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ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Adds Member To Board Of Directors

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (OTCBB:IMUC) said Friday it has elected Dr. Richard Chin to its board of directors, and has appointed him chairman of the company's compensation committee.

He has also been appointed a member of the company's audit committee.

Chin currently serves on the adjunct faculty of the San Francisco School of Medicine for the University of California, as well as on the board of directors of Genmedica Therapeutics, Balance Therapeutics, and Galena Biopharma.

From 2008 to 2011, he served as CEO of OneWorld Health, a nonprofit pharmaceutical company that was largely funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Before that, he served as president and CEO of OXiGENE. He has also held various leadership roles with Elan Corp and Genentech Inc.

"We are pleased to welcome Dr. Chin to our Board of Directors," said Dr. John Yu, ImmunoCellular chairman. "His extensive experience in drug development will be valuable as the company advances its Phase II clinical trial of ICT-107."

Earlier this week, ImmunoCellular said that its proprietary method for manufacturing ICT-107, its dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccine for an aggressive type of brain cancer, has shown better performance compared to other methods for producing DC-based immunotherapies.

The company said its method has proven "meaningfully enhanced efficiency, consistency and convenience". Analysis of manufacturing data showed that its process can produce up to 30 vials of ICT-107 product, and 30 vials of placebo in a single production run.

Developed in collaboration with the company's partners, ImmunoCellular's manufacturing method uses a closed-bag system designed to produce highly potent dendritic cells from white blood cells (WBCs) collected from patients, and to preserve the cells for future vaccine treatments.

The process has also been optimized to produce high levels of certain cytokines that play a key role in initiating an immune response, ImmunoCellular said.

Further, the final manufacturing process is not expected to require "significant changes" prior to eventual commercialization, ImmunoCellular added.

ICT-107 is ImmunoCellular's lead dendritic cell-based cancer vaccine candidate for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), an aggressive type of brain cancer.

The vaccine, which is currently in phase two trials, works by activating a patient's immune system against specific tumour associated antigens for glioblastoma multiforme.

This is done by removing dendritic cells from a patient, loading them with the tumour-related antigens, and re-injecting them back into the patient's body to trigger an immune response against cancer cells exhibiting these antigens.

In the natural human immune system, dendritic cells are responsible for capturing, processing and presenting antigens to T-cells in the immune system, which in turn target the antigens and destroy them.

These cells' conversion from antigen-capturing to antigen-presenting mode, known as maturation, relies on the production of special messenger cells known as cytokines.

Progression-free and overall survival times for GBM patients treated with ICT-107 during the company's phase one trial of the drug continue to be substantially longer than those associated with standard of care (SOC) alone, the company said.

In September 2011, ImmunoCellular reported its three-year data, which indicated an overall survival of 55 percent, compared to 16 percent based on historical SOC.

Of the 16 newly diagnosed patients who received ICT-107, 38 percent continue to show no tumor recurrence after three years, compared to the historic disease-free survival rate of 6 percent with SOC.

Out of these patients, 19 percent remain disease-free after more than four years.

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics is a Los Angeles-based clinical-stage company that is developing immune-based therapies for the treatment of brain and other cancers.