• The roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer will be separated. Dr. Riva proposed as new independent Director and non-executive Chairman of the Board.
  • With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, Dr. Riva will work with Transgene’s CEO Hedi Ben Brahim to realize the potential of the Company’s technology platforms and products to benefit cancer patients.
  • Transgene’s Board of Directors also proposes the appointment of Prof. Jean‑Yves Blay (subject to the authorization of the public authority to which he reports) and Ms. Laurence Espinasse as new Directors of the Company.

STRASBOURG, France–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Regulatory News:

Transgene (Euronext Paris: TNG) (Paris:TNG), a biotech company that designs and develops virus-based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, announces today that, as part of the evolution of its corporate governance, the Board of Directors has proposed Alessandro Riva, MD, as Chairman of the Company. If this nomination is accepted by Company shareholders at the upcoming General Shareholder Meeting, the Board intends to appoint Dr. Riva to the position of Chairman. This appointment reflects the evolution of Transgene’s corporate governance, which foresees the separation of the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Dr. Riva, if confirmed as Chairman, will act as an independent member of the Board of Directors and will work closely with the Board and Transgene’s CEO, Hedi Ben Brahim, to realize the potential of the Company’s product portfolio to benefit patients with solid tumors.

Dr. Riva has nearly 30 years’ experience in the Life Sciences industry and is currently CEO of Intima Bioscience which specializes in cell therapies for solid cancers. Prior to this role, he served as CEO of Ichnos Sciences and Executive Vice President (EVP), Global Head of Oncology Therapeutics and Cell & Gene Therapy at Gilead Sciences, where he was instrumental in the acquisition of Kite Pharma and led its integration and growth. He also managed the US and EU approvals of Yescarta, the first approved CAR-T cell therapy for adult patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma.

Prior to Gilead, Dr. Riva was EVP, Global Head of Oncology Development and Medical Affairs at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. He was President ad interim of Novartis Oncology during the acquisition of GSK Oncology.

Dr. Riva currently serves on the Boards of Beigene and Century Therapeutics. He received his bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Milan and a certificate board in oncology and hematology from the same institution.

Hedi Ben Brahim, Transgene’s CEO, commented:I am very happy about the prospect of working with Alessandro as Chairman of the Board of Directors. I am convinced that the separation of roles between a non-executive chairman and a CEO, as well as the choice to entrust the chairmanship to an independent director with great scientific skills in the field of oncology, will deliver important and valuable advantages for Transgene and its shareholders. I would like to thank the Board of Directors for approving this change in governance. Alessandro’s medical and scientific competence, international experience and human qualities make him an ideal candidate to play a key role in the further development of Transgene.”

Dr. Alessandro Riva added: “Transgene’s promising drug candidates, generated from its world leading myvac® and Invir.IO™ platforms, represent exciting new frontiers for targeted solid tumor immunotherapies, tapping into the unrealized potential of personalized cancer vaccinations and next-generation multifunctional oncolytic viruses. I’m delighted to be joining an increasingly important player in the oncology space as the Company prepares for the next key steps in its development.”

In addition, the Board proposes two new Directors, Prof. Jean-Yves Blay and Laurence Espinasse, to join current Board members: Philippe Archinard, Jean-Luc Bélingard, Hedi Ben Brahim, Benoît Habert, Marie Landel, Maya Said and TSGH, represented by Sandrine Flory. These three new members (including the Chairman) will replace Dr. Jean-Pierre Bizzari, Prof. Laurence Zitvogel and Antoine Béret. Transgene’s shareholders will vote on the nominations of Dr. Riva, Prof. Blay and Ms Espinasse at the General Shareholder Meeting to be held on May 25, 2022, and the Board of Directors intends to appoint Dr. Riva as its chairman immediately thereafter.

Hedi Ben Brahim added, “The Board is also very pleased with the arrival of Prof. Jean‑Yves Blay and Laurence Espinasse. Jean-Yves’ clinical development know-how and Laurence’s legal experience will be strong assets for the Company. On behalf of the Board of Directors and employees, I would like to salute the remarkable work of Jean-Pierre Bizzari, Laurence Zitvogel and Antoine Béret over many years. Jean-Pierre gave us the benefit of his complex clinical development experience; Laurence brought us her in-depth knowledge of scientific developments in immuno-oncology and we are pleased that we will be able to continue to call on her expertise; while Antoine enlightened us thanks to his experience in biotech management and his passion for science.”


About Transgene

Transgene (Euronext: TNG) is a biotechnology company focused on designing and developing targeted immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Transgene’s programs utilize viral vector technology with the goal of indirectly or directly killing cancer cells.

The Company’s clinical-stage programs consist of two therapeutic vaccines (TG4001 for the treatment of HPV-positive cancers, and TG4050, the first individualized therapeutic vaccine based on the myvac® platform) as well as two oncolytic viruses (TG6002 for the treatment of solid tumors, and BT-001, the first oncolytic virus based on the Invir.IO™ platform).

With Transgene’s myvac® platform, therapeutic vaccination enters the field of precision medicine with a novel immunotherapy that is fully tailored to each individual. The myvac® approach allows the generation of a virus-based immunotherapy that encodes patient-specific mutations identified and selected by Artificial Intelligence capabilities provided by its partner NEC.

With its proprietary platform Invir.IO™, Transgene is building on its viral vector engineering expertise to design a new generation of multifunctional oncolytic viruses. Transgene has an ongoing Invir.IO™ collaboration with AstraZeneca.

Additional information about Transgene is available at: www.transgene.fr

Follow us on Twitter: @TransgeneSA


This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The occurrence of any of these risks could have a significant negative outcome for the Company’s activities, perspectives, financial situation, results, regulatory authorities’ agreement with development phases, and development. The Company’s ability to commercialize its products depends on but is not limited to the following factors: positive pre-clinical data may not be predictive of human clinical results, the success of clinical studies, the ability to obtain financing and/or partnerships for product manufacturing, development and commercialization, and marketing approval by government regulatory authorities. For a discussion of risks and uncertainties which could cause the Company’s actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the Risk Factors (“Facteurs de Risque”) section of the Universal Registration Document, available on the AMF website (http://www.amf-france.org) or on Transgene’s website (www.transgene.fr). Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and Transgene undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.


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