The Advaxis Values

Advaxis has assembled a top-notch management team with extensive expertise and a successful track record in drug development and commercialization of cancer therapies.


Advaxis has assembled a world class management team with extensive expertise and a successful track record in drug development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies.

Anthony A. Lombardo


Mr. Lombardo, Chief Executive Officer, brings nearly 30 years of leadership experience in the life sciences industry with a proven track record of helping global companies achieve significant growth.
Prior to joining Advaxis, Lombardo was a Partner at The Channel Group, where he provided strategic advisory services to biotechnology, pharma and med-tech companies. Previously, he was President and CEO of E-Z-EM Inc., where his leadership transformed the company in eight years to a value of approximately $450 million, up from a market value of approximately $10 million at the time that he joined E-Z-EM. He led the acquisition of E-Z-EM to Bracco Diagnostics for more than $241 million, where he then oversaw business operations for six years as the Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining E-Z-EM, Lombardo served as the President of ALI Imaging Systems, Inc., which was sold to McKesson for $340 million. He has also held leadership roles at General Electric Medical Systems, Philips Medical Systems, Loral/Lockheed Martin Corp. and Sony Corporation.
Lombardo has been honored by the American College of Radiology and the Society of Abdominal Radiology for his years of service to the clinical community.  He serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board of Morristown Medical Center, a part of Atlantic Health System Hospitals. He received an M.S. in Physiology from Duquesne University and a B.S. in Biology from St. Francis College.

Robert G. Petit, Ph.D.


Dr. Robert Petit has 23 years of experience as an immunologist in all medical and scientific aspects of pharmaceutical development. He has led programs in discovery, translational development and intellectual property development and has designed and conducted U.S. and international clinical evaluation programs from Phase 1 to 4. Dr. Petit joined Advaxis from Bristol-Myers Squibb where he was the U.S. Medical Strategy Lead for the ipilimumab program, Director of Medical Strategy for New Oncology Products, and Director of Global Clinical Research. Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, Robert served as Vice President of Clinical Development at MGI Pharma and also at Aesgen Inc. His scientific focus has been to develop immunologic based therapies with a particular emphasis on immunologic oncology treatment. Robert has had significant FDA experience and has contributed to five NDA/BLA filings. Dr. Petit has a doctorate from the Ohio State University College of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science from Indiana State University.

Sara Bonstein, MBA


Ms. Bonstein joined Advaxis in March 2014 as the Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President, and in 2016 was named CFO of the year by NJ BIZ. Ms. Bonstein has a decade of financial leadership experience in the life sciences industry with Eli Lilly & Company, ImClone Systems and Johnson & Johnson. While at Eli Lilly & Company, Ms. Bonstein was a Six Sigma Champion and Black Belt, leading multiple projects relating to clinical research, project management, finance, manufacturing and commercial sales. Prior to her Six Sigma role, Ms. Bonstein held positions of increasing responsibility at ImClone (which was acquired by Eli Lilly in 2008) including Director of Finance where she led all budget and forecast activities for preclinical, clinical and manufacturing research and development, spanning over 10 monoclonal antibody cancer therapeutics, including ERBITUX® (cetuximab), a cancer treatment with over $1.5 billion in annual sales.
Prior to joining ImClone, Ms. Bonstein was a financial analyst at Johnson & Johnson in both the Ortho McNeil Pharmaceuticals and Ortho Biotech Divisions of the company where she managed gross-to-net analysis and calculation for approximately $1.1 billion of pharmaceutical product sales. Ms. Bonstein is a 2004 graduate of Johnson & Johnson’s Financial Leadership Development Program. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from The College of New Jersey and a Master of Business Administration from Rider University.

Christopher Duke


Mr. Duke joined Advaxis in October 2016 as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He brings more than 20 years of life sciences experience to the Advaxis team, and is responsible for leading operations with a focus on overseeing clinical development programs and managing early commercial planning activities. Prior to joining Advaxis, Mr. Duke was Vice President, Global Commercial Operations at Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. where he played a lead role in the build out of the international business to support the successful launch of Galafold™ (migalastat), which was granted full approval by the European Commission in 2016. Mr. Duke was one of the first employees at Amicus and held several leadership roles in program/alliance management, medical affairs and commercial planning for 10 years.
Mr. Duke also served as Executive Director, International Commercial Operations for NPS Pharma where he led several strategic business planning initiatives and helped to establish NPS International to support the ex-US commercialization of Revestive® (teduglutide) and Natpar® (rhPTH[1-84]). He received his MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, his MPH from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University.

