15 Jun 2023

Carina Biotech Appoints Two New US-based Biotechnology Executives to its Board of Directors

The appointment of new executives comes as CNA3103 advances into clinical development

3 minute read
Carina's newest board members Michael Wyzga and Remus Vezan
Carina’s newest board members Michael Wyzga and Remus Vezan

Carina Biotech, a cell therapy immuno-oncology company, has announced the appointment of Michael S. Wyzga, M.B.A., and Remus Vezan M.D., Ph.D., to its Board of Directors.

Mr. Wyzga is an accomplished biotechnology executive who brings to Carina’s Board over two decades of expertise as a leader and advisor to life sciences companies. Dr. Vezan is an oncology leader who has had substantial success in the advancement of numerous cell therapies from early-stage development through commercialization, including a CAR-T cell therapy for hematologic malignancies, which was also one of the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved CAR-T cell therapies.

“We are delighted to welcome two seasoned executives that bring a wealth of expertise in the U.S. biotechnology industry as independent Directors to the Carina Board,” remarked Leanna Read, Ph.D., Chair of Carina’s Board of Directors. “Mike’s track record in the life sciences industry and Remus’ cell therapy clinical developmental expertise will be invaluable as we commence a Phase 1/2a clinical trial for our lead CNA3103 in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) after receiving U.S. IND clearance earlier this year. It is a pivotal time for Carina as CNA3103 advances into clinical development and we look forward to sharing the data supporting the safety and efficacy profile of our LGR5-targeted CAR-T cell therapy candidate with the international oncology community.”

Mr. Wyzga is the Founder of MSW Consulting, Inc., a strategic consulting group focused on pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Previously, he served as President, CEO, and a member of the Board of Directors of Radius Health, Inc., a specialty biopharmaceutical company dedicated to bone health and expanding access for patients. Prior to that, Mr. Wyzga held numerous senior management positions at Genzyme Corporation, including as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and played roles in the successful development and commercialization of several vital therapies, including Cerezyme for Gaucher disease, Fabrazyme for Fabry disease, Renagel for use in the treatment of hyperphosphatemia, and Campath for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Currently, Mr. Wyzga serves on four public company Boards, including as Chairman of the Board of X4 Pharmaceuticals, GenSight Biologics, and Mereo BioPharma Group plc, as well as Chair of the Audit Committee at Invivyd, Inc. He received an MBA from Providence College and a B.S. from Suffolk University.

Dr. Vezan currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer of CytoImmune Therapeutics, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company. Prior to that, he held the positions of Chief Medical Officer of CERo Therapeutics and Executive Director of Clinical Development at Kite Pharma. At Kite Pharma, Dr. Vezan was primarily responsible for managing and overseeing the clinical development of CAR-T cell products, including axi-cell/YESCARTA®, the first CAR-T cell therapy approved for relapsed/refractory B-cell lymphoma and brexu-cell/TECARTUS®, the first CAR-T cell therapy approved for mantle cell lymphoma and adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Earlier, he served as Medical Director at Pharmacyclics, an AbbVie Company, where he played instrumental roles in the clinical development activities that led to the approval of Ibrutinib (IMBRUVICA®) in lymphoplasmacytic lymphomas (Waldenstrom Macroglobulinemia) and Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)/small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL). He completed his medical training (M.D. and Ph.D.) at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj, Romania and University of Bern, Switzerland.

Dr. Read concluded, “We would like to take this opportunity to individually thank retiring Directors Nicholas Begakis, Alexander Gosling and Charlie Latham for their guidance through the start-up phases of Carina Biotech. Their insight and contribution have been invaluable.”

Mr. Gosling will continue to support Carina on the Governance, People and Remuneration Committee, whilst Mr. Latham will remain Company Secretary.

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