emerging tropical infectious diseases, with initial vaccine candidates currently being developed against Chikungunya and Dengue. The company's highly innovative and fully patent-protected measles virus vaccine vector technology platform, licensed from the internationally respected Institut Pasteur in Paris, forms the basis for all current vaccine candidates of the Vienna-based company.
About the vaccine technology:
The core technology of the measles vector platform has been developed at the Institut Pasteur in Paris and is licensed to Themis. It relies on the use of the standard measles vaccine as a vaccination vector. Genes coding for selected antigens from the chikungunya virus have been inserted into the genome of this well-established vaccine. The measles-chikungunya vaccine delivers the chikungunya antigens directly to macrophages and dendritic cells – the most potent and effective antigen-presenting cells, thereby triggering a specific immune response to chikungunya virus. This results in a powerful, antigen-focused immune response, which is most likely to confer long-term immunity as does the measles vaccine.