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Advaxis names new CEO

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Advaxis Inc., a Princeton biotech specializing in drugs treating cancer and infectious diseases, today named Daniel J. O'Connor as CEO, replacing Thomas Moore, who will continue to serve on the board of directors and as a consultant to the company.

"The company is now entering a transformational phase, and Dan's appointment as CEO is the outcome of Tom and the board's succession planning initiatives over the past year in preparation for this important time," James Patton, who was elected nonexecutive chairman of the board for Advaxis, said in a statement.

O'Connor, formerly an executive vice president with Advaxis, joined the company in January. He has 15 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry with executive roles at ImClone Systems, which was sold to Eli Lilly in 2008, as well as PharmaNet and Bracco Diagnostics.

Patton credited Moore for his leadership of Advaxis the past six years, including improving the company's balance sheet and assembling experienced managers to advance its pipeline. Moore said he will remain as a significant stockholder of the company.

Advaxis this month was granted orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for ADXS-HPV, a drug treating human papillomavirus-associated anal cancer. Orphan drug status provides federal tax credits to encourage development of drugs treating diseases affecting small populations, or 200,000 people or less.

O'Connor said in a statement that Advaxis is at a pivotal point in its drug development and commercializing efforts. "The company's innovative science and intellectual property hold great promise for many important areas of unmet medical needs," he said.

Advaxis said it has more than 15 distinct immunotherapies in development, either developed directly by the company or through collaborations.

"The company is now entering a transformational phase, and Dan's appointment as CEO is the outcome of Tom and the board's succession planning initiatives over the past year in preparation for this important time," James Patton, who was elected nonexecutive chairman of the board for Advaxis, said in a statement.

O'Connor, formerly an executive vice president with Advaxis, joined the company in January. He has 15 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry with executive roles at ImClone Systems, which was sold to Eli Lilly in 2008, as well as PharmaNet and Bracco Diagnostics.

Patton credited Moore for his leadership of Advaxis the past six years, including improving the company's balance sheet and assembling experienced managers to advance its pipeline. Moore said he will remain as a significant stockholder of the company.

Advaxis this month was granted orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for ADXS-HPV, a drug treating human papillomavirus-associated anal cancer. Orphan drug status provides federal tax credits to encourage development of drugs treating diseases affecting small populations, or 200,000 people or less.

O'Connor said in a statement that Advaxis is at a pivotal point in its drug development and commercializing efforts. "The company's innovative science and intellectual property hold great promise for many important areas of unmet medical needs," he said.

Advaxis said it has more than 15 distinct immunotherapies in development, either developed directly by the company or through collaborations.

Reporter Tom Zanki is @BizTZanki on Twitter.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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