OSLO, NORWAY--(Marketwire - July 17, 2012) - Bionor Pharma ASA (OSLO: BIONOR) announced today that the HIV expert from the UK based St. George's University of London, Professor Angus "Gus" Dalgleish is joining Bionor's Clinical Advisory Board (CAB). Professor Dalgleish is a leader in immunology research into HIV and oncology, and his participation on the CAB is expected to add additional depth to a growing list of world experts.
Gus Dalgleish MD FRCP, FRACP, FRCPath, FMedSci, has been Professor of Oncology at St. George's University of London since 1991. He has been involved with HIV research since the first descriptions of AIDS. Working as a clinical fellow with Robin Weiss he described the use of CD4 as the main receptor for HIV and was the first to associate HIV with the outbreak of SLIM disease in Uganda.
"I'm honored to join the Clinical Advisory Board and am particularly excited about Bionor's C5-based approach to finding a meaningful HIV treatment advancement," said Professor Dalgleish. "Together with the Vacc-4x vaccine, Vacc-C5 has the potential not only to switch off disease progression in HIV infected patients but also to be a leading candidate for an effective prophylactic vaccine."
His main interest is the pathogenesis of HIV that has to induce immune activation before the infection can proceed to clinical AIDS. His group was the first to suggest that the C5 region of gp120 could act as if it were a foreign transplant antigen (alloepitope) and induce the activation that precedes AIDS and also to suggest it as a potential therapeutic target.
He has been closely involved with the resurrection of thalidomide for the treatment of HIV, autoimmunity and cancer. His work which led to Celgene making thalidomide analogues, including Revlimid® (lenalidomide), has revolutionized the treatment of myeloma. He received the Joshua Lederberg prize in 2011 in recognition of this work. In addition he was the first to show that these drugs greatly boost responses to vaccines. Bionor and Celgene are co-funding a trial to study the ability of Revlimid to further boost the efficacy of Vacc-4x as a result of this work.
Professor Dalgleish has also pioneered the use of cancer vaccines and is principal of the Cancer Vaccine Institute and has been principal and clinical investigator on numerous vaccine trials. He has published over 300 peer reviewed papers and co-edited five books including HIV and the New Viruses and Tumor Immunology, as well as numerous book chapters.
"Professor Dalgleish has already been instrumental to understanding the potential role of Vacc-C5, one of our two therapeutic vaccine candidates," said Vidar Wendel-Hansen, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Bionor Pharma. "His interest in the potential of our vaccines reinforces our view that these vaccines could represent a new treatment option for people with HIV."
About Bionor Pharma's Clinical Advisory Board
The board has eight members including Dr. Dalgleish, and meets regularly to discuss important issues for the development of Bionor's clinical research, and guidance towards market entry for the company's vaccine candidates.
The other members of CAB are:
Brian G. Gazzard, MA, MD. Dr. Gazzard is the Founding Chair of St. Stephen's AIDS Trust and the Director of HIV Clinical Research at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London, England.
Dag Kvale, MD, PhD. Dr. Kvale serves as Head of the Immunology Lab and Senior Consultant, Department of Infectious Diseases of Ullevål, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
Giuseppe Pantaleo, MD. Dr. Pantaleo is Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Immunology and Allergy. He is also Chief of the Laboratory of AIDS Immunopathogenesis at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Barry S. Peters, MBBS, DFFP, MD. Dr. Peters is Head of Academic Unit of HIV and STDs, Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Thomas' Hospital, King's College, London, England.
Richard Pollard, MD. Dr. Pollard is Professor of Infectious Diseases, Chief, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of California School of Medicine, Davis, California, USA.
Robert R. Redfield, MD. Dr. Redfield is Professor of Medicine at University of Maryland, Baltimore and a Co-Founder and Associate Director, Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
Jürgen Rockstroh, MD. Dr. Rockstroh is Professor of Medicine and Head of the HIV Outpatient Clinic at the University of Bonn, Germany.
About Bionor Pharma ASA
Bionor Pharma is a leading vaccine company, listed at Oslo Stock Exchange. The Company's investments in developing therapeutic vaccines exceed US$70 million.
Bionor's vaccines are based on the proprietary technology platform developed following more than two decades of research on peptides. The vaccines are designed to safely stimulate each person's immune system to combat viral diseases. The Company's lead HIV vaccine, Vacc-4x, is being investigated as a therapeutic vaccine, and has completed a phase 2b randomized, multinational (USA and 4 European countries), double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. It produced a statistically significant reduction in viral load and viral load set point (stabilized viral load) by killing of virus producing cells.
Bionor's second therapeutic HIV vaccine, Vacc-C5, is developed to induce antibodies to HIV that can reduce viral production (lowering the set point) and the harmful hyperactivation of the immune system that leads to AIDS. Recently, the clinical phase I/II study with Vacc-C5 was approved by the Norwegian Clinical Board. Subsequent to the Vacc-C5 phase I/II trial, Bionor intends to combine Vacc-4x with Vacc-C5, which could form the basis for both a therapeutic and a preventive HIV vaccine.
The Company's innovative technology platform is also well suited to develop vaccines for other viral diseases, including Influenza, HCV (Hepatitis C), CMV (Cytomegalovirus) and HPV (Human papillomavirus). Vaccines for Influenza (Vacc-Flu) and HCV (Vacc-HCV) are in preclinical phase of development.
More information about Bionor Pharma, its research and products, is available at www.bionorpharma.com.
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to §5-12 vphl (Norwegian Securities Trading Act). Vacc-4x, Vacc-C5, Vacc-Flu, Vacc-HCV, Vacc-CMV and Vacc-HPV are investigational treatments that have not been approved for marketing by any regulatory authority.