Genesis Biopharma Announces Two Hires and Two Resignations

Genesis Biopharma said Tuesday that it has named Sanford J. Hillsberg and Dr. Jay Venkatesan to its board of directors, effective in two weeks. Also, Paul Kessler and David Voyticky have resigned as directors, also effective in two weeks. Previously, Hillsberg was the chairman of the executive committee of Medco Research. Dr. Venkatesan is the founder, portfolio manager and managing director of Ayer Capital Management, a global healthcare equity fund. Based in Los Angeles, Genesis Biopharma is a company focused on developing treatments for cancer.


LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Genesis Biopharma, Inc. (OTCBB: GNBP) today announced the appointment of Sanford J. Hillsberg and Jay Venkatesan, MD, to its board of directors. Genesis also announced that Paul Kessler and David Voyticky have tendered their resignations as directors. The appointment of Dr. Venkatesan and Mr. Hillsberg, and the resignations of Mr. Kessler and Mr. Voyticky will become effective in approximately two weeks, following the completion of certain regulatory filings and procedures.
The board of Genesis also includes Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manish Singh, PhD, and General Merrill McPeak, who served as director and interim CEO of Genesis prior to its merger with Lion Biotechnologies, Inc. on July 24, 2013.
Mr. Hillsberg has been involved in the founding and management of a number of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, including having served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Medco Research, a NYSE-listed company that was subsequently acquired by King Pharmaceuticals. He has been active in the field of cancer vaccine therapeutics, having co-founded and served as a director of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (NYSE: IMUC), which is developing a brain cancer vaccine, and currently serving as the Chairman of the Board of Galena Biopharma (Nasdaq: GALE), which is developing a breast cancer vaccine. Mr. Hillsberg is the Managing Partner of the law firm TroyGould PC, where he specializes in corporate and securities law. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Venkatesan is the founder, portfolio manager and managing director of Ayer Capital Management, a global healthcare long-short equity fund. Prior to starting Ayer, he was a director at Brookside Capital Partners, where he oversaw the portfolio’s healthcare investments and evaluated public and private investments in all healthcare subsectors. The founder and former CEO of Varro Technologies, Dr. Venkatesan was previously a healthcare venture investor at Patricof & Co. Ventures and a consultant at McKinsey & Company. He holds an MD from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA, magna cum laude, from Williams College, where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
“We are honored to welcome Sandy and Jay to our board of directors at this exciting moment in Genesis’ history,” stated Dr. Singh. “Their combined experience in the management, direction and funding of healthcare companies will be an asset to Genesis as it begins a new chapter as a publicly traded, clinical-stage oncology company. We look forward to leveraging their insights and expertise as we continue advancing our clinical program in metastatic melanoma, with the goal of gaining regulatory approval within four years.”
About Genesis Biopharma, Inc.
Genesis Biopharma, Inc. is engaged in the development and commercialization of T-cells and engineered T-cells for the treatment of various cancers. The company’s lead product candidate, Contego™, is a ready-to-infuse autologous T-cell therapy utilizing tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) for the treatment of patients with Stage IV metastatic melanoma. Contego™ is based on a currently available physician-sponsored investigational therapy at the National Cancer Institute, MD Anderson Cancer Center and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer & Research Institute for the treatment of Stage IV metastatic melanoma. For more information, please visit