Board of Directors: Marius Teodorescu, M.D., Ph.D. (Chair), Dorel Nasui, M.S.E., Mihai Teodorescu, B.S. and Corina Dima, M.S. (secretary)
President and CEO: Mircea C. Popescu, M.D., Ph.D.
Vice President: Richard J. Robb, Ph.D.
Scientific Advisory Board: Larry W. Kwak, M.D., Ph.D. (Chair), Sattva S. Neelapu, M.D. and Augusto Ochoa, M.D.
Mircea C. Popescu
Mircea C. Popescu, M.D., Ph.D. (President and CEO) is a founder of XEME and an inventor of its technology platform. This technology was developed while he was General Manager and R&D Vice President at Biomira USA Inc. Previously, he was President of Oncotherapeutics, Research Fellow at Wyeth Vaccines and a Scientific Founder and Executive Director of The Liposome Company of Princeton, NJ, one of the first biotechnology companies in the USA. At these companies he gained a vast scientific management and corporate experience and was directly responsible for numerous research and development projects including the R&D of therapeutic cancer vaccines. Among his scientific achievements is the first evidence that a virus (LCMV) can infect T-cell lymphocytes and other cells of the immune system (research performed at the Heinrich-Pette Institute for Virology and Clinical Immunology, University of Hamburg, Germany). He continued his research on the mechanism of virus persistent infections at the Graduate School, College of Medicine, University of Illinois, where he was an Associate Professor. Dr. Popescu has more than 100 publications and 24 US patents.
Richard J. Robb
Richard J. Robb, Ph.D. (Vice President R&D and QC) has held a variety of senior scientific managerial positions at large pharma and biotech companies while pursuing a long career in immunology, cancer research and drug development. He gained international recognition for his work on cytokines and their cellular receptors with a focus on IL-2, one of the active ingredients in XEME’s therapeutic vaccines. He has published over 80 scientific articles, reviews and book chapters, was co-inventor on two issued US patents and Principal Investigator on two NCI grants, and has lectured at numerous national and international symposia. Dr. Robb has directed preclinical and early-stage clinical development of several immunotherapeutic products for cancer. In 2005, he joined with colleagues to found XEME Biopharma Inc. at which he is now VP of R&D and QC.
Sunil Metkar, Ph.D., MBA is the Director of Research and Development of TheraTest Labs Inc., XEME’s parent company. Sunil received his Ph.D. from Cancer Research Institute, Tata Memorial Center at the University of Mumbai, India in 1999. His Ph.D. thesis focused on the expression and function of TNF receptor-ligand superfamily members in malignant lymphoma patients. He joined the Northshore University Health Systems Research Institute as a post-doctoral fellow and later held a faculty appointment at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Sunil earned his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management majoring in Biotechnology, Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Strategy. His business experiences include Life Science Venture Capital, Competitive Intelligence and Business Development.
Larry W. Kwak
Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D. (Founder, Chairman Scientific Advisory Board, Clinical Research Consultant) was until recently the Chairman of the Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma and Co-Director of the Center for Cancer Immunology Research at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, where he also held the Justin Distinguished Chair in Leukemia Research. Since April 2015, Professor Kwak has served as Director, Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center and Professor, Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic cell transplantation at City of Hope (www.cityofhope.org/faculty/larry-w.-kwak). Dr. Kwak previously served as Head of the Vaccine Biology Section at the NCI for 12 years. His NCI laboratory is credited with the bench-to-clinic development of a therapeutic cancer vaccine for B-cell malignancies, which was recently reported as positive in a landmark national Phase III clinical trial. He has authored more than 160 articles, which have been published in journals such as Science, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, and Nature Medicine. In 2010 Dr. Kwak was named to the TIME100, one of the world’s 100 most influential people by TIME magazine, for his 20 year commitment to the science of cancer vaccines. Dr. Kwak was awarded the Ho-Am prize in Medicine, Korea’s highest honor, for his work in immunotherapy in June 2016. Awarded since 1991, the Ho-Am is funded by the Korean company Samsung and is considered akin to Nobel Prize recognition.
Sattva S. Neelapu
Sattva S. Neelapu, M.D. (SAB Member) is an Associate Professor and physician-scientist in the Department of Lymphoma and Myeloma at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. He has extensive experience in the development of novel therapeutic cancer vaccines and immunotherapies for B-cell malignancies. He has served as Principal Investigator of a number of Phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials testing novel vaccine and immunomodulatory agents, including immune checkpoint inhibitors. He also maintains an active research laboratory focused on developing novel vaccines, immune monitoring of vaccinated patients, and elucidating and targeting the immunoregulatory pathways in the tumor microenvironment of B-cell malignancies. His research is funded by several grants from the National Cancer Institute and other national agencies and foundations. Dr. Neelapu has published extensively with many colleagues in high impact journals including Nature Medicine, Nature, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood and Lancet Oncology. He is internationally recognized as an expert in human tumor immunology and has received many awards from professional societies including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology and the American Association for Cancer Research.
Augusto Ochoa, M.D. (SAB Member) is Director of the Louisiana State University Cancer Center in New Orleans and co-Director of the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium, an organization that brings together the major academic and medical centers of the state to develop cancer research and therapies. Dr. Ochoa holds the Al Copeland Foundation – Cancer Crusaders Endowed Chair. Prior to joining LSU, Dr. Ochoa was the head of the Immunotherapy Laboratory at the Frederick Cancer Research Center of the National Cancer Institute for 9 years. His laboratory demonstrated for the first time that tumors caused molecular changes in immune cells that made them incapable of eliminating malignant cells. He also demonstrated that blocking certain cellular pathways reversed this effect and prevented tumors from escaping destruction by the immune system. These results were translated into several novel clinical trials at the NCI. His current work is focused on finding ways of enhancing the immune response against cancer and is supported by numerous federal grants. Dr. Ochoa has over 90 publications in journals such as Science, Journal of Immunology, Journal of Experimental Medicine and others. His program was recently recognized by the Office of the Director of the NIH with the prestigious Director’s Transformative Award, which supports research in areas that could potentially transform biomedical concepts and result in novel forms of treatment.
Marius Teodorescu, M.D., Ph.D. (Board Chair) is President and CEO of TheraTest Laboratories Inc. Dr. Teodorescu has direct experience in manufacture of viral vaccines and as a Professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine taught immunology to medical students, graduate students and physicians. He also practiced rheumatology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine for 25 years. Dr. Teodorescu has more than 100 publications of original work, inventions, review articles and books in immunology, rheumatology and related fields. In 1988 he founded TheraTest Laboratories Inc., a leading manufacturer and distributor of immunoassay test kits for rheumatology.
Mihai Teodorescu, B.S. (Board Treasurer) is the VP and COO of TheraTest Laboratories Inc. He worked in immunoassay test development and was instrumental in the development and corporate growth of TheraTest since its beginning. He has extensive experience in all aspects of the day-to-day operational activity of the Company’s FDA licensed manufacturing facility. He is also involved in the financial management and Human Resources activities at TheraTest and XEME.
Corina Dima, M.S. (Board Secretary) is the VP for Quality Assurance of TheraTest Laboratories Inc., a position she has held for the past 15 years, and an essential member of the management team for about 20 years. A knowledgeable biologist, she has unique organizational skills that have been essential in the successful performance of her multiple functions as quality assurance/quality control officer, reference laboratory manager and personnel development manager.
Dorel Nasui, MSCS, Ph.D. scholar (Board Member) is the CEO of American International Radio, Inc. and the Chairman of Safemobile LLC. He worked in IT and communications R&D and in 1990 founded American International Radio, Inc., an international system integrator and radio communication distributor, one of the largest Motorola Solutions distributors in the world with offices in 10 countries and partners in over 60. In 2001 he founded Safemobile LLC, a developer and a manufacturer of integrated GPS solutions, with applications in public safety and in various industries.