Five-year-old PaxVax Corp., a Menlo Park, Calif.-based company that develops oral vaccines against infectious diseases, is announcing numerous appointments today, including: Nima Farzan as executive vice president and chief operating officer; Thomas Monath as chief technology officer; and Jonathan Smith as executive vice president and chief science officer.
Farzan joins PaxVax from Novartis, where he was a marketing executive. Monath was long chief scientific officer at Acambis and is today a partner in the Pandemic and Biodefense Fund at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Smith joins PaxVax from Liquidia, where he was the company’s chief scientific officer.
PaxVax, formerly located in San Diego, is backed by Ignition Capital.
PaxVax Corporation, developer of innovative and socially responsible oral vaccines against infectious diseases, announced the expansion of its executive management team with the appointments of Nima Farzan as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Thomas P. Monath, M.D. as Chief Technology Officer, and Jonathan F. Smith, Ph.D. as Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer.
Nima Farzan joins PaxVax from Novartis AG, where he spent more than seven years in positions of increasing responsibility in pharmaceutical marketing, sales and development in both US and global positions. Most recently, he was Vice President of Marketing for Novartis Vaccines USA, where he was responsible for marketing, market access, pricing and key account sales, and also helped launch multiple new vaccines. Prior to Novartis, Mr. Farzan worked in marketing and business development at DoubleTwist, Inc., a pioneering genomics company. Before that, he was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group. Mr. Farzan received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in Human Biology from Stanford University.
Dr. Monath has devoted his nearly 30-year career to the fight against infectious disease through his work in the military, corporate, academic and investment sectors. In addition to his new role at PaxVax, Dr. Monath is a Partner in the Pandemic and Biodefense Fund at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He is also Adjunct Professor at Harvard School of Public Health. From 1992 to 2006, Dr. Monath was Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Director at Acambis, a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company, where he pioneered the development of ChimeriVax(R) vaccines against dengue, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis, as well as vaccines against yellow fever, Clostridium difficile, Helicobacter pylori and smallpox. In 1992, Dr. Monath retired as a U.S. Army colonel following 24 years in the uniformed services. From 1973 to 1988, he served as director of the Division of Vector-Borne Viral Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control; and from 1989 to 1992, he served as chief of the Virology Division, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Monath earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and M.D. from Harvard Medical School and trained in internal medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston.
With more than 25 years of experience in virology, infectious diseases, immunology, and vaccine development, Jonathan F. Smith, Ph.D., is a pioneer in the development of novel vaccines and vaccine vector systems derived from RNA viruses. He joins PaxVax from Liquidia, where he was the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, responsible for overseeing research and development programs applying the company’s novel nanoparticle technology to vaccines and other applications. Prior to joining Liquidia in 2010, Dr. Smith was a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of AlphaVax, a biotechnology company focused on developing RNA replicon vaccines for infectious diseases, biodefense, and cancer. Prior to his 10 years at AlphaVax, Dr. Smith was a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology at the University of Maryland Medical School and Chief of Viral Biology at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Smith received his B.A. from Colby College and his Ph.D. in microbiology/virology from the University of Texas at Austin.
“Nima, Tom and Jonathan all have diverse and deep experience in the vaccine industry and round out our management team at a pivotal time for the company,” said Kenneth Kelley, Chief Executive Officer of PaxVax. “These talented executives will be responsible for driving the development and commercialization of our novel product pipeline as we advance our portfolio of vaccine candidates through the clinical trials process, led by our cholera vaccine.”
PaxVax has raised more than $50 million from investors including Ignition Partners and the Wellcome Trust, and is supported by grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and its Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (DAIDS), as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. More information is available at www.paxvax.com .
PaxVax is a privately held company established in 2007 to develop and commercialize innovative and socially responsible vaccines against infectious diseases. PaxVax has a clinical-stage product portfolio, including a cholera vaccine entering Phase 3 and a pandemic H5N1 influenza vaccine entering Phase 2. The company also has vaccines in development for HIV and anthrax under R&D contracts with NIH/DAIDS and NIH/NIAID. The company’s proprietary adenoviral-based technology platform enables the rapid development of oral vaccines that can target any viral or bacterial protein antigen. The company’s vaccine candidates are designed to be easier to manufacture, store, distribute, administer and deliver across the globe than conventional injectable vaccines while enhancing the desired immune response to the vaccine antigens. The company’s offices are headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., and the R&D laboratories and licensed GMP production facility are based in San Diego, Calif.
SOURCE: PaxVax Corporation