Northwest Biotherapeutics, Inc (NASDAQ:NWBO), a biotechnology company developing DCVax® personalized immune therapies for solid tumor cancers, today announced that it is expanding its Board of Directors through the appointment of Ms. Susan Bayh and Ambassador Cofer Black as independent Directors.  Neither Ms. Bayh nor Ambassador Black has worked with the Company previously.

Ms. Bayh brings to NW Bio 25 years of experience relating to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, including in immunotherapies for cancer.  She has served on the Boards of Wellpoint, Inc., a Fortune 30 health insurance company with the Blue Cross brand in fifteen states, as well as on the board of eight public biotech companies, and three other companies, including in multiple leadership positions.  Several of these biotech companies have been successfully acquired.  She also served as in-house counsel at a major pharma company for five years, handling FDA pre-approval and post-approval matters.

Through these Board and corporate roles, Ms. Bayh gained extensive experience with corporate governance and regulatory compliance, as well as a broad spectrum of business matters, including fundraising, corporate partnering, clinical trial requirements and execution, regulatory requirements relating to product approvals, orphan drugs, certification of manufacturing facilities, product marketing and commercialization, and product pricing and reimbursement.

Ms. Bayh also brings specific experience in regard to personalized immunotherapies for cancer, as she served for a number of years on the Board of Dendreon, a biotech company that was an early pioneer in developing such therapies and the first company to obtain FDA approval for such a product.  Ms. Bayh gained first-hand experience in regard to the challenges and pitfalls that can be involved in obtaining regulatory approval and reimbursement, and in commercializing such immunotherapies, as well as insights into potential improvements and solutions.  Ms. Bayh’s experience on the Dendreon Board has also prepared her well for dealing with the special challenges facing biotech companies.

Susan Bayh commented that “It is exciting to see the potential of DCVax, with encouraging clinical data to date, an excellent safety profile, a fast and efficient manufacturing process and a finished product that is frozen… key factors for commercialization potential.  I’ve seen it all, in terms of the challenges with personalized immune therapies… what works and what doesn’t.  I look forward to applying the lessons of my experience to help bring the DCVax technology to patients.”

Ambassador Black is internationally recognized in the intelligence community and brings to NW Bio extensive experience in cybersecurity, counterintelligence, and investigations and related matters.  Ambassador Black served a 28-year career in the CIA, including as Director of the Counterterrorist Center managing 1,300 professionals and an annual budget in excess of $1 billion.  In that capacity, he served as the focal point for the intelligence community, supervised the Interagency Counterterrorism Board, was responsible for CIA all-source analysis, directed all CIA counterterrorism operations abroad, including covert action, and defined global intelligence strategy for the U.S.  Ambassador Black was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal (the CIA’s highest award for achievement) as well as numerous other awards.

Subsequently, in the private sector, from 2009 to the present Ambassador Black has served as Vice President for Global Operations at Raytheon Blackbird, advising the U.S. Government on security matters and equipment.  He also serves as a Senior Advisor to the Razor’s Edge Investment Fund, focusing on cutting edge technologies and equipment for the intelligence communities.

Ambassador Black commented: “It is exciting to see the potential of the DCVax personalized immune therapies being developed by NW Bio for a wide range of cancers.  I look forward to utilizing my expertise in helping the Company protect its technology and operations.”

Linda Powers, CEO of NW Bio, stated that “We are excited to have received the necessary approvals and to have two such high caliber professionals as Ms. Bayh and Ambassador Black join our Board.  They bring extensive expertise in two different areas of major importance and value for NW Bio as we expand and strengthen our organization and we work to accelerate our progress.” (Original Source)

Shares of Northwest Biotherapeutics closed last Friday at $2.58. NWBO has a 1-year high of $12.55 and a 1-year low of $1.85. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $3.26 and its 200-day moving average is $6.49.

Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc is a development stage biotechnology company engaged in the development of immunotherapy products to treat cancers more effectively than current treatments, without toxicities of the kind associated with chemotherapies.