AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Genprex, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of revolutionary immunogene therapy treatments, announces the appointment of Julien Pham, MD, MPH, as Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Pham joins Genprex after previously serving as Founder and Chief Medical Officer at RubiconMD and as a clinical faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Pham brings with him nearly 20 years of experience at the forefront of innovation in academic medicine and healthcare entrepreneurship. "Dr. Pham's leadership and scientific expertise are excellent assets for Genprex. The addition of Dr. Pham to our team demonstrates our desire to import technical talent to the state of Texas," stated Rodney Varner, CEO of Genprex.
The company also recently appointed Ryan Confer as Chief Financial Officer and Elizabeth Han, JD as Corporate Counsel. "We are excited to grow our senior leadership team as we look ahead to expanding operations in 2017," added Mr. Varner.
Genprex further announces its recent completion of additional funding led by Inception Capital Management, a venture capital firm specializing in emerging technology companies. Inception's General Partner, Viet Ly, has invested in and worked closely with the Genprex management team for the past three years. "Viet has proven to be a tremendous resource for our company. His strategic advice has been invaluable to our business development. He has contributed greatly to aligning our clinical research efforts with our strategic objectives," says Mr. Varner. Mr. Ly will continue to serve as a key strategic adviser to the company.
Genprex is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on developing breakthrough immunogene therapies with their lead product Oncoprex®. Oncoprex® is currently in a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of stage IV non-small cell lung cancer in combination with Tarceva® (erlotinib). The company was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in Austin, Texas.
About Oncoprex® and Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the U.S. but the leading cause of cancer death. There are approximately 225,000 new lung cancer cases in the U.S. per year and 1.8 million worldwide. The 5-year survival rate of stage IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is less than 1%, and treatment options beyond chemotherapy are lacking. Approved NSCLC targeted treatment options outside of chemo/radiation therapies only benefit a minority of patients. Oncoprex® may now fill that gap by offering a targeted treatment option for a majority of NSCLC patients. Oncoprex® is currently being tested as a combination treatment for EGFR-negative NSCLC patients, a population that represents 85% of all NSCLC patients.
Research has shown that over 80% of all cancer cells lack a tumor suppressor gene called TUSC2 (formerly FUS1), which has shown in-vivo to affect cell proliferation and programmed cell death. Oncoprex® is an optimized TUSC2 gene encapsulated in fatty, positively charged nanovesicles, which are able to specifically target cancer cells and insert wild-type TUSC2 into cellular DNA, effectively inducing cell death. The TUSC2 gene has also been shown in previous scientific studies to be absent in small cell lung cancer, bone and soft tissue sarcoma, and breast cancer. Genprex works with world-class institutions and collaborators to in-license and develop further drug candidates. The company controls a portfolio of 45 issued and 6 pending patents covering tumor suppressors, therapeutics, diagnostics, nanovesicle delivery systems, and manufacturing processes.
Genprex is currently conducting a Phase II clinical trial of its Oncoprex® TUSC2 therapy in combination with Tarceva® in non-small cell lung cancer at an academic cancer research center in Houston, Texas.
Genprex's mission is to address the unmet medical needs of a growing population of cancer patients worldwide, through the development of a novel class of cancer drugs: immunogene therapy. Our revolutionary clinical-stage products work synergistically with other approved and pipeline drugs to expand clinical indications for various cancers.
Editor's Note: Tarceva® is a registered trademark of the Roche Group including Genentech, Chugai, and Astellas Pharma.
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SOURCE Genprex, Inc.