Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is dedicated to revolutionizing vaccines to prevent and treat today's cancers and challenging infectious diseases. Its SynCon® vaccines are designed to provide universal immune responses against multiple unmatched virus strains. These synthetic vaccines, in combination with Inovio's proprietary electroporation delivery, have been shown in humans to generate best-in-class immune responses with a favorable safety profile.
J. Joseph Kim, Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer, Director
JOSEPH KIM became the CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals with the completion of the company’s merger with VGX Pharmaceuticals in June 2009. Dr. Kim co-founded VGX in December 2000 as a start-up based on technology licensed from the University of Pennsylvania and was VGX’s CEO. Previously, Dr. Kim led efforts in manufacturing and process development of several FDA-approved products and developmental therapeutics at Merck & Co. These products include FDA-approved vaccines for hepatitis as well as developmental vaccines and therapeutics for HIV/AIDS. Dr. Kim has published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters, holds numerous patents and sits on several editorial boards and review panels.
Dr. Kim has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and Economics from MIT, where he was a U.S. Senate Honors Scholar. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School.
Dr. Kim has recognized with numerous honors during his career:
2002: MIT's Technology Review, one of the world's Top 100 Young Innovators
2002: Philadelphia Business Journal, one of "40 under 40" dynamic professionals
2003 and 2006: Details Magazine, selected as one of "50 Most Influential Men"
2004: World Economic Forum, selection of Dr. Kim and VGX Pharmaceuticals as one of 30 Technology Pioneers
2005: Newsweek International, profiled in annual "Who's Next" issue as one of 10 leaders, scientists, and executives at the forefront of change and impact in the world
2006: Forum of Young Global Leaders, an affiliate of the World Economic Forum, named a Young Global Leader among 175 leading executives, public figures and intellectuals under the age of 40 from 50 countries.
Peter Kies, Chief Financial Officer
PETER KIES has been CFO of Inovio since June 2002. Over the previous 16 years, Mr. Kies acquired broad expertise in the functional and strategic management of biotechnology and high technology companies across the full spectrum of corporate growth, from IPO to profitability. He was previously Chief Financial Officer at Newgen Results Corporation and held positions at Cytel Corporation and Ernst & Young, LLP.
Mr. Kies holds a B.S. in Business Administration from United States International University in San Diego, California.
Mark L. Bagarazzi, Chief Medical Officer
MARK L. BAGARAZZI joined Inovio in January, 2010, from Merck & Co., where he was director of worldwide regulatory affairs for vaccines and biologics. Dr. Bagarazzi led ongoing vaccine product and regulatory development of Merck’s ZOSTAVAX®, the leading vaccine for shingles. He was responsible for global regulatory activities related to Merck vaccine candidates for the prevention of HIV/AIDS. He also successfully led the regulatory process through to FDA approval of RotaTeq®, Merck’s vaccine against rotavirus. Prior to joining Merck in 2001, he was director of the HIV/AIDS program for St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. Dr. Bagarazzi was an assistant professor of pediatrics at Drexel College of Medicine and is a guest lecturer on vaccines and immunotherapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Previously, he was a guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins University.
He holds several patents and has co-authored dozens of scientific papers, focused on the subject of DNA vaccines, that have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals. He holds a BS in electrical engineering magna cum laude from New Jersey Institute of Technology and received his MD degree with honors from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Niranjan Y. Sardesai, Ph.D., Chief Operation Officer
NIRANJAN Y. SARDESAI was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Inovio in January 2012. He served as the Company’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development following the June 2009 merger with VGX Pharmaceuticals, at which company he held the same position. Dr. Sardesai was previously the founder and President of NVision Consulting Inc., a firm providing strategic counsel to entrepreneurial life sciences companies. He served as Director of Research and Development at Fujirebio Diagnostics, Inc., where he oversaw Research and Development and expansion of the company’s oncology portfolio. Products developed under his leadership include groundbreaking new tests for mesothelioma (MESOMARK™), bladder cancer and a multi-marker test for ovarian cancer.
Dr. Sardesai received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the recipient of the Shils-Zeidman Award in Entrepreneurship. He completed fellowships at Scripps Research Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Sardesai received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He has authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications, presented at over 75 invited lectures and presentations, and filed several patents.
Stephen Kemmerrer, Vice President, Engineering Operations
STEPHEN KEMMERRER is responsible for engineering, manufacturing, materials, and all quality and regulatory aspects of electroporation instruments used in the delivery of Inovio’s synthetic vaccines. Prior to joining Inovio in 2007, he held senior engineering and management positions at K2 Engineering, CancerVax and BioSite. In 2002, he co-founded Sorrento BioSurgical, a start-up based on human tissue mesh technology. Previously, he was an engineering manager at Pacific Device and a project engineer at Hughes Aircraft. Mr. Kemmerrer holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and an MBA from San Diego State University.
Thomas Kim, Esq., Vice President, Legal and Corporate Secretary
THOMAS KIM is an experienced corporate attorney and a registered patent attorney, and has served as the senior in-house counsel for Inovio, and its predecessor companies, since 2007. He leads the legal department as Vice-President of Legal, and he also serves as the Corporate Secretary. At Inovio, he has built an intellectual property department from the ground up, and has overseen the integration of portfolios from several M&A deals. In addition, Mr. Kim works with senior management and the Board on a regular basis on various corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, agreements, corporate financing, employment, and compliance and risk management.
Mr. Kim has counseled pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for over 14 years. He has practiced law at both large law firms and at Fortune 100 companies including Monsanto and DuPont. Prior to Inovio, Mr. Kim served as Senior Counsel to the gene discovery group at DuPont Company, where he provided legal counsel on a variety of patent issues and drafted and prosecuted patent applications related to DNA molecules and transgenic organisms.
Mr. Kim received a J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, a M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State of Illinois, and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.