AgenTus Management Team

Andy Hurwitz, Ph.D. Head of Preclinical Research

Andy Hurwitz, Ph.D. leads preclinical research for AgenTus and Agenus where he is responsible for the preclinical evaluation of TCR candidates identified in the Cell Therapy Program as well as translational development of heat shock protein-based vaccines. He is an expert in T cell responses to antigens relevant to cancer and autoimmune disease. Prior to Agenus, Dr. Hurwitz was a Principal Investigator in the Cancer and Inflammation Program at the National Cancer Institute (NIH). His laboratory developed several TCR-based experimental models used to study T cell tolerance to tumor antigens. Dr. Hurwitz received his Ph.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and did his postdoctoral training at University of California, Berkeley.  Prior to the NIH, he was on the faculty at SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Marc van Dijk, Ph.D. Head of Platform Development

Marc van Dijk, Ph.D. leads platform development for AgenTus and Agenus, and heads the Agenus UK site. Previously, he served as Chief Technology Officer of 4-Antibody, a subsidiary of Agenus, where he developed Retrocyte Display™, Agenus’ proprietary antibody discovery platform. In this role, Dr. van Dijk led the antibody discovery programs in the alliance with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research branch, New York, including CTLA4, PD1, GITR and OX40, the resulting antibodies of which are now in clinical development. Dr. van Dijk was Director of Applied Research at Innogenetics (now Fujirebio) and Vice President, Antibody Technology at Genmab. During his time at the European R&D facility of Medarex Inc., Dr. van Dijk served as a Principal Scientist. He was involved in the set up and management of partnerships with Immunex (now Amgen), and Roche, and served as project leader on numerous discovery projects including Humax-CD20 (Arzerra™, Novartis). Dr. van Dijk held a tenure track position in the Department of Immunology at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Biology at the University of California, San Diego. He obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Utrecht University in 1992.

Mark Exley, Ph.D. Head of Cellular Immunology

Mark Exley, Ph.D. leads cellular immunology at AgenTus, and is an expert on the biology and clinical exploitation of NKT and other immune cells. He co-developed anti-NKT monoclonal antibodies used in clinical trials, one of which was published in 2017 (Clin. Cancer Res.). Dr. Exley’s areas of research have included: (i) immunity to cancers: natural anti-tumor immunity and how to optimize responses directly and through vaccines, (ii) protective versus inflammatory immune responses to acute and chronic viral infections, and (iii) cells involved in suppressing graft-versus-host disease, obesity-associated and other inflammations. Dr. Exley has published over 120 mostly peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, as well as reviews and book chapters, and serves on editorial boards of many journals, as Associate Editor of Clin. Immunol. He has received numerous research awards and grants from federal and other agencies. Dr. Exley was Faculty at Harvard Medical School, where he was co-founder of NKT Therapeutics Inc., and Professor at University of Manchester, UK. He retains honorary appointments at both institutions. Dr. Exley completed his post-doctoral fellowship at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and was a Scientist at Immulogic Inc. He received his BS from Imperial College, London and his Ph.D. from the Institute of Cancer Research, London.

Michael Plater, Ph.D. Chief Business Officer

Dr. Plater serves as our Chief Business Officer and is responsible for strategic planning and business development, as well as analytics, competitive intelligence and establishing strategic alliances with partners that best complement our R&D capabilities and pipeline. Michael has over 20 years of global pharmaceuticals experience in diverse leadership roles at GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis. During his tenure at GSK he completed substantial divestment, market access and licensing transactions across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the U.S. and managed U.S. government contracting. Michael obtained his PhD in Molecular Genetics and Protein Biochemistry from the Wolfson Laboratory, University Reading, U.K.

Alain Pralong, Ph.D. Head of Manufacturing Process and Development

Prior to joining AgenTus, Dr Pralong held a number of roles increasing in seniority at Novartis, Schering-Plough, Roche, Merck-Serono, Crucell, GlaxoSmithKline, Cell Medica, and most recently at AMAL where he served as Chief Operating Officer.

During his tenure at Cell Medica Dr Pralong led the development of cell therapy products for phase II clinical trials in non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma.  At AMAL Dr Pralong set up external manufacturing networks for phase I clinical studies for a therapeutic cancer vaccine.

In 2015, Alain has been listed in the 100 most influential people in biopharmaceutical industry issued by The Medicine Maker.

Robert Stein, MD, Ph.D. Senior R&D Advisor

Dr. Robert Stein has over 35 years of experience and accomplishments in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry and advises Agenus’ global research and development efforts. Bob previously served as the Company’s President of R&D. Over the course of his career, Bob has played a significant role in the discovery and development of eight marketed drugs, including Sustiva®, Fablyn®, Viviant®, PanRetin®, TargRetin®, Promacta®, & Eliquis®. Prior to working at Agenus, he held a number of progressively responsible senior management positions including Head of Pharmacology for Merck & Co., CSO & SVP of Research for Ligand Pharmaceuticals, EVP of Research & Preclinical Development for Dupont Merck, President and CSO for Incyte Pharmaceuticals, President of Roche Palo Alto, and CEO of KineMed. Bob spent the early part of his career at Merck, Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories. He holds an MD and a PhD in Physiology & Pharmacology from Duke University.

Board of Directors

Garo Armen Chairman of the Board

Garo serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Agenus Inc., and Chairman of the Board of AgenTus. Under his leadership, Agenus has been advancing breakthrough scientific technologies and immunotherapeutic products for 20 years. From mid-2002 through 2004, Garo, in addition to his responsibilities at Agenus, served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the biopharmaceutical company Elan Corporation, plc, which he successfully restructured. Garo serves as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Protagenic Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focusing on human brain hormones for the treatment of neurological and metabolic disorders. He also serves as Founder and Chairman of the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), a philanthropic organization he founded in 2000; COAF is dedicated to the development of children and youth in Rural Armenia. He received his PhD in physical chemistry from the City University of New York.

Brian Corvese

Mr. Corvese is president and founder of Vencor Capital, a private equity firm with telecommunications and technology investments in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions. Prior to Vencor, Mr. Corvese worked on investments in the US and global equity markets as a managing director and partner at Soros Fund Management, the largest hedge fund in the world at the time. From 1988 to 1996, Mr. Corvese was a partner at Chancellor Capital Management, a $25-billion money management firm. While at Chancellor, Mr. Corvese was a portfolio manager with responsibility for investments made in basic industries, restructurings, and special situations, corporate governance investments, as well as founding and managing his own hedge fund. From 1981 to 1988, Mr. Corvese was with Drexel Burnham Lambert as an equity analyst following the chemical and specialty chemical industries and he participated in a significant number of merger and acquisition activities. While at Drexel, Mr. Corvese was a member of the top chemical and specialty chemical research team, as ranked by Institutional Investor. Mr. Corvese currently serves on the board of the National Telecommunications Company, based in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Corvese earned degrees in finance and political science from The University of Rhode Island and attended New York University Graduate School.

Ulf Wiinberg

Mr. Wiinberg has 20 years of senior leadership experience, most recently serving as Chief Executive Officer of H. Lundbeck A/S, a global pharmaceutical company developing and marketing treatments for psychiatric and neurological disorders. He previously served on the boards of several healthcare industry associations and held multiple executive roles at Wyeth, one of the world’s largest research-driven pharmaceutical companies that was acquired by Pfizer in 2009. He served as President of Wyeth Europe, Africa and Middle East; President of Consumer Healthcare; Managing Director of Wyeth UK, and in various commercial positions. Mr. Wiinberg currently serves on the boards of UCB SA, a global biopharmaceutical company based in Belgium, Avillion LLP (Chairman), a London-based drug development company, Hansa Medical AB (Chairman), a Swedish biopharmaceutical company, Alfa Laval AB, a Swedish industrial company, and Nestle Health Science.

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