DNAtrix Announces the Appointment of David Liebowitz, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer
HOUSTON, TX – September 14, 2021 -- DNAtrix, a biotech company advancing virus-driven immunotherapies for cancer, today announced the appointment of David Liebowitz, M.D., Ph.D., an industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in oncology drug and viral vaccine development, as chief medical officer.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dave to the executive leadership team at DNAtrix,” said Jeffrey Knapp, chief executive officer of DNAtrix. “Dave has expertise in developing products that elicit immune responses against targets of interest through various therapeutic modalities, including viral-based vaccines. His deep experience leading oncology drug development programs for innovative, young, as well as established biopharmaceutical companies -- such as Amgen -- will prove invaluable as we advance our pipeline with multiple product candidates being studied in several tumor types and two programs in pivotal stage development.”
Prior to joining DNAtrix, Dr. Liebowitz was most recently vice president of Clinical Oncology at Xencor, Inc. From 2012 to 2018, he served as the chief medical officer for Vaxart, Inc., a novel vaccine development company. He was previously the Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for Vivaldi Biosciences, an influenza vaccine and therapeutics biotechnology company. Prior to that, he was the executive vice president of Research and Development at Galileo Pharmaceuticals, and he also served as co-CEO of Galileo for a period of time. Prior to joining Galileo, Dr. Liebowitz was at Amgen, where he was the director of research responsible for all oncology and vascular biology drug discovery and development programs at their Washington research site. He also managed external development collaborations and licensing activities. Dr. Liebowitz joined Amgen through their acquisition of Immunex, where he held several senior positions in clinical and preclinical development. Prior to joining Immunex, he was an associate investigator in the Abramson Cancer Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was director of their immunotherapy and cellular therapy programs targeting cancer and chronic viral diseases. Dr. Liebowitz was an early recipient of a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. He began his academic career as an assistant professor of Medicine and Virology at the University of Chicago, and was the director of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Program. Dr. Liebowitz has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from Emory University, an M.D. with honors and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, both from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Liebowitz added, “I am impressed by the compelling clinical data for the company’s lead drug candidate, DNX-2401, in diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM), two tumor types that have been notoriously difficult to treat and where therapeutic advances are desperately needed. Given the promise demonstrated with these programs, I also believe there is tremendous potential to leverage DNAtrix’s oncolytic adenoviral platform further for the treatment of other tumor types, and the company has studies underway evaluating therapeutic activity in additional cancers, such as colorectal cancer.”
DNAtrix is a privately held biotech company developing virus-driven immunotherapies to treat cancer. Its proprietary adenovirus platform is based on an engineered version of the common cold virus that is designed to selectively infect and kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. The company’s lead product candidate is DNX-2401, which will enter into a global pivotal Phase 3 clinical study for patients with recurrent glioblastoma. DNX-2401 is also being evaluated in a Phase 1 study for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, for which it has received FDA Fast Track and Rare Pediatric Disease designations. A second product candidate, DNX-2440, is in Phase 1 clinical testing in patients with colorectal and other cancers with liver metastasis. The company’s investors include Morningside Ventures and Mercury Fund. For more information, please visit the company website at www.DNAtrix.com.
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