Robert W. Ashworth, Ph.D.


Dr. Robert Ashworth has over 30 years of pharmaceutical industry experience spanning chemistry research and regulatory affairs. During the course of his career, he has made significant contributions to the FDA approvals of 12 new drugs. His drug development and regulatory experience includes small molecules, therapeutic proteins and antibodies. He joined Advaxis from NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he served as Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs and spearheaded the global approval of drugs for rare diseases. Prior to that, he had similar roles at Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization, Inc. and Biovail Corporation. Earlier in his career, he held positions of increasing responsibility at Forest Laboratories Inc., BASF Pharma (Knoll) and Ciba-Geigy Corporation.
Dr. Ashworth holds a doctorate in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from St. John’s University.

Thomas W. Hare


Mr. Hare brings to Advaxis more than 28 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical and CRO industries overseeing the management of global commercial and clinical operations, data management, outsourcing and medical writing groups. As Vice President, Clinical Operations, Mr. Hare oversaw clinical operations for the company’s  Technology™ clinical programs.
Before joining Advaxis in May 2015, Mr. Hare served as Vice President, Drug Development Operations for Incyte Corporation. He joined Incyte in January 2003 and was responsible for the strategic growth and development of a team that planned, implemented and managed Phase 1 through Phase 3 multinational clinical trials in cancer immunotherapy and cancer inflammation.
Prior to Incyte, Mr. Hare was Director of Operations at PRA International (now PRA Health Sciences), where he was responsible for forecasting of project revenue, costs and resources, performing financial analysis to insure contract compliance, developing metrics to measure quality, and managing a team responsible for the on-time and in-budget completion of Phase 1 through Phase 3 clinical trials. Previous to PRA International, Mr. Hare served as Vice President, Clinical Operations Division for Premier Research and as Clinical Manager/Senior Clinical Scientist for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Mr. Hare received a Master of Science in exercising physiology and biomechanics from the University of Delaware.

Mayo Pujols


Mr. Pujols served as Executive Director, Technical Operations for Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD), the UK subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. As Executive Director, Technical Operations, Mr. Pujols led a team responsible for technical support and global supply of reliable, compliant and cost competitive biologics, vaccines and pharmaceuticals. Highlighting his success at MSD, Mr. Pujols was instrumental in spearheading partnerships with several key stakeholders and executing strategies that ensured the realization of opportunities, business continuity, innovation and financial results. Mr. Pujols also spent nine years with Merck & Co. at the beginning of his professional career.
Prior to MSD, Mr. Pujols spent seven years at MedImmune where he held positions of increasing responsibility, most recently serving as Director Clinical Manufacturing Operations, Research & Development. In this position, Mr. Pujols managed a team of development scientists and engineers responsible for scale-up, tech transfer and manufacture of pipeline biopharmaceuticals for global clinical trials. Previous to MedImmune, Mr. Pujols served as Manager, Global Technical Operations for Schering-Plough prior to its merger with Merck.
Mr. Pujols holds a Bachelor of Engineering in chemical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Master of Science in chemical engineering from Columbia University.

Ranya Dajani


Ms. Dajani joined Advaxis in July 2016 where she is currently Vice President, Business Development. In this role, Ms. Dajani is leading Advaxis’ business development efforts, as well as corporate strategy and investor relations.
Prior to joining Advaxis, Ms. Dajani spent nearly 20 years in corporate roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMS). Her most recent role was as executive director for investor relations, where she led communications to the investor community around company strategy, corporate transactions, product performance, and pipeline updates. She spent several years in business development, where she was responsible for executing dozens of strategic partners including securing rights to key immuno-oncology products such as Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab). Ms. Dajani began her career at BMS in various finance roles, including valuation analyses of in-licensing, joint ventures, and mergers and acquisitions.
Ms. Dajani attended Boston University, where she earned a master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance and a master of arts in economics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan.


