TUSTIN, CA--(Marketwired - May 23, 2016) - Avid Bioservices, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PPHM) (NASDAQ: PPHMP), today announced the appointment of Pete Gagnon as the company's vice president of process sciences. As one of the biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry's leading experts and innovators in the purification of biologics, including recombinant proteins, viruses and DNA plasmids, he brings more than 30 years of experience to his new role with Avid. In his new position, Mr. Gagnon's responsibilities will include developing and optimizing innovative technologies for cell culture, purification and analysis, designed to support Avid's expanding manufacturing operations.
Prior to joining Avid, Mr. Gagnon spent 25 years as the founder and president of Validated Biosystems, an international consultancy specializing in hands-on development of biological manufacturing processes. During his time with Validated Biosystems, he worked collaboratively with biotechnology companies around the world to develop and optimize state-of-the-art manufacturing systems built on the latest technologies and capabilities. His work has focused on continuously innovating processes for purifying biologics and has led to the publication of his highly-regarded book, "Purification Tools for Monoclonal Antibodies." Mr. Gagnon is additionally credited with more than 100 scientific journal articles and presentations at major scientific conferences, as well as more than a dozen patents, with an additional 30 pending patent applications, all describing major advances in purification of biologics. Based on his thought leadership in the industry, he also serves as a member of the editorial boards for BioProcess International and Genetic Engineering News and has appeared as a frequent guest editor and reviewer for several top industry journals. Mr. Gagnon just completed a five-year residence in Asia, during which he worked with the Singaporean Agency for Science and Technology to help establish bioprocessing as a major center of excellence within Singapore.
"We are excited to add Pete to the talented team of manufacturing professionals who are driving the impressive and consistent revenue growth that we are experiencing at Avid. He brings unique expertise in high-value manufacturing disciplines that fit nicely with our recently opened state-of-the-art commercial biomanufacturing suite," said Steven W. King, president and chief executive officer of Peregrine Pharmaceuticals and Avid Bioservices. "Specifically, Pete's position as one of the industry's thought leaders in the area of cell line process sciences, which is critical for ongoing innovations in the manufacture of biosimilar products, provide opportunities for the continued growth of our biosimilars manufacturing business. This is one particular area on which we'll be focused with the increased manufacturing capacity made possible by our new facility and we look forward to the contributions that Pete will make."
Mr. Gagnon, who has served as a consultant to Avid since 2004, commented, "I am grateful for the opportunity to join Avid Bioservices on a full time basis. This is an exciting time, marked by revenue growth, facility expansion and an impressive demand for the company's services. Avid is uniquely positioned in the biopharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing sector based on its combination of state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, equipment and capabilities. That combination of infrastructure and environment gives Avid an outstanding foundation to drive innovation and provide best-in-class services to our current and future clients."
Peregrine recently announced the formal commissioning of its new state-of-the-art commercial biomanufacturing suite in Tustin, California and cGMP production is currently underway. The new 40,000 square foot biomanufacturing facility, which is being operated by Avid Bioservices, is outfitted with cutting-edge, single-use equipment to accommodate a fully disposable biomanufacturing process for late Phase III clinical and commercial production of biologics. A range of innovative features are incorporated into the new suite including monolithic modular clean room walls, dedicated support utilities for each key processing area, and the industry's most advanced single-use production systems. Uni-directional process flows separating personnel and materials provide assurance that the design meets the most stringent regulatory requirements for commercial biologics API manufacturing.
About Avid Bioservices
Avid Bioservices provides a comprehensive range of process development, high quality cGMP clinical and commercial manufacturing services for the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries. With over 15 years of experience producing monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins in batch, fed-batch and perfusion modes, Avid's services include cGMP clinical and commercial product manufacturing, purification, bulk packaging, stability testing and regulatory strategy, submission and support. The company also provides a variety of process development activities, including cell line development and optimization, cell culture and feed optimization, analytical methods development and product characterization. For more information about Avid, please visit www.avidbio.com.
About Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to stimulate the body's immune system to fight cancer. The company is focused on evaluating its lead immunotherapy candidate, bavituximab, in combination with a range of novel immuno-oncology (I-O) agents for the treatment of various cancers. One specific component of this I-O combination strategy includes a planned clinical trial of bavituximab in combination with durvalumab, AstraZeneca's investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, under a clinical collaboration.
In addition to its drug development programs, Peregrine also has in-house cGMP manufacturing capabilities through its wholly-owned subsidiary Avid Bioservices, Inc. (www.avidbio.com), which provides development and biomanufacturing services for both Peregrine and third-party customers. For more information, please visit www.peregrineinc.com.