Vaxcyte Appoints Carlos Paya and Michael Kamarck to Its Board of Directors
FOSTER CITY, Calif., Oct. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vaxcyte, Inc. (Nasdaq: PCVX), a next-generation vaccine company seeking to improve global health by developing superior and novel vaccines designed to prevent or treat some of the most common and deadly infectious diseases worldwide, today announced it has appointed Carlos Paya and Michael Kamarck, accomplished industry leaders, to its board of directors. Dr. Paya will also serve as the Board Chair. Kurt von Emster, a longtime director who served as Interim Chair, will remain on the board.
“We are pleased to have Carlos and Michael join our board of directors to help us scale and advance our business to deliver next-generation vaccines, including VAX-24, our 24-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) candidate,” said Grant Pickering, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Vaxcyte. “Carlos, our new Chair, and Michael bring deep biopharmaceutical and vaccine expertise and will provide strategic insights across many aspects of our business, including R&D, commercialization, supply chain and manufacturing, as they have done for numerous companies.”
“Vaxcyte is working to bring transformative innovation to vaccine development with the potential to achieve what other approaches have been unable to deliver,” said Dr. Paya. “I’m pleased to join in their effort to advance novel and superior vaccines for some of the most common and deadly infectious diseases worldwide, including pneumococcal disease for which the need for broader-spectrum vaccines continues to be critical.”
Dr. Kamarck added, “Vaxcyte’s VAX-24 was designed to address the need for a PCV that can offer broader protection to prevent pneumococcal disease. As this program advances into clinical development, I look forward to sharing my knowledge about the worldwide commercialization and supply of vaccines, including PCVs.”
About Carlos Paya
Dr. Paya’s esteemed career spans over 30 years as a leading physician-scientist in immunology and a senior executive in the biopharmaceutical industry. He has broad leadership expertise in R&D, commercial readiness and product launches. Dr. Paya currently holds a number of board positions and serves as the Board Chairman for Fluidigm and Highlight Therapeutics. Most recently, Dr. Paya served as the CEO and President of Immune Design Corp., as they advanced their dual platforms focused on vaccine adjuvants and cancer immunotherapies, culminating in the company’s acquisition by Merck. Previously, he was the President of Elan Pharmaceuticals responsible for the Biopharmaceutical unit focused on neuroscience. In this role, he partnered with Biogen Idec to support the global marketing and sales strategy for Tysabri®. Dr. Paya spent a number of years at Eli Lilly in roles of increasing responsibility, including Global Head for the Diabetes and Endocrine Franchise. He started his career in academics as a Professor of Medicine, Immunology and Pathology at the Mayo Medical School. During his tenure at the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Paya served at the Vice Dean for the Clinical Investigation Program. Dr. Paya has a M.D. and Ph.D. from Complutense University of Madrid.
About Michael Kamarck
Dr. Kamarck’s career in biopharmaceuticals spans over 35 years and includes senior executive positions at multiple leading pharmaceutical companies, as well as extensive expertise in product development and manufacturing. He is a global authority on the scale-up and commercialization of pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. He is the Chairman of the Sanofi Biotech Advisory Council, providing strategic guidance to advance Sanofi’s biologicals business. Dr. Kamarck recently retired as Chief Technology Officer for Vir Biotechnology, Inc., following more than four years leading a multi-modality technical approach to the development of treatments for serious infectious diseases such as COVID-19 (sotrovimab), influenza and hepatitis B. Previously, Dr. Kamarck was the Senior Vice President of Global Vaccines and Biologics Manufacturing and President of Merck BioVentures. In this role, he was responsible for the worldwide manufacturing network in support of the vaccine portfolio and biologics businesses. Dr. Kamarck also held numerous senior executive positions at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, including President, Technical Operations and Product Supply as a member of the Wyeth Management Team. While with Wyeth, he was responsible for establishing a global biotechnology network of more than 10,000 employees to develop and manufacture numerous blockbuster products, including building the manufacturing facilities to deliver the global supply of Prevnar 13®. Dr. Kamarck also spent 16 years at Bayer AG serving in numerous roles, including Senior Vice President of Operations for Bayer Biologicals. He has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and has 20 issued patents. Dr. Kamarck received his B.A. from Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Vaxcyte is a next-generation vaccine company seeking to improve global health by developing superior and novel vaccines designed to prevent or treat some of the most common and deadly infectious diseases worldwide. The Company’s cell-free protein synthesis platform, comprising the XpressCFTM platform, exclusively licensed from Sutro Biopharma, Inc., together with Vaxcyte’s proprietary know-how, enables the design and production of protein carriers and antigens, the critical building blocks of vaccines, in ways that the Company believes conventional vaccine technologies currently cannot. Vaxcyte’s lead vaccine candidate, VAX-24, is a preclinical, 24-valent broad-spectrum PCV being developed for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease. Vaxcyte’s pipeline also includes VAX-XP, a PCV with an expanded breadth of coverage of at least 30 strains; VAX-A1, a prophylactic vaccine candidate designed to prevent Group A Strep infections; and VAX-PG, a therapeutic vaccine candidate designed to slow or stop the progression of periodontal disease by targeting the keystone pathogen responsible for this chronic, oral inflammatory disease. For more information, visit www.vaxcyte.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements related to the benefit of Vaxcyte’s vaccine candidates; the process and timing of anticipated future development of Vaxcyte’s vaccine candidates; the ability of Vaxcyte to scale manufacturing and business activities; and other statements that are not historical fact. The words “believe,” “could,” “expect,” “may,” “potential,” “should,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements are based on Vaxcyte’s current expectations and actual results and timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks related to Vaxcyte’s product development programs, including development timelines, success and timing of chemistry, manufacturing and controls and related manufacturing activities, potential delays or inability to obtain and maintain required regulatory approvals for its vaccine candidates, and the risks and uncertainties inherent with preclinical and clinical development processes; the success, cost and timing of all development activities and clinical trials; and sufficiency of cash and other funding to support Vaxcyte’s development programs and other operating expenses. These and other risks are described more fully in Vaxcyte’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on August 11, 2021 or in other documents Vaxcyte subsequently files with or furnishes to the SEC. Vaxcyte undertakes no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events or changes in its expectations. Readers should not rely upon the information in this press release as current or accurate after its publication date.
Andrew Guggenhime, President and Chief Financial Officer
Janet Graesser, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations