Genprex

A clinical-stage gene therapy biotechnology company developing a new approach to treating cancer, called immunogene therapy. We are currently conducting a clinical trial at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

 Why hasn’t anyone found a cure for cancer?

Cancers are complex diseases that often involve the dysregulation of multiple genes and cellular pathways, leading to the cell’s inability to stop growing. Re-establishing or blocking these pathways can be done through many therapeutic approaches, including gene therapy.

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 How can we improve outcomes for lung cancer?

Survival for cancer has not improved significantly in the past 25 years despite radical advances in drug development and novel therapeutic standards. As we better understand cancer biology, we can identify patients who will respond well to certain drugs, and we can develop new, specifically targeted cancer therapies. This is the premise of personalized medicine: the notion that certain cancer molecular profiles can be the specific targets for drugs and biologics.

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 How is Oncoprex different from other therapies?

There are many novel cancer therapies being developed and currently on the market. Guidelines and standards of care have changed rapidly in the era of personalized medicine, targeted therapies, and now immunotherapy. Oncoprex, our lead candidate immunogene therapy, has a multimodal mechanism that not only harnesses the body’s immune system to fight cancer, but in some cases, can sensitize cancer cells to other effective therapies. Oncoprex is currently an investigational drug being tested in clinical trials and is given intravenously every 21 days.

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 Does Oncoprex replace traditional therapies?

Oncoprex works in combination with other therapies to not only harness the body’s immune system to fight cancer, but in some cases, can sensitize cancer cells to other effective therapies. Thus Oncoprex does not replace standards of care but is designed to provide additional, and potentially synergistic, therapeutic options for patients who have difficult to treat or resistant cancers.

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 Where can I learn more about your clinical trials?

Our current trials are listed on clinicaltrials.org. Here are other links you can visit to find more information and facts about cancer.

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Chief Executive Officer & Executive Chairman
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J. Rodney Varner, JD

Chief Executive Officer & Executive Chairman

J. Rodney Varner, JD, is a co-founder of Genprex and has served as our President, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary, and as Chairman of our board of directors since August 2012. Mr. Varner served as a partner of the law firm Wilson & Varner, LLP, since 1991. Mr. Varner has more than thirty-five years of legal experience with large and small law firms and as outside general counsel of a Nasdaq-listed company. Mr. Varner has represented for-profit and non-profit companies at the board of directors or senior management levels in a wide variety of contractual, business, tax, and securities matters, including technology transfers, licensing, collaboration and research agreements, clinical trial contracts, pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturing and process development contracts, state and federal grants, including NIH and SBA grants, corporate governance and fiduciary issues, and real estate matters. Mr. Varner served as counsel in company formation, mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, other business transactions, protection of trade secrets and other intellectual property, real estate, and business litigation. Mr. Varner is a member of the State Bar of Texas and has been admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Tax Court. He has been a registered securities representative and founder of a company that is a licensed securities broker-dealer. Mr. Varner holds Series 7, 24, 63, and 79 securities designations. Mr. Varner received his BBA, with high honors, from Texas A&M University and his J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law.

President & Chief Operating Officer
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Julien L. Pham, MD, MPH

President & Chief Operating Officer

Julien L. Pham, MD, MPH has served as our Chief Operating Officer since October 2016. In March 2013, Dr. Pham co-founded RubiconMD, a healthcare IT company that connects primary care providers to specialists for additional guidance and opinions on medical cases, and served as its Chief Medical Officer from March 2013 to September 2016. Prior to co-founding RubiconMD, Dr. Pham served on the faculty at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Dr. Pham joined the combined Harvard Nephrology Fellowship program at Massachusetts General Hospital / Brigham and Women’s Hospital in July 2008 and became an Associate Physician in the BWH Division of Nephrology in August 2011. Dr. Pham has over fifteen years of leadership experience in clinical settings and in emerging medical technology companies. During this time, he has held various research and teaching positions, including Chief Residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, and has received multiple awards, including excellence in teaching awards from AOA and Harvard Medical School. He is a board-certified internal medicine doctor and nephrologist. Dr. Pham has received NIH research funding for translational research while at Harvard Medical School, and he has published in basic science, translational, and health policy fields. He holds a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Washington, his MD from the University of Washington School of Medicine, and his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Chief Financial Officer
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Ryan M. Confer, MS

Chief Financial Officer

Ryan M. Confer, MS, has served as our Chief Financial Officer since September 2016. From December 2013 through September 2016, he served as our Chief Operating and Financial Officer. Mr. Confer has served us in a variety of strategic, operations, and finance capacities since our inception in 2009. Mr. Confer has over ten years of executive experience in planning, launching, developing, and growing emerging technology companies and has served in the chief operating and chief financial roles for non-profit and for-profit entities since 2008. Mr. Confer has also served as an international business development consultant for the University of Texas at Austin’s IC2 Institute, where he focused on evaluating the commercialization potential of nascent technologies in domestic and international markets applicable to technology incubator programs associated with the University. Mr. Confer holds a BS in finance and legal studies from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and an MS in technology commercialization from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

VP of Clinical Operations
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Jan Stevens, RN

VP of Clinical Operations

Jan Stevens has served as our VP of Clinical Operations since June 2018. Ms. Stevens has over twenty years of clinical operations experience in early to late stage oncology biotech companies. Ms. Stevens has been a member of senior management teams at Ziopharm Oncology and Berg, developing successful clinical strategies to move both small molecules and biologics forward from first in man to global pivotal trials.

Ms. Stevens has expertise in hands on development and management of all Phases of clinical trials from the ground up. Over the past twenty years, Ms. Stevens has led all aspects of clinical operations including clinical trial design and execution; clinical components of regulatory submissions from IND to BLA; and developing, managing, and mentoring high-level clinical operations teams.

