PDS Biotech Appoints Stephan Toutain as Chief Operating Officer

PRINCETON, N.J., May 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PDS Biotechnology Corporation (Nasdaq: PDSB), a late-stage immunotherapy company focused on transforming how the immune system targets and kills cancers and the development of infectious disease vaccines, today announced the appointment of Stephan Toutain, MS, MBA, as Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective as of May 1, 2024.

“We are thrilled to welcome Stephan to the PDS Biotech team as Chief Operating Officer. His invaluable experience spans many aspects of the life sciences industry, from drug development to commercialization, providing a wealth of knowledge to our team,” said Frank Bedu-Addo, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of PDS Biotech. “Stephan’s strategic vision, proven ability to drive operational excellence, and distinguished track record, particularly in oncology, will be instrumental as we advance our lead program into a pivotal clinical trial.”

Mr. Toutain brings more than 30 years of operational experience in the pharmaceutical industry from drug development, general management, operations, commercial development, market access and sales and marketing leadership with prior global expertise in the oncology and orphan drugs markets. Before joining PDS Biotech, he served as COO at Anavex Life Sciences from May 2018 to April 2024 and Chief Commercial Officer at Interleukin Genetics from July 2016 to August 2017. Mr. Toutain also worked with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals to build its early access program. In addition, he led Global Commercial Development for Sarepta Therapeutics and served as General Manager for Alexion Pharmaceuticals in Europe. Mr. Toutain has also held various U.S. commercial, marketing and product management positions with Celgene Corporation and Johnson & Johnson. He received a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School and a Master of Engineering in Biotechnology from the University of Nancy II in France.

“I am excited to join the PDS Biotech team during this pivotal time as the company hones its late-stage clinical strategy on the novel triple combination,” said Mr. Toutain. “I am eager to contribute my experience and insights to drive forward our mission of transforming how the immune system targets and fights cancer.”

The Company also announced today that on May 1, 2024, PDS Biotech granted a nonstatutory stock option to Mr. Toutain to purchase 200,000 shares of PDS Biotech common stock as a material inducement to Mr. Toutain’s employment with PDS Biotech and in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4) and PDS Biotech’s 2019 Inducement Plan, as amended, which was adopted on June 17, 2019 and provides for the granting of equity awards to new employees of PDS Biotech.

The stock option has an exercise price of $3.61, the closing price of PDS Biotech’s common stock on May 1, 2024. The stock option vests over a four-year period, with one-quarter of the shares vesting on the first anniversary of the grant date and the remaining shares vesting monthly over the 36-month period thereafter, subject to continued employment with the Company through the applicable vesting dates.

About PDS Biotechnology
PDS Biotechnology is a late-stage immunotherapy company focused on transforming how the immune system targets and kills cancers and the development of infectious disease vaccines. The Company plans to initiate a pivotal clinical trial in 2024 to advance its lead program in advanced head and neck squamous cell cancers (HNSCC). PDS Biotech’s lead program is a proprietary dual-acting combination of IL-12 fused antibody drug conjugate (ADC) PDS01ADC and T-cell activator Versamune® HPV in regimen with a standard-of-care immune checkpoint inhibitor. We believe that proof-of-concept long-term data have shown positive survival results and tumor shrinkage with this combination and indicate favorable tolerability.

We believe that with a novel investigational “inside-outside” mechanism, the PDS01ADC and Versamune® HPV immunotherapy has shown compelling results with potential to successfully disrupt a tumor’s inside defenses, while also generating potent, targeted killer T-cells to attack the tumor from the outside. We believe that data from more than 350 patients, as well as ongoing clinical trials across multiple tumor types and standard treatment regimens, have validated the potential for both platforms and point to potential broad utility.

Our Infectimune® based vaccines have demonstrated the potential to induce not only robust and durable neutralizing antibody responses, but also powerful T-cell responses, including long-lasting memory T-cell responses in pre-clinical studies to date. For more information, please visit www.pdsbiotech.com.