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February 5, 2015
3 minute read

WORLD-RENOWNED PHARMACEUTICAL LEADER BECOMES CHAIRMAN OF PDS BIOTECHNOLOGY’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Company Also Announces Investment from NetScientific

TRENTON (February 5, 2015) – North Brunswick-based PDS Biotechnology Corporation closed out 2014 with three exciting announcements. The company appointed a new Executive Chairman to its Board, received its first institutional investment from an international biomedical and healthcare technology group, and reported successful completion of the first two (of three) cohorts in its Phase 1 human clinical trial for the company’s HPV-cancer immunotherapy.

Located at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (EDA’s) Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT), PDS Biotechnology is a clinical-stage company that develops simpler, safer, and more effective immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases based on the company’s proprietary Versamune® immunotherapeutic platform.

The company named Sir Richard Sykes as the Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors. In 1994, Sykes was knighted for his services to the pharmaceutical industry, and in 2004 was awarded honorary citizenship in Singapore for his contributions to the development of the country’s biomedical sciences industry. Sykes brings more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector to the PDS Biotechnology Board. He served as Chief Executive and Chairman of GlaxoWellcome between 1995 and 2000, and then as Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline until 2002.

It was also recently announced that publicly-traded institutional investor NetScientific plc (NSCI:London) made an investment in PDS Biotechnology. NetScientific is a biomedical and healthcare technology group that funds and develops technologies that offer transformative benefits to people’s lives and society through improved diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.

According to PDS Biotechnology, “stimulating and training the immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells has been demonstrated to be one of the most promising approaches to treating various types of cancer.” To that end, the company recently announced that it had successfully completed the first two (of three) cohorts in its Phase 1 human clinical trial for its lead product PDS0101, an immunotherapy that targets HPV-related cancers.

PDS Biotechnology currently leases laboratory and office space at CCIT. Home to more than two dozen emerging life sciences companies, CCIT offers its tenants affordable lab and office space, as well as a wealth of supporting resources. Some examples of this support include assistance with identifying appropriate funding sources such as state incentives and private sector funds, access to small business development resources and networking opportunities.

Last September, PDS Biotechnology participated in CCIT’s Founders & Funders event. Founders & Funders provides emerging tech and life sciences companies in NJ with access to angel and venture capital investors, paving the way for these businesses to attain the funding they need to thrive. The next Founders & Funders event is scheduled for March 10.

The EDA spoke with PDS Biotechnology President & CEO Dr. Frank Bedu-Addo about his experience in New Jersey and his company’s future:

How has CCIT helped PDS Biotechnology grow its business?

CCIT has been ideal for PDS. The facility provides all the amenities that an early-stage biotech company requires at reasonable cost, including first-rate laboratory space, offices, conference rooms, and A/V equipment. The management of CCIT has also been instrumental in facilitating interactions and discussions with potential partners and collaborators within the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare system in the area.

What was most beneficial about participating in Founders & Funders?

It was very helpful to meet with various investors, both angel and venture, to better understand the key investment parameters, preferred technologies, and investment stage(s) that they usually seek. The event provided good and relevant contacts, who were very willing to talk about their experiences and advice successfully growing and managing similar organizations. I believe the Founders & Funders experience helped me well position PDS to attract suitable investors such as NetScientific and close our first institutional round with them.

Why did you choose to grow your company in New Jersey?

We chose NJ for a number of reasons:

  • Access to an experienced work force due to the established strength and presence of the biopharmaceutical industry
  • Access to excellent cost-effective space
  • Close proximity to many potential partners and collaborators
  • Easy access from airports in NY, NJ and Philadelphia
  • New Jersey’s angel tax benefit program provides a substantial and additional benefit for privately held early-stage high tech companies.

What’s in store for PDS Biotechnology in the near future?

PDS plans to complete the phase 1 human clinical trial during the first half of 2015.

PDS has established partnerships with some top cancer institutions and has begun preclinical development of the company’s broader cancer immunotherapy pipeline.

The company expects to complete another round of investment and initiate preparations for the PDS0101 Phase 2 clinical trials.

Emerging Life Science companies interested in finding out more about CCIT should contact Anne-Marie Maman at amaman@njeda.com or at CCIT’s main phone number (732) 839-1880.

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