Founder & Chairman Emeritus
Michael G. Hanna, Jr., Ph.D., a pioneer in cancer immunotherapy, co-founded Vaccinogen in 2007 and served as Chairman and CEO. Currently, Dr. Hanna is Chairman Emeritus of the Company’s Board of Directors.
Dr. Hanna is the discoverer and developer of Vaccinogen’s lead product, OncoVAX®, an autologous vaccine designed to elicit a specifc immune response against minimal residual disease after surgery. Vaccinogen believes OncoVAX® is the first product to show a significant reduction in recurrence of disease in stage II colon cancer patients.
Prior to co-founding Vaccinogen, Dr. Hanna founded PerImmune Inc. in 1998, for which he served as President and Chief Executive Officer before it merged with Intracel Corp. later in 1998. He continued to work for Intracel Resources as Chief Scientific Officer and Chairman.
From 1984 to 1997, he served as Chief Operating Officer of Organon Teknika/Biotechnology Research Institute and Senior Vice President of Organon Teknika Corporation, a subsidiary of Akzo Nobel, The Netherlands. During his tenure there, he developed and obtained approvals for TICE-BCG for the treatment of carcinoma in situ (CIS) bladder cancer, which remains the standard of care for preventing the recurrence of CIS and superficial bladder cancer. From 1975 to 1983, Dr. Hanna served as the Director of the National Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research Center (MD USA). In this position, Dr. Hanna created a center of research excellence for the NCI, which pioneered the methods of cancer immunotherapy. He also established the Biological Response Modifier Program..
While Dr. Hanna was on staff at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1964-1975), he was also a consultant with NASA for the lunar receiving laboratory during Apollo 11 and 12, for which his expertise in immunology was used in the testing of the lunar core powder for immunogenic or pathogenic materials.
In addition to cancer therapy research and development, Dr. Hanna has been involved in Homeland Security. He served as Chairman of the Department of Commerce Biotechnology Advisory Committee (1984-89) and also participated in the Department of Defense Technical Working Group for Biotechnology (1988–89). PerImmune completed a Department of Defense contract to manufacture the current effective therapeutic for Botulinum toxin, an equine heptavalent anti-toxin.
Dr. Hanna’s research has resulted in over 225 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, and book chapters, and he holds 10 patents related to immunotherapy. Dr. Hanna has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards and has served on many editorial boards, including for Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.
Dr. Hanna received his Ph.D. in experimental pathology and immunology from the University of Tennessee.