VBI Vaccines Inc. (Nasdaq: VBIV) (TSX: VBV) (“VBI”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Francisco Diaz-Mitoma, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer. In his new position, Dr. Diaz-Mitoma will oversee clinical development initiatives at VBI.
Dr. Diaz-Mitoma is a renowned medical scientist and infectious disease researcher who has been involved in the clinical development of nine licensed vaccines, and has actively participated in more than 50 antiviral and vaccine clinical trials. He has also authored more than 130 scientific papers and textbook chapters.“We’re excited to welcome Dr. Diaz-Mitoma back to VBI as a key addition to our management team,” said Jeff Baxter, VBI’s President and CEO. “Francisco brings significant immunology, vaccine development, and hepatitis B experience. His appointment, and other new recent hires, greatly increases VBI’s clinical development capability as we progress late stage clinical development plans for Sci-B-Vac, our hepatitis B vaccine, in Europe and North America, as well as other vaccine candidates in our pipeline.”
Most recently, Dr. Diaz-Mitoma served as a professor of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (“NOSM”). While in this position, Dr. Diaz-Mitoma was Vice President of Research at Health Sciences North and founder of the Advanced Medical Research Institute of Canada (“AMRIC”) and served as its Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientist. AMRIC is focused on translational medical and vaccine development research.
Prior to joining the faculty at the NOSM, Dr. Diaz-Mitoma was a professor of Pediatrics, Pathology, Laboratory Medicine, and Microbiology at the University of Ottawa. While in this position, he founded the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Centre at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (“CHEO”), a pediatric health and research center.
In 2001, Dr. Diaz-Mitoma co-founded Variation Biotechnologies (now VBI) and served as its Chief Executive Officer until September 2009. He has continued to stay involved at VBI as an independent medical consultant. Dr. Diaz-Mitoma received his medical degree from the University of Guadalajara, completed fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at the University of Manitoba, and earned a Ph.D. in Virology from the University of Alberta.