Anjali Joshi is an accomplished technology executive and electrical engineer who has held important leadership roles in several high-growth companies. Joshi is an eleven year veteran at Google, Inc. where she served as Vice President for Product Management. During her tenure at Google she led teams on marquee Google products such as Search and adapted cutting edge technologies to solve major healthcare issues in underserved populations. Ms. Joshi received her B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1981. Following it, she went to the USA and obtained her master’s degree in Computer Engineering from the State University of New York and another master’s in Engineering Management from Stanford University.
When: March 25, 1999
“The Importance of Technology, Management, Markets (and Serendipity)”
J. Leighton Read, M.D.
Chairman, CEO and Founder, Aviron
Leighton Read is Chairman, CEO and founder of Aviron, a development-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on prevention of disease. In 1987, he co-founded Affymax N.V. with Dr. Alex Zaffaroni,. Prior to that, he was a partner in Interhealth Limited, an investment partnership. He has held various appointments from 1980-1987 in the Departments of Medicine at the New England Deaconess Hospital, West Roxbury VA Hospital, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Read has passionate interest in the economic evaluation of healthcare. His accomplishments includes models of diagnosis and treatment cost-effectiveness, methods of eliciting patient or physician preferences for health outcomes, validity studies comparing indices of health status, and strategies for modifying physician prescribing behavior to promote more cost-effective use of pharmacy services.
Dr. Read is also co-inventor of the Affymax technology for which he shared in the Newcomb Cleveland Prize awarded for the best paper of the year in Science and the Distinguished Inventor Award of the Intellectual Property Association. He is currently on the board of CV Therapeutics, AxyS Pharmaceuticals.
(Dr. Leighton Reed (right) was our speaker for the evening. Here he is talking with Hersh Mehta (middle), who is the Director of Analytical Chemistry at Aviron, and EPPIC President Shabbir Anik (left, facing away from camera)
His talk was titled :”The Importance of Technology, Management, Markets (and Serendipity)” . He spoke about the evolution of Aviron and of “Flu-mist”, Aviron’s flagship product. The Company’s lead product candidate, a cold adapted influenza vaccine delivered as an intranasal spray, has been tested in over 5,000 infants, children, adults and elderly persons and has been shown to provide a high protection rate against influenza with minimal adverse effects in a pivotal Phase III clinical trial in children.
Aviron is developing this live vaccine for widespread annual use in children, healthy adults and high risk adults. The Company has initiated Phase II clinical trials for a live intranasal vaccine for Parainfluenza Virus Type 3 (“PIV-3”) to protect against croup. The Company also is developing a subunit vaccine for Epstein-Barr Virus (“EBV”) to protect against mononucleosis, in collaboration with SmithKline Beecham Biologicals, S.A. (“SmithKline Beecham”), which entered Phase I clinical trials in Europe in October 1997
Aviron is also using its proprietary Rational Vaccine Design technologies to discover new live virus vaccines. Rational Vaccine Design involves the addition of antigenic information to enhance the virus’ stimulation of the immune system, the deletion or modification of virulence proteins, or the alteration of the virus’ genetic control signals to slow down its replication. The Company is applying these technologies to develop vaccine candidates for diseases caused by Cytomegalovirus (“CMV”), Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (“‘HSV-2”) and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (“RSV”).
In July 1997, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (“NIAID”) of the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) and the Company announced the results of an initial analysis of the first stage of a pivotal Phase III clinical trial of Aviron’s live cold adapted intranasal influenza vaccine involving 1,602 children. In this trial, the vaccine demonstrated a 93% protection rate against culture-confirmed influenza in those children receiving two doses of the vaccine, the primary endpoint of the study. Only 1% of the children who received two doses experienced culture-confirmed influenza, compared to 18% of those receiving placebo.
These results were statistically significant. The clinical investigators have submitted the findings of this trial for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal. The Company is conducting the second stage of this Phase III clinical trial in 1,358 children who participated in the first stage of this trial to collect immunogenicity data, as well as additional safety and efficacy data. In 1996, the Company completed a challenge efficacy study of this vaccine in 92 adults which demonstrated an 85% protection rate compared to placebo, against culture-confirmed influenza. These results were also statistically significant. Previously, Aviron conducted Phase I/II clinical trials of this vaccine in approximately 600 children and healthy adults.