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TMCNet:  Vaxenta Biotechnologies Announces Medical Pioneer Howard Leonhardt Joining Scientific and Professional Advisory Board

[February 05, 2014]

Vaxenta Biotechnologies Announces Medical Pioneer Howard Leonhardt Joining Scientific and Professional Advisory Board

SAN DIEGO --(Business Wire)--

Vaxenta Biotechnologies, a biotechnology company dedicated to finding the cure for cancer through the development of therapeutic vaccines, announced today the recruitment of Howard Leonhardt to the company's scientific and professional advisory board. Mr. Leonhardt, inventor of the TALENT aortic stent graft, holds over 20 patents and has extensive business experience; he founded and led World Medical Mfg. Corp. in 1988, which grew from 3 employees to 550, merged with AVE of California, and sold to Medtronic in 1999. Leonhardt inventions have treated more than 200,000 patients to date generating more than $3 billion in revenues. Leonhardt also leads Leonhardt Ventures, a venture fund, angel network and accelerator that has raised over $145 million.

"It is our honor to have Howard join us in the development of this novel approach to cancer," said Boris Markosian, President and CEO of Vaxenta. "Howard's proven ability to take medically innovative ideas and translate them into patient treatments will be valuable in our quest to develop the first 'universal cancer vaccine.'"

Vaxenta's XenUvax product is based in part on triggering immune responses towards cells involved in producing new blood vessels. Animal studies in melanoma and colon cancer have demonstrated significant therapeutic efficacy without evidence of toxicity. Vaxenta's technology is based on similarities between pregnancy and cancer, highlighting mechanisms shared between the processes used to evade the immune system. The company is currently in preclinical studies prepaing for an investigational new drug (IND) filing with the FDA.


"I am thoroughly impressed by the passion and accomplishments of the Vaxenta team, and look forward to advancing this important technology that follows knowledge from natural body processes," said Howard. "In my opinion there is an urgent need to develop therapeutic alternatives to chemotherapy, and from the existing data, Vaxenta's XenUvaX product is a very promising immunotherapeutic approach to cancer."

Vaxenta Inc., a San Diego biotechnology company dedicated to development of XenUvaX, a placenta based cancer vaccine, is pleased with the recruitment of Howard Leonhardt to the company's scientific advisory board.

Howard Leonhardt is an inventor, scientist and serial entrepreneur. In the 80's he patented and developed a full series of cardiovascular balloon catheters including the first radiation delivery and intravascular lung catheters for cancer patients. His TALENT stent graft developed in the early 1990's still today holds a leading world market share for repairing aortic aneurysms without surgery. He patented and developed the first percutaneous heart valve in the 1990's which is now held by Medtronic. In the 2000's he led the team that completed the first-in-man non-surgical stem cell implantation for treating a damaged heart in 2001 and led that development through successful Phase III trials. He also introduced the first cardiovascular genetic test on the U.S. market in 2001 - the Pla2 test. In the 2010's he has invented and developed a full series of electrical energy devices both implantable and non-invasive for directing stem cell therapies and a full series of implantable pumps including the first stem cell pump. He has patented and is leading a team that expects to complete the first-in-man implantation of a biological pacemaker, made entirely of living cells, in 2014. He also invented the first Stem Cell Bra that is designed to recruit a women's own stem cells to her breast tissue non-invasively.

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