Medicenna Further Strengthens Management Team

HOUSTON and VANCOUVER, Jan. 18, 2017 /CNW/ - Medicenna BioPharma Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Medicenna Therapeutics, Inc. (the "Company" or "Medicenna"), developing its immuno-oncology platform of Empowered CytokinesTM for targeted treatment of cancer, today announced that it has appointed Dr. Martin Bexon as Head of Clinical Development, Elizabeth Williams as Chief Financial Officer and Patrick Ward as Chief Operating Officer.

"We are delighted to welcome these exceptional executives at this critical point, as we enter later stage clinical trials with our lead asset, MDNA55," said Dr. Fahar Merchant, President & CEO of Medicenna. "Martin has a wealth of clinical development experience globally, which will be integral to the successful execution of our phase two recurrent glioblastoma trial. Patrick brings deep operational and entrepreneurial background encompassing portfolio development and commercialization, as well as transactional experience with big pharma. Elizabeth has an excellent track record in Canadian and U.S. financial markets and is familiar with both TSX and NASDAQ requirements. With these outstanding executives, we have now firmly established the building blocks required for the Company's next phase of progress."

Dr. Martin Bexon, MD, has more than 15 years of experience in early and late stage clinical development including medical affairs in various therapeutic areas, particularly in oncology and hematology. He has recently worked as a strategic adviser, study medical expert and medical monitor in a number of oncology programs (U.S. and E.U.), in both solid tumors and hematological malignancies.  While at CSL Behring (Bern, Switzerland) he led multiple global clinical studies across a range of indications including orphan diseases. As Global Medical Director, Dr. Bexon also led their medical affairs function for immunoglobulin products, generating more than 50% of the company's revenues. At Hoffman-La Roche (U.K. and Switzerland) he designed and implemented multiple global clinical trials enrolling more than 10,000 subjects to support product commercialization. He has also led teams filing numerous regulatory submissions on both sides of the Atlantic and Japan. Prior to joining pharma, he practiced in the clinic as a pediatrician. He obtained his MBBS (MD equivalent) from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

Patrick Ward, RPh, MBA has more than 20 years of operational experience in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently as the COO and co-Founder of Aviara Pharmaceuticals, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing a portfolio of assets acquired from Pfizer. Previously, he was President and COO of Ocusoft, Inc., a specialty ophthalmic company, where he was also responsible for product development, manufacturing and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining Ocusoft, he was Executive Director at Encysive Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer) where he spent 13 years in business development. At Encysive, he was involved in the partnering and commercialization of Argatroban™ with GSK and Mitsubishi Pharmaceuticals, as well as Thelin™ in Europe.  He received a BS in Pharmacy from The University of Houston and an MBA in Finance from the University of St. Thomas.

Elizabeth Williams has more than 12 years of experience in biotech, working with publicly listed entities in both Canada and the United States. She has extensive financing experience, having played an integral role in raising more than $100 million in financing. Prior to joining Medicenna, Ms. Williams was the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Aptose Biosciences Inc. (previously Lorus Therapeutics Inc.), a biotechnology company listed on both the TSX and NASDAQ capital markets. While at Aptose, she held several positions, including Acting Chief Financial Officer during a lengthy transition period, and was responsible for a broad range of activities including financings, financial reporting and regulatory compliance. She is a CPA and CA and received a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.

About Medicenna Therapeutics
Medicenna BioPharma Inc., (a subsidiary of Medicenna Therapeutics Inc.) is a clinical-stage, immuno-oncology company developing first-in-class Interleukin-4 Empowered CytokinesTM (IL4-ECs) that specifically target the IL-4 Receptor (IL4R), a biomarker which is over‐expressed by 20 different types of cancer affecting more than a million new cancer patients every year. Medicenna's lead IL‐4EC, MDNA55, is enrolling in a Phase 2b clinical trial for recurrent glioblastoma (rGB), the most aggressive and uniformly fatal form of brain cancer. MDNA55 has completed three clinical trials in 72 patients with recurrent gliomas, demonstrated compelling efficacy and obtained Fast‐Track Designation from USFDA and Orphan Drug Status from USFDA and EMA. The clinical program is supported by a grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). For more information visit

The information in this press release may contain certain forward-looking statements, including the quote of Medicenna's President and CEO and any expectations relating to the Company's clinical development program, achievement of product development milestones, a go-public transaction, and/or the timing of these. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on Medicenna's current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to Medicenna and relate to, among other things, anticipated financial performance, business prospects, strategies, regulatory developments, clinical trial results, market acceptance, ability to raise capital and future commitments. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including those identified by Medicenna, actual events may differ materially from current expectations. Medicenna disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE Medicenna Therapeutics Inc.

For further information: Company Contact: Fahar Merchant, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Medicenna Therapeutics, Inc., 604-671-6673,; Investor Relations Contact: Michael Moore or Abby Garfunkel, Investor Relations, NATIONAL Equicom, 858-886-7813 / 403-218-2887, /
Investor Contact
For more investor information, Please contact:
Elizabeth Williams, Chief Financial Officer
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