IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Bioniz Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company leading the discovery and development of first-in-class peptide therapeutics that selectively and simultaneously inhibit multiple cytokines to treat immuno-inflammatory diseases and cancer, announced today that it has appointed Paul Frohna, M.D., Ph.D., Pharm. D., as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development, a newly created position. With a proven history of advancing research stage programs through clinical development to commercialization, Dr. Frohna will lead Bioniz’ clinical and regulatory affairs functions and assume the operational oversight of the Company’s clinical programs. Paul will also guide the Company’s development strategy, and play a major role in directing research and preclinical efforts. Bioniz’ lead product candidate, BNZ-1, has entered Phase 1 development for the treatment of T-cell leukemias and its second product candidate, BNZ-2, is in preclinical development for the treatment of celiac disease.
“Dr. Frohna is uniquely qualified to lead Bioniz’ broad development efforts. With the start of our BNZ-1 Phase 1 trials, we have made the important transition into a clinical stage biotechnology company. Few executives in the industry possesses Paul’s track record of successful drug development of immunotherapies. Paul is a veteran of several prominent biotechnology companies, where he played critical roles in multiple development programs, including Receptos’ Ozanimod, and Genentech’s Rituxan, Tarceva, Herceptin, and Raptiva programs,” said Dr. Nazli Azimi, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Further, as a research scientist with strong translational medicine background, Paul will play a key role in guiding our research pipeline of multiple-cytokine blocking agents towards the clinic,” added Dr. Azimi.
Dr. Paul Frohna commented, “I am really excited to join Bioniz Therapeutics at this important juncture of the Company’s evolution as we now seek to advance the clinical development of BNZ-1 as a treatment option for patients with T-cell malignancies. Bioniz’s novel therapeutic platform presents a unique opportunity to bring forward and advance multiple product candidates for a broad range of severe diseases with limited treatment options. It will be a privilege to work with the executive team and provide strategic and operational leadership to guide the advancement of these innovative therapies.”
Dr. Frohna, is a physician-scientist with over 15 years of experience in the biotech industry with expertise in translational medicine, clinical trial design, and clinical and regulatory strategy. Prior to this role, Dr. Frohna was the Vice President of Clinical Development and Translational Medicine at Receptos, Inc., where he was responsible for conducting positive Phase 2 clinical trials and two ongoing Phase 3 trials with Ozanimod in relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) and ulcerative colitis, and for the clinical development of RPC4046 in eosinophilic esophagitis. Paul’s additional responsibilities included leading drug safety/pharmacovigilance, translational medicine and clinical pharmacology, and participating in partnership discussions that culminated in the acquisition of Receptos by Celgene for $7.2 billion. Prior to Receptos, Paul served as the Chief Medical Officer of ProFibrix, Inc., a Dutch biotech focused on fibrinogen-based therapeutics, for 4 years where he led the successful RaplixaTM clinical program until the acquisition by The Medicines Company in 2013. Previously, Paul served as the Vice President of Clinical Development at Fibrogen where he ran programs in CKD anemia and ischemic stroke, and as Medical Director, Specialty Biotherapeutics and Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology at Genentech where he led the Rituxan® MS program and made significant contributions to the Tarceva®, Herceptin® and Raptiva® programs. Dr. Frohna received his MD from Georgetown University with residency training in Internal Medicine, his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Pharmacy Degree with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin.
About Bioniz Therapeutics
Bioniz Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company leading the discovery and development of first-in-class multi-cytokine inhibitory peptide therapeutics to address immuno-inflammatory diseases and cancer. Bioniz leverages its world class expertise in cytokine biology, originating in research conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to develop a novel approach to selectively inhibit functionally redundant cytokines while leaving the rest of the cytokine network intact. Bioniz’ innovative platform has resulted in multiple peer-reviewed publications in notable scientific journals. The company’s lead program, BNZ-1, is in Phase 1 development targeting T-cell Leukemias. For more information, please visit www.bioniz.com.
About T-Cell Leukemia
“Leukemia” refers to cancer of white blood cells or lymphocytes, which are key components of the immune system. T lymphocyte malignancies (T-cell Leukemia), include a group of rare and often aggressive leukemias with limited treatment options and poor prognosis. Bioniz’ product candidate BNZ-1 is a selective inhibitor of two cytokines IL2 and IL15 that are potent T-lymphocyte growth factors and key disease drivers in these T-cell malignancies. With a dual mechanism of action, BNZ-1 blocks tumor proliferation and mobilizes patient’s internal immune response by eliminating regulatory T-cells to fight the cancer.