David Sidransky, MD


Dr. Sidransky is a renowned oncologist and research scientist named and profiled by TIME magazine in 2001 as one of the top physicians and scientists in America, recognized for his work with early detection of cancer. Since 1994, Dr. Sidransky has been the Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Research Division and Professor of Oncology, Otolaryngology, Genetics and Pathology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Champions Oncology since October 2007 and was, until the merger with Eli Lilly, a Director and Vice-Chairman of ImClone Systems, Inc. He is the Chairman of Tamir Biotechnology and serves on the Board of Directors of Rosetta Genomics, Immune Pharmaceuticals and Celsus. He is serving and has served on scientific advisory boards of MedImmune, Roche, Amgen and Veridex, LLC (a Johnson & Johnson diagnostic company), among others. Dr. Sidransky served as Director (2005-2008) of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

James Patton, MD, MBA


Dr. Patton currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and has served as a member of the Board of Directors since February 2002. Furthermore, Dr. Patton was the Chairman of the Board of Directors from November 2004 until December 2005 and was the Chief Executive Officer from February 2002 to November 2002. Since February 1999, Dr. Patton has been the Vice President of Millennium Oncology Management, Inc., which provides management services for radiation oncology care to four sites. Dr. Patton was a trustee of Dundee Wealth U.S., a mutual fund family, from October 2006 through September 2014. He is a founder and has been chairman of VAL Health, LLC, a health care consultancy, from 2011 to the present. In addition, he was President of Comprehensive Oncology Care, LLC since 1999, a company that owned and operated a cancer treatment facility in Exton, Pennsylvania until its sale in 2008. From February 1999 to September 2003, Dr. Patton also served as a consultant to LibertyView Equity Partners SBIC, LP, a venture capital fund based in Jersey City, New Jersey. From July 2000 to December 2002, Dr. Patton served as a director of Pinpoint Data Corp. From February 2000 to November 2000, Dr. Patton served as a director of Healthware Solutions. From June 2000 to June 2003, Dr. Patton served as a director of LifeStar Response. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan, his Medical Doctorate from Medical College of Pennsylvania, and his Master of Business Administration from Penn’s Wharton School. Dr. Patton was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar. He has published papers regarding scientific research in human genetics, diagnostic test performance and medical economic analysis. Dr. Patton’s experience as a trustee and consultant to funds that invest in life science companies provides him with the perspective from which the company benefits. Additionally, Dr. Patton’s medical experience and service as a principal and director of other life science companies make Dr. Patton particularly qualified to serve as director and non-executive chairman.

The Honorable Tom Ridge


Gov. Tom Ridge currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Ridge Global, offering clients comprehensive risk evaluation to decrease security risks, with a specific emphasis on helping organizations become cyber resilient. He brings to Advaxis extensive experience in both the private and public sector, as well as a strong background in strategic business development and executive guidance. Gov. Ridge served as the first Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and was twice elected Governor of Pennsylvania.
Gov. Ridge holds a degree from Harvard College and a law degree from Penn State University – Dickinson Law, and has been awarded honorary degrees and awards from many national and international academic institutions. He is a past recipient of the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s “Outstanding Governor of the Year Award” in recognition of his leadership in making Pennsylvania a biotech destination for employers.

Samir N. Khleif

M.D. Director

Dr. Khleif currently serves as the Director of the State of Georgia Cancer Center, Georgia Regents University Cancer Center and the Cancer Service Line. Dr. Khleif was formerly Chief of the Cancer Vaccine Section at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and also served as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) leading the Critical Path Initiative for oncology. Dr. Khleif is a Georgia Research Alliance Distinguished Cancer Scientist and Clinician and holds a professorship in Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Graduate Studies at Georgia Regents University. Dr. Khleif’s research program at Georgia Regents University Cancer Center focuses on understanding the mechanisms of cancer-induced immune suppression, and utilizing this knowledge for the development of novel immune therapeutics and vaccines against cancer. His research group designed and performed some of the first cancer vaccine clinical trials targeting specific genetic changes in cancer cells. He led many national efforts and committees on the development of biomarkers and integration of biomarkers in clinical trials, including the AACR-NCI-FDA Cancer Biomarker Collaborative and the ASCO Alternative Clinical Trial Design. Dr. Khleif is the author of many book chapters and scientific articles on tumor immunology and biomarkers process development, and he is the editor for two textbooks on cancer therapeutics, tumor immunology and cancer vaccines. Dr. Khleif was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation, received the National Cancer Institute’s Director Golden Star Award, the National Institutes of Health Award for Merit, the Commendation Medal of the U.S. Public Health Service and he was recently appointed to the Institute of Medicine National Cancer Policy Forum.

