Portage Biotech (PRTG) announces Dr. Ian Walters, CEO, will be appointed Chairman

August 18, 2022 8:05 AM EDT

Portage Biotech Inc. (NASDAQ: PRTG), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing therapies to improve patient lives and increase survival, today announced that Dr. Ian Walters, Chief Executive Officer of Portage, will be appointed Chairman of Portage’s Board of Directors. Dr. Greg Bailey, current Chairman, will transition to lead Director. Additionally, the company hired Justin Fairchild, MPH, as Vice President of Development.

“The changes reflect the Board’s confidence and acknowledgement of Portage’s recent growth and progress under Dr. Walters’ leadership,” remarked Dr. Bailey. “Dr. Walters has decades of industry expertise, deep knowledge of immuno-oncology drug development and is dedicated to Portage’s mission. Despite the challenging financial market conditions, he has been able to grow the team and pipeline and Portage is now poised to deliver multiple data readouts over the coming year.”

“I am looking forward to taking on the additional role of Board Chairman as we continue to advance our pipeline, grow our partnership network and drive toward delivery of novel and effective cancer treatments,” said Dr. Walters. “I am also thrilled to welcome Justin to the Portage team. Justin has done meaningful work on checkpoint inhibitors and novel early-stage I/O combinations across multiple cancer indications, and I have no doubt his talent and expertise in clinical development and operations will be invaluable as we advance our trials.”

Mr. Fairchild previously served as Vice President of Clinical Development at The Parker Institute of Cancer Immunotherapy. He will assist Dr. Walters in advancing Portage’s pipeline of novel immunotherapy treatments, including the ongoing Phase 1/2 study of the iNKT agonist PORT-2 and the planned trials for adenosine inhibitors PORT-6 and PORT-7, both of which have been cleared by the FDA to enter clinical studies. Mr. Fairchild has nearly 20 years of experience advancing oncology programs through the clinic, including his prior role at The Parker Institute and 14 years at Bristol Myers Squibb, where he held several roles in clinical development and contributed to both early- and late-stage studies of multiple targeted and immunotherapy oncology agents. He earned his MPH from The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and a B.A. in Chemistry from Colgate University.

“Portage has assembled an exceptional team of biotech leaders that are renowned in the industry, and who I know well, and I am excited to join them in this new role,” Mr. Fairchild said. “The Company’s novel programs that uniquely target different cancer resistance pathways show great promise, both as monotherapy treatments and in combination with other therapies such as checkpoint inhibitors.”

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