Prior to her work in clinical research, Ms. Stevens was a registered nurse in the Neuro Unit at Mass General Hospital. Ms. Stevens obtained a degree in Ethics from Harvard University.

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David E. Friedman, JD

Board Member

David E. Friedman has served as a member of our board of directors since August 2012. Since August 2010, Mr. Friedman has served as a partner of TCG Group Holdings, an Austin, Texas-based SEC-registered investment advisor to separately-managed institutional and private client accounts. In addition, since January 2012, Mr. Friedman has served as a managing partner of ACM Investment Management, which manages hedge fund assets acquired from KeyCorp, the bank holding company parent of KeyBank. From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Friedman served as the Chief Operating Officer of Austin Capital Management, where he led the company’s non-investment functions, including all legal, finance, investor relations, technology, and operations teams. Before joining Austin Capital, Mr. Friedman was a Director on the Global Prime Brokerage desk of Citigroup in New York and an associate at the law firm of Proskauer Rose in its New York headquarters. Mr. Friedman received his BS in management from Tulane University and his JD from Duke University School of Law. He is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York and holds FINRA Series 4, 7, 24, and 63 securities registrations. Mr. Friedman’s unique and valuable mix of high-level and relevant finance, legal, and operations experience makes him a well-rounded business leader and a valuable member of our board of directors.

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Robert W. Pearson, MBA

Board Member

Robert W. Pearson has served as a member of our board of directors since July 2012. In June 2009, Mr. Pearson joined W2O Group, a global network of complementary marketing, communications, and research and development firms, and has held a number of senior positions at W2O Group, including Chief Technology Officer, President and since February 2017, Vice Chair and Chief Innovation Officer. From March 2012 to February 2017, Mr. Pearson served as President of W2O, and from June 2009 to March 2012 as its Chief Technology & Media Officer. From 2007 to 2009, Mr. Pearson served as Dell Inc.’s Vice President, Communities and Conversations and before that as its Vice President, Corporate Group Communications. From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Pearson served as Head of Global Corporate Communications and as Head of Global Pharma Communications at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, where he also served on the Pharma Executive Committee. Before joining Novartis, Mr. Pearson served as President, The Americas and Chair, Healthcare Practice for GCI Group, a global public relations consultancy, and was responsible for creating and building the firm’s global healthcare practice. Mr. Pearson previously served as Vice President of Media and Public Affairs at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, or RPR (now Sanofi-Aventis) and worked at RPR and Ciba-Geigy in communications and pharmaceutical field sales. Mr. Pearson holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Pearson’s senior management experience at international pharmaceutical companies and public relations/ investor relations firms and with start-up businesses, his knowledge and personal contacts in the pharmaceutical industry and his business management acumen make him a valuable member of our board of directors.

Strategic Advisor to the Board of Directors
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James E. Rothman, PhD

Strategic Advisor to the Board of Directors

Dr. Rothman is an internationally renowned scientist. He was awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine and has received numerous other honors including the Lasker Basic Research Award. Dr. Rothman is also a biopharmaceutical company founder, life science industry executive, and prestigious academic leader. Dr. Rothman served as chief scientist and executive committee member at GE Healthcare, a $15B unit of General Electric Corporation. Prior to the acquisition of Amersham Biosciences PLC by GE Healthcare, Dr. Rothman served as chief scientist at Amersham. His distinguished academic career includes endowed chairs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where he served as vice-chair of the Sloan-Kettering Institute; Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons; and Yale University, where he is currently professor and chair of cell biology and executive director for high throughput cell biology. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Genprex team is supported by a world-class Scientific & Medical Advisory Board ("SAB"), the members of which include leading scientists experienced in epidermal growth factor receptor mutations, molecular and cellular oncology, molecularly targeted therapies, and cancer research, including non-small cell lung cancer.


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Jack A. Roth, MD, FACS

SAB Chairman

Jack A. Roth, MD, FACS, is the Chairman of our SMA Board. Dr. Roth is an internationally renowned cancer expert and oncology pioneer. He is Professor and Distinguished Chair of Thoracic Surgery, Professor of Molecular & Cellular Oncology, Director of the Keck Center for Innovative Cancer Therapies, and Chief of Section of Thoracic Molecular Oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Roth is a prolific inventor and the author of more than 600 peer reviewed publications. He is a pioneer in the clinical use of DNA as a therapeutic agent. He is the first clinical investigator approved by the FDA and NIH-RAC to conduct direct patient gene therapy clinical trials. Dr. Roth has over 20 years of experience in developing new cancer therapeutics for commercial application and is an inventor of our key intellectual property.

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Pasi Antero Jänne, MD, PhD

SAB Board Member

Pasi Antero Jänne, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a clinician at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology. Dr. Jänne is a leading researcher in medical oncology and lung cancer and is Co-Leader of the Lung Cancer Program at Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center. His research includes the study of epidermal growth factor receptor mutations in non-small cell lung cancer and their impact on the efficacy of EGFR-targeted therapeutic agents, as well as mechanisms of sensitivity and resistance targeted cancer therapies.

SAB Board Member
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Tony S.K. Mok, MD, FRCP

SAB Board Member

Tony S.K. Mok, BMSc, MD, FRCPC, FHKCP, FHKAM (Medicine), is a professor in the Department of Clinical Oncology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong. Dr. Mok formerly served as President of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC), Vice-Secretary General of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO), and Co-Founder of the Lung Cancer Research Group, a multicenter organization serving the Asian-Pacific region.

SAB Board Member
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George Simon, MD, FACS

SAB Board Member

George Simon, MD, is a Professor of Medicine and Section Chief, Translational Research, Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where his principal focus includes translational research in lung cancer to predict the most effective therapeutic options based upon a tumor’s molecular profile.