Richard Berman, MBA


Mr. Berman has served as a member of the Board of Directors since September 1, 2005. Richard Berman’s business career spans over 35 years of venture capital, senior management and merger and acquisitions experience. In the past five years, Mr. Berman has served as a director and/or officer of over a dozen public and private companies. From 2006 to 2011, he was Chairman of National Investment Managers, a company with $12 billion in pension administration assets. In 2012, he became vice chairman of Energy Smart Resources, Inc. From 1998 to 2012, Mr. Berman served as a Director of Easy Link Int’l. Mr. Berman is currently a director of three public companies: Advaxis, Inc., Neostem, Inc. (since 2005) and Lustros, Inc. (since 2012). From 1998 to 2000, he was employed by Internet Commerce Corporation (now Easylink Services) as Chairman and CEO. Previously, Mr. Berman worked at Goldman Sachs; was Senior Vice President of Bankers Trust Company, where he started the M&A and Leveraged Buyout Departments; created the largest battery company in the world in the 1980s by merging Prestolite, General Battery and Exide to form Exide Technologies (XIDE); helped to create what is now Soho (NYC) by developing five buildings; and advised on over $4 billion of M&A transactions (completed over 300 deals). He is a past Director of the Stern School of Business of NYU where he obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration. He also has U.S. and foreign law degrees from Boston College and The Hague Academy of International Law, respectively. Mr. Berman’s extensive knowledge of the industry, his role in the governance of publicly held companies and his directorships in other life science companies qualify him to serve as director.

Thomas McKearn, MD, PhD


Dr. McKearn has served as a member of the Board of Directors since July 2002. He brings more than 30 years of experience in the translation of biotechnology science into oncology products. As one of the founders of Cytogen Corporation, an Executive Director of Strategic Science and Medicine at Bristol-Myers Squibb, then for 10 years, from 2002 to 2012, at Agennix, Inc. (formerly GPC-Biotech) as VP of Medical Affairs and later as the VP of Strategic Clinical Affairs, and now as the President, Research & Development at Onconova, he has worked to bring the most innovative laboratory findings into the clinic and through the FDA regulatory process for the benefit of cancer patients who need better ways to cope with their afflictions. Prior to entering the biotechnology industry in 1981, Dr. McKearn received his medical, graduate and post-graduate training at the University of Chicago and served on the faculty of the Medical School at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. McKearn’s experience in managing life science companies, his knowledge of medicine and his commercialization of biotech products qualify him to serve as director.

Roni A. Appel, MBA


Mr. Appel has served as a member of the Board of Directors since November 2004. He was Advaxis’ President and Chief Executive Officer from January 2006 and Secretary and Chief Financial Officer from November 2004, until he resigned as Chief Financial Officer on September 7, 2006 and as President, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary on December 15, 2006. From December 15, 2006 to December 2007, Mr. Appel served as a consultant to Advaxis. Mr. Appel currently is a self-employed consultant. Previously, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Anima Cell Metrology Ltd., from 2008 through January 31, 2013. From 1999 to 2004, he was a partner and Managing Director of LV Equity Partners (formerly LibertyView Equity Partners). From 1998 until 1999, he was a Director of Business Development at Americana Financial Services, Inc. From 1994 to 1998, he was an attorney and completed his Master of Business Administration at Columbia University. Mr. Appel’s longstanding service with Advaxis and his entrepreneurial investment career in early stage biotech businesses qualify him to serve as director.


Antoni Ribas


Dr. Ribas is a professor of medicine, professor of surgery, and professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He is also director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC). Dr. Ribas conducts laboratory and clinical research in malignant melanoma, focusing on gene engineered adoptive cell transfer (ACT) therapies, anti-CTLA4 antibodies, anti-PD-1 antibodies, BRAF and MEK inhibitors and nanoparticle-siRNA.

Jedd Wolchok


Dr. Wolchok is chief of the Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics service and is the Lloyd J. Old and Daniel K. Ludwig Chair in Clinical Investigation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. He is a specialist in melanoma with a clinical expertise in immunotherapy and cancer vaccines. Dr. Wolchok’s research focuses on the development of innovative ways to use the immune system to treat cancer.

Nancy Freitag


Dr. Freitag is a professor in the Microbiology and Immunology Department and the Associate Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on understanding how pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes, come to invade and live within human and animal cells, and discovering the mechanisms used by mammalian cells to fight off pathogenic intruders.

Marc Lecuit


Dr. Lecuit is a microbiologist and infectious diseases physician. He is the director of the Biology Infection Unit at Institut Pasteur and Inserm. He is a professor at the Paris Descartes University and deputy head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at the Necker-Enfants Malades University Hospital. Listeria microbiology and listeriosis pathophysiology are a major focus of his research.


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The Advaxis Vision

Advaxis was founded on the vision that no one should suffer from the burdens of cancer. Our goal is to develop cancer immunotherapies that teach the body to recognize tumors as a threat and do so in a way that minimizes side effects associated with traditional chemotherapy and radiation.


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