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Imugene appoints world-renowned cancer researcher, physician and surgeon to head-up OV Scientific Advisory Board

A pioneer in the operating room and in the laboratory, Dr Fong, The Sangiacomo Family Chair in Surgical Oncology and chair of The City of Hope Dept of Surgery, is a recognised expert in liver and pancreatic cancer.

Imugene Ltd - Imugene appoints professor Yuman Fong to chair Oncolytic Virotherapy scientific advisory board
Dr Fong has also led research efforts to use genetically modified viruses to destroy cancer cells

Imugene Ltd (ASX:IMU) has appointed world-renowned cancer researcher, physician and surgeon Professor Yuman Fong, MD, to chair its newly formed oncolytic virotherapy (OV) Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr Fong is chair of the Department of Surgery at City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases based near Los Angeles.

Focus on OV

The clinical work of Dr Fong, who is the inventor of Imugene’s proposed licence for OV CF33, has focused on OV for more than 30 years.

OVs are designed to both selectively kill tumour cells and activate the immune system against cancer cells with the potential to improve clinical response and survival.

They have the potential to transform oncology by directly causing tumour cell death and also by delivering a potent payload in a targeted fashion that activates the immune system.

“Honour for Imugene”

Imugene's managing director and CEO Leslie Chong said: “It is a great honour for Imugene to have such a distinguished physician and scientist join our team.

“Dr Fong has devoted his career and his scientific discoveries for the benefit of cancer sufferers and has led the OV field for more than 30 years.

“He is a prodigious researcher with more than 700 published works to his name and I am sure his contribution to Imugene will be profound.”

OV’s are attracting the serious attention of big pharma companies such as Merck, Boehringer Ingelheim and Janssen which have made three acquisitions in 2018 alone totalling over A$1 billion, including former ASX-listed company Viralytics.

Background

Professor Fong joined City of Hope in 2014 after more than two decades at the renowned Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center in New York City.

He is both an author and innovator, having written and edited over 700 scholarly articles as well as 14 textbooks, and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Therapy Oncolytics (Cell Press).

Professor Fong has had leadership roles in regulatory aspects of gene therapy, including serving as chair of the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee of the National Institutes of Health of the United States.

The formation of the OV Scientific Advisory Board is subject to IMU’s proposed licensing transaction of CF33 from City Of Hope.

This is subject to a number of customary conditions precedent and shareholder approval at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on November 18, 2019.

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