Dallas-based Gradalis, Inc. is making headlines today, having just announced the appointment of Mr. Joseph M. Limber as President and CEO of the company. Gradalis, which primarily focuses on the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of cancer drugs, vaccines, tools, and diagnostics, will look to wield Mr. Limber’s 30 years of experience in the management of top-flight life sciences companies to help further develop the company in its respective market sectors.
For the past ten years, Mr. Limber has served as CEO and director for Prometheus Laboratories. Prometheus, which also focuses on developing diagnostics and pharmaceutical products in the fields of gastroenterology and oncology therapy, benefitted from Limber’s successful leadership in developing several successful diagnostics products, as well as acquiring and licensing several successful pharmaceutical products. Mr. Limber’s expertise as a business manager also led Prometheus to realize an “approximately 30 percent compounded annual growth rate and 30 percent operating margins, with revenue growth from approximately $69 million in 2003 to well over one half billion dollars, culminating in the successful acquisition of Prometheus by Nestle Health Science in July of 2011,” according to the company’s press release.
Prior to his time at Prometheus, Mr. Limber served as president and CEO of Aclara BioSciences, Inc. and was involved in the the company’s key business models, and also oversaw the commercial launch of the company’s eTag technologies for the life sciences industry — yet another example of Limber’s knowledge and know-how when it comes to bringing effective, real-life biotech solutions to market. Mr. Limber also managed to raise approximately $250 million through strategic collaborations, private placements and the company’s IPO. Before his tenure at Aclara, Limber served as president and CEO at Praecis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and as a senior business development, sales and marketing professional Sequus Pharmaceuticals, Syntex Corporation and Ciba-Geigy Corporation, thus rounding out his established career int he life sciences.
It is precisely this combination of life sciences and business management skills that make Mr. Limber a significant addition to Gradalis, and yet another example of how Dallas — and Texas a whole — continues to attract major biotech influencers, researchers, and business veterans. David Shanahan, co-founder and chairman of Gradalis, commented that:
“Joe’s breadth of knowledge and experience with pharmaceutical and diagnostic development and commercialization will be integral to maximizing the potential of Gradalis’ broad therapeutic platforms. The company has made tremendous progress to date, and we feel confident that Joe will amplify the value we have created and take Gradalis to our next level of success with the late-stage clinical development and commercialization of FANG, the company’s personalized cancer immunotherapy platform, and other technologies in the pipeline.”
For his part, Mr. Limber is already showing that he has hands-on knowledge of Gradalis’ past, present, and future, acknowledging that:
“Gradalis is at a very transformational time in the development of its pipeline,” and adding, “I look forward to working with the team to expand the company’s pipeline, drive the clinical development of FANG and prepare for commercialization so we can deliver best-in-class therapeutics to the patients who need them,” said Limber. “FANG is showing tremendous promise in Phase II clinical development in multiple cancer indications, and I am hopeful about taking it to the finish line.”
FANG, which BioNews Texas science columnist Ayesha Khan covered back in May, is Gradalis’ impressive, new Personalized Tumor Vaccine that Stimulates Immune Response and More than Doubles Time to Recurrence in Patients with Advanced Stage Ovarian Cancer, which has shown tremendous potential for being a significant game changer in cancer therapy and treatment. With FANG’s promising clinical results and the addition of Mr. Limber to their executive staff, Gradalis appears well-positioned to make a tremendous impact in the near future for Texas biotech sector and for cancer research and treatment worldwide.
In an article yesterday on how Houston received some Mixed Q2 Venture Capital Funding News, But Biotech is still Leading The Way, we referenced a Houston Chronicle piece that paraphrased Jacqueline Northcut, CEO of BioHouston Inc. who commented how her city, “doesn’t have the critical mass of companies to keep leadership in the region once their own company reaches the point of acquisition — if they make it that far,” and that the city’s biotech sector still lacks the ability to efficiently realize the “commercialization of products or ideas.” Dallas is not Houston, but an executive such as Joseph M. Limber has the type of leadership and experience in seeing life sciences companies through to the profit end of their lifecycle that could attract more industry leaders like himself to relocate to Dallas, Houston, and other rising biotech hubs throughout the state of Texas.
Watch a local Dallas newscast on Gradalis’ FANG Vaccine: