Culver City, September 22, 2017 – NantKwest, Inc. (Nasdaq:NK) today announced that Fred Driscoll, currently an Advisor and former Chief Financial Officer of Flexion Therapeutics, Inc., has been appointed to the Board to fill the position being vacated by Mr. Richard Kusserow.
Joining NantKwest’s Board, Mr. Driscoll brings more than 30 years of deep financial and commercialization experience in the biotechnology and medical device industries to the Board of NantKwest as the company transitions its novel, natural killer (NK) cell based programs to human clinical trials across the company’s broad aNK, haNK and taNK cell therapy platforms.
“Having dedicated almost four years of Board service to NantKwest, we would like to express our deepest appreciation to Richard for his strong commitment to the company,” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, Chairman and CEO of NantKwest. “NantKwest continues to grow and bringing on board an experienced executive like Fred Driscoll marks another important milestone for NantKwest as we accelerate our clinical development activities focused on bringing important new and potentially more effective NK cell-based therapeutic options to cancer patients across a wide range of cancer types. We look forward to tapping Fred’s broad industry expertise to further strengthen our Board and assist in the advancement of our clinical and commercial strategy.”
“The immuno-oncology and cell therapy space has quite simply exploded with new, novel therapeutics coming to the market that target the human immune system in novel and more effective ways,” said Fred Driscoll. “NantKwest is clearly a leader in this emerging area of cancer immunotherapy and I am thrilled to have the opportunity bring my expertise to the company and help further build upon their strong expertise in unique, natural killer cell-based therapeutics.”
Prior to joining NantKwest, Fred, has been an Advisor of Flexion Therapeutics, Inc. and served as the Chief Financial Officer of Flexion Therapeutics, Inc. from 2013 until his retirement earlier this year. Prior to Flexion, Mr. Driscoll served as the Chief Financial Officer, Vice President, Treasurer and Principal Accounting Officer of Novavax, Inc. Mr. Driscoll served as the Chief Executive Officer and President at Genelabs Technologies, Inc. and also served as its Chief Financial Officer.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Driscoll was Chief Financial Officer of Astraris, Inc., Chief Executive Officer and President of OXiGENE, Inc., and Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations of Collagenesis Corporation. Mr. Driscoll has more than 30 years of financial management experience with biotechnology and medical device companies.
Mr. Driscoll has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
NantKwest (Nasdaq:NK) is a pioneering, next generation, clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on harnessing the unique power of our immune system using natural killer (NK) cells to treat cancer, infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases. NK cells are the body’s first line of defense due to the innate ability of NK cells to rapidly identify and destroy cells under stress, such as cancer or virally-infected cells.
NantKwest’s unique NK cell-based platform, with the capacity to grow active killer cells as a biological cancer therapy, has been designed to induce cell death against cancer or infected cells by three different modes of action: (1) Direct killing using activated NK cells (aNK) that release toxic granules directly into the cell through cell to cell contact, (2) Antibody-mediated killing using haNKs, which are NK cells engineered to incorporate a high affinity receptor that binds to an administered antibody, enhancing the cancer cell killing effect of that antibody, and (3) Targeted activated killing using taNKs, which are NK cells engineered to incorporate chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to target tumor-specific antigens found on the surface of cancer cells.
Our aNK, haNK and taNK platform addresses certain limitations of T cell therapies including the reduction of risk of serious “cytokine storms” reported after T cell therapy. As an “off-the-shelf” therapy, NantKwest’s NK cells do not rely on a patient’s own often compromised immune system. In Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with late stage cancer, NantKwest’s NK cells have been successfully administered as an outpatient infusion therapy without any reported severe side effects, even at doses of 10 billion cells.
By leveraging an integrated and extensive genomics and transcriptomics discovery and development engine, together with a pipeline of multiple, clinical-stage, immuno-oncology programs that include a Phase 2 trial for a rare form of melanoma and the planned initiation of a clinical trial of NK cells targeted to breast cancer, we believe NantKwest is uniquely positioned to be the premier immunotherapy company and transform medicine by delivering living drugs in a bag and bringing novel NK cell-based therapies to routine clinical care. For more information please visit www.nantkwest.com.