Lorus taps former Wedbush execs for leadership team

Lorus Therapeutics Inc (TSX: LOR) has appointed Avanish Vellanki as chief business officer and Gregory K. Chow as chief financial officer. Previously, Vellanki worked at investment firm Wedbush Securities where he served as senior vice president in investment banking while Chow served as managing director at the same firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Lorus is a biopharmaceutical company. Update: The company has received venture capital investment since the late 1990s.


TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Lorus Therapeutics Inc. (TSX: LOR) (“Lorus” or the “Company”) today announced the appointment of Avanish Vellanki as Chief Business Officer (CBO) and Gregory K. Chow as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Company. In his role as CBO, Mr. Vellanki will manage global business development, licensing and corporate strategy. Mr. Chow will have global responsibility for corporate finance and accounting functions at Lorus. Both Mr. Vellanki and Mr. Chow will report to William G. Rice, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lorus.

The additions of Mr. Vellanki and Mr. Chow follow the recent announcements of Dr. Rice joining as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors and Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., serving in a key advisory capacity as Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs. “Mr. Vellanki and Mr. Chow represent critical additions to the team at this pivotal point in the Company’s transition in leadership and focus,” said Dr. Rice. “Avanish brings considerable experience from the life science and banking industries that will boost our abilities to build and advance our oncology pipeline and identify new markets for Lorus’ platform. Greg brings impressive corporate finance and capital raising experience for life science companies, as well as deep industry relationships essential to establishing a foundation for Lorus’ value and future growth.”

The Company previously announced that it intends to focus development of its lead compound LOR-253 on acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other hematological cancers based on recent insights into the underlying genetics, disease target and patient population. “Driven by the potential for LOR-253 to transform treatment of AML, and the other anticancer programs at Lorus, we have been able to attract a stellar team with the oncology clinical development and deep pharmaceutical business expertise to take the Company to the next level,” Dr. Rice continued.

Mr. Vellanki was mostly recently a Senior Vice President in Investment Banking at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco, covering the biotechnology sector. Previously, Mr. Vellanki was a Senior Director of Corporate Development of Proteolix, Inc. (acquired by Onyx Pharmaceuticals), a private biotechnology company based in South San Francisco focused on the development of oncology therapeutics, most notably Kyprolis® (carfilzomib), for patients with hematologic malignancies and other cancers. He previously served as Vice President in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking team at Citigroup, where he focused on large cap global biopharmaceutical strategic and financing transactions. Mr. Vellanki began his career at Bear Stearns as an equity research analyst covering the small/mid-cap biotechnology sector, and held the title of Vice President as a publishing analyst. He is also a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Independence Brewing Company Pvt. Ltd., one of the first craft microbreweries in India. Mr. Vellanki holds a BA from Carleton College, an MBS in Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota and MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Mr. Chow previously held the position of Managing Director, and led the Private Placements team in the Life Sciences Investment Banking Group at Wedbush Securities. Prior to joining Wedbush, he was a Director in the Private Placements / Equity Capital Markets Group at RBC Capital Markets where he led the life science private capital activities. Mr. Chow’s transactional experience covers a broad range of equity and equity-linked financings that include Initial Public Offerings, Follow-Ons, Confidentially Marketed Public Offerings, Registered Directs, Private Investment in Public Equities (PIPEs) and private placements for private companies. Prior to RBC, he directed the Private Capital Group at Wells Fargo Securities, and was a Senior Auditor at BDO Seidman, LLP. Mr. Chow is a Certified Public Accountant (Inactive) in the State of California. Mr. Chow received his MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and his BA in Business Economics with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

About Lorus

Lorus is a biopharmaceutical company targeting essential apoptosis pathways to deliver transformational cancer drugs. Lorus’ goal is to capitalize on its research, preclinical, clinical and regulatory expertise by developing new drug candidates that can be used alone and in combination with other drugs to successfully treat specific forms of cancer. Lorus Therapeutics Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol LOR.

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