Tessa Therapeutics Appoints Dr. Ivan Horak as President of Research and Development

Date: 29 Nov 2018 | Download Press Release (PDF)

  • Dr. Horak will oversee Tessa’s extensive research and clinical development programs targeting a wide range of cancer types with cellular immunotherapy
  • He brings over 20 years of successful cancer therapy clinical development experience to Tessa


SINGAPORE – 28 November 2018 – Tessa Therapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on cellular immunotherapy treatments for cancer, today announced the appointment of Ivan D. Horak as President of Research and Development. In his new position, Dr. Horak will be responsible for all aspects of Tessa’s research and development, regulatory and clinical development activities.

Dr. Horak brings more than 20 years of experience in the global pharmaceutical industry, predominantly focused on oncology drug development, and is a board-certified medical oncologist. He joins Tessa from Symphogen, a clinical-stage antibody company, where he was Head of Global R&D and Chief Scientific and Medical Officer. Prior to that, he was the President of R&D at Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENZN).

Dr. Horak has also held a number of senior research leadership positions in various pharmaceutical companies as well as at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). During his career, Dr. Horak advanced multiple oncology treatments into the clinic and successfully led a number of FDA new drug applications.

In addition to publishing over 90 scientific articles and book chapters, Dr. Horak is a member of several prominent medical societies such as the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Society of Hematology (ASH) and European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO). He also served on the editorial board of the scientific journal, Cancer Research.

“I am delighted to welcome Ivan to Tessa Therapeutics. The vast experience he brings to our senior team further strengthens Tessa’s industry expertise and will be instrumental in maximizing the success of our R&D pipeline,” said Tessa Therapeutics co-founder and CEO, Mr. Andrew Khoo. “I am confident that his stewardship will play an important role as Tessa progresses our portfolio of clinical and pre-clinical cellular immunotherapies into the next phase of development.”

Commenting on his new role, Dr. Horak said, “I have been very impressed with Tessa’s research and development portfolio. This is an exciting opportunity to play a leading role in advancