AlloVir Appoints Ercem Atillasoy, M.D., as Chief Regulatory and Safety Officer
Appointment Expands AlloVir’s Regulatory Expertise as Company Plans to Initiate Multiple Pivotal and Proof-of-Concept Trials
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AlloVir (Nasdaq: ALVR), a late clinical-stage cell therapy company, announced the appointment of Ercem Atillasoy, M.D., as the company’s Chief Regulatory and Safety Officer, a newly created position. Dr. Atillasoy brings nearly 25 years of experience leading drug, biologic, and infectious disease product development. Most recently, Dr. Atillasoy was at Merck Research Laboratories serving as Vice President and Therapeutic Area Head of Vaccines and Infectious Disease in Global Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Safety. He had responsibility and oversight for Merck’s extensive portfolio of infectious disease products, many of which have transformed human health. In addition, he oversaw engagement and strategy with regulatory agencies across the world, including those in the United States, Europe, Japan, and China.
“We are delighted that Ercem is joining AlloVir as we prepare to enter multiple late-stage clinical trials across our pipeline of highly innovative therapeutics for patients suffering from, or at risk of, life-threatening viral diseases,” said David Hallal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AlloVir. “Ercem’s extensive global regulatory expertise and successes within the infectious disease therapeutic area represent a very important addition to our executive team as we expand our development programs in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.”
During his nearly 20 years at Merck, Dr. Atillasoy had an instrumental role in expediting development and approval of novel medicines and vaccines that have changed the world, including vaccines against viruses, such as Ebola (Ervebo®), human papillomaviruses that cause cancers, (Gardasil® and Gardasil®9), rotaviruses (RotaTeq®), and those that cause pediatric illnesses (ProQuad® and Vaxelis™). Most recently, he had regulatory oversight for Merck’s publicly announced investigational COVID-19-related vaccine and small molecule programs. Dr. Atillasoy has led regulatory filings and approvals for many antiviral agents, such as those against HIV (Isentress®, Delstrigo™, and Pifeltro™), cytomegalovirus (Prevymis™), and hepatitis C (Zepatier®). In addition, Dr. Atillasoy oversaw the first investigational new drug (IND) filing for Keytruda® for melanoma, and he has supported approval of other oncology products including Zolinza® for cutaneous T cell lymphoma and Emend® for the prevention of chemotherapy-associated nausea.*
“AlloVir has built a proprietary, highly efficient technology platform that has yielded an investigational pipeline of allogeneic, off-the-shelf T cell therapies. The platform offers novel solutions with potential to address significant unmet global health needs among patients suffering from viral diseases who lack effective treatments today,” said Dr. Atillasoy. “I am excited to join the AlloVir team and guide our products through development and anticipated regulatory filings and approvals.”
Earlier in his career, Dr. Atillasoy worked with the Medical Affairs Departments at Sandoz and Novartis Pharmaceuticals, where he supported licensure of anti-infective, dermatology, tissue engineered products (including Apligraf®)*, and cell therapies. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Atillasoy was selected and currently serves as the industry representative to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Dermatologic and Ophthalmologic Drugs Advisory Committee and served as Merck’s senior representative to the PhRMA Regulatory Steering Group and the BIO Vaccine Regulatory Advisory Committee. Dr. Atillasoy has published papers on a range of topics, including infectious disease, gene therapy, melanoma, dermatology, and tissue engineering.
Dr. Atillasoy is a graduate of the Yale University School of Medicine and completed his medical internship at Yale New Haven Hospital and his dermatology residency at the University of Pennsylvania. He conducted research in carcinogenesis and gene therapy at the Wistar Institute. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the City University of New York.
*Ervebo®, Gardasil® and Gardasil®9, RotaTeq®, ProQuad® Isentress®, Zepatier®, Zolinza®, Keytruda® and Emend® are registered trademarks of Merck and Co., Inc. Vaxelis™, Delstrigo™, Pifeltro™, and Prevymis™ are trademarks of Merck and Co., Inc. Apligraf® is a registered trademark of Organogenesis Inc.
AlloVir is a leading late clinical-stage cell therapy company with a focus on restoring natural immunity against life-threatening viral diseases in patients with severely weakened immune systems. The company’s innovative and proprietary technology platforms leverage off-the-shelf, allogeneic, multi-virus specific T cells targeting devastating viruses for patients with T cell deficiencies who are at risk from the life-threatening consequences of viral diseases. AlloVir’s technology and manufacturing process enables the potential for the treatment and prevention of a spectrum of devastating viruses with each single allogeneic cell therapy. The company is advancing multiple mid- and late-stage clinical trials across its product portfolio. For more information visit www.allovir.com.
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This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, including, without limitation, statements regarding AlloVir’s development and regulatory status of our product candidates and its strategy, business plans and focus. The words “may,” “will,” “could,” “would,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “project,” “potential,” “continue,” “target” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and important factors that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, including, without limitation, those related to AlloVir’s financial results, the timing for completion of AlloVir’s clinical trials of its product candidates, whether and when, if at all, AlloVir’s product candidates will receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, or other foreign regulatory authorities, competition from other biopharmaceutical companies, and other risks identified in AlloVir’s SEC filings. AlloVir cautions you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. AlloVir disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any such statements to reflect any change in expectations or in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements may be based, or that may affect the likelihood that actual results will differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release represent AlloVir’s views only as of the date hereof and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date.