Oncorus Inc. (ONCR) Appoints Barbara Yanni to its Board

July 29, 2021 7:04 AM EDT

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Oncorus, Inc. (Nasdaq: ONCR), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation viral immunotherapies to transform outcomes for cancer patients, today announced the appointment of Barbara Yanni to fill a vacancy on its Board of Directors. Since her retirement from Merck & Co. in 2014, where she served as Vice President and Chief Licensing Officer, Ms. Yanni has served as a director of multiple publicly traded and privately held biopharmaceutical companies. She brings extensive experience in corporate development, licensing and financial evaluation to Oncorus, as the company advances its pipeline of intratumorally (iTu) administered oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus immunotherapies and intravenously (IV) administered Synthetic viral RNA (vRNA) immunotherapies.

“We are delighted to welcome Barbara to our Board of Directors as we continue to make notable progress toward our mission of realizing the full promise of viral immunotherapies for cancer patients,” said Theodore (Ted) Ashburn, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Oncorus. “Later this year, we plan to report initial interim data from our ongoing Phase 1 study of ONCR-177 in patients. We are also progressing our lead Synthetic vRNA immunotherapies and the buildout of our GMP clinical manufacturing facility. We look forward to Barbara’s insights and contributions as we build for long-term growth and success.”

Oncorus is advancing a portfolio of iTu- and IV-administered viral immunotherapies for multiple solid tumor indications with significant unmet needs based on its oHSV and Synthetic vRNA Immunotherapy Platforms. The company’s ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial is evaluating ONCR-177 as a treatment for patients with solid tumors, both as a monotherapy and in combination with Merck’s anti-PD-1-therapy, KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab). ONCR-177 uniquely retains the ability to avoid interferon challenge and is armed with five immune-modulatory payloads. With its lead IV-administered Synthetic vRNA Immunotherapy candidates, ONCR-021 and ONCR-788, Oncorus’ pioneering IV-administered approach involves encapsulating the genomes of RNA viruses known to kill cancer cells (i.e., oncolytic viruses, or OVs) in a lipid nanoparticle, or LNP, creating a Synthetic vRNA Immunotherapy. ONCR-021 encodes an optimized strain of Coxsackievirus A21 (CVA21), and ONCR-788 encodes a modified version of the Seneca Valley Virus (SVV). Click here to read a white paper published by Oncorus’ leadership on the company’s Synthetic vRNA Immunotherapy Platform and lead candidates.

“Oncorus has multiple elements that lay the foundation for a successful biotechnology company – an experienced management team, breakthrough science, pipeline diversification, a comprehensive manufacturing strategy, and a mission-driven mindset,” said Ms. Yanni. “I’m thrilled to join Oncorus’ Board and work with Ted, the Oncorus team and my fellow Board members as we continue to chart an exciting future for Oncorus, focused exclusively on addressing persistent and serious unmet needs of cancer patients.”

Ms. Yanni was Vice President and Chief Licensing Officer at Merck & Co., from November 2001 until her retirement in March 2014. Prior to her role of Chief Licensing Officer, Ms. Yanni had various roles at Merck including in corporate development, financial evaluation, and tax. Ms. Yanni is an independent director currently on the boards of three public biotechnology companies: Trevena, Inc., Vaccinex, Inc., and Pharming Group N.V. She is also currently an independent director of Mesentech, a private biotechnology company. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Akcea Therapeutics, Inc. from 2019 until the company’s sale in 2020 and Abionyx Pharma from 2018 to 2020, both of which were public biotechnology companies, and Symic Holdings, LLC, a private biotechnology company, from 2015 to 2019.

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