Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announced the appointment of Kerstin B. Menander, M.D., Ph.D. as the head of medical oncology. During Dr. Menander’s 30-career, she has led various oncology programs in senior positions at Abbott Laboratories and a variety of other clinical-stage biopharmaceutical companies. She has shown support for 15 approvals in the U.S and Europe, which include Lupron(R), the leading therapy treatment for prostate cancer.
At Peregrine, Dr. Menander will be supporting multiple advancing randomized Phase II trial for the company’s main product bavituximab, which is under evaluation in combination with chemotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and other solid tumors as well as the hepatitis C virus infection.
“Kerstin brings extensive expertise in both the strategic planning and tactical execution of clinical trials for novel oncology therapeutics,” said Joseph S. Shan, vice president of clinical and regulatory affairs at Peregrine. “Building on our prior data, we are advancing four randomized Phase II trials for bavituximab and Kerstin’s experience in successfully driving the clinical development of drugs will be critical in our efforts.”
Dr. Menander has 30 years of expertise in drug development, as she held senior positions in Abbott Laboratories, Syntex Laboratores, Introgen Therapeutics, Collagen Corporation, and Cell Pathways. At these companies, Dr. Menander was head of the clinical and regulatory strategy and development of drugs, biologics, and devices. She also led international management of multiple clinical trials, which have supported 15 approvals for a variety of indications in the U.S and Europe. Dr. Menander received her degree and Ph.D. in Histology from the University of Lund, which is located in Sweden.
“I am delighted to be a part of Peregrine’s team as we focus on advancing bavituximab’s numerous trials with a goal of developing a novel therapeutic option to treat cancer and viral infections,” said Dr. Menander. “Bavituximab’s prior clinical data and mechanism of action show broad therapeutic potential and I look forward to contributing to the clinical validation of this first-in-class targeted antibody.”
The company also announced the initiation of an investigator-sponsored trial (IST) for patients with chemotherapy naïve stage IV non-squamous non-small lung cancer (NSCLC). The Phase Ib trial will be treating up to 25 front-line NSCLC patients with Peregrine’s investigational monoclonal antibody bavituximab in combination with the chemotherapeutic agents pemetrexed and carboplatin.
“We are encouraged by the prior lung cancer data on bavituximab in combination with chemotherapy and look forward to evaluating the safety and potential efficacy of bavituximab in combination with pemetrexed and carboplatin as an additional therapeutic option in the front-line treatment setting,” said Juneko E. Grilley-Olson, M.D., lead investigator of this trial and assistant professor of hematology and oncology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Chemotherapy has been shown to increase the exposure of phosphatidylserine (PS) on tumor blood vessel cells, upregulating the exposure of bavituximab’s PS target. We are eager to evaluate this new combination therapy regimen for the treatment of this deadly form of cancer.”
“This new IST is important as it augments our overall clinical experience in treating patients with bavituximab, especially as we conduct our two randomized Phase IIb trials in NSCLC,” said Joseph S. Shan, vice president, clinical and regulatory affairs at Peregrine Pharmaceuticals. “We are excited to have Dr. Grilley-Olson and her team evaluate this therapeutic combination as an additional potential treatment combination for patients with metastatic lung cancer.”
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development and manufacture of monoclonal antibodies to aid in the treatment of cancer and viral infections. The company develops its clinical programs with its novel compounds bavituximab and Cotara, which are both the clinical candidates under its anti-phosphatidylserine therapeutics and tumor necrosis therapy platforms. The company, which was founded in 1981, is headquartered in Tustin, California.
For more information on Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and their products, visit the company website at www.peregrineinc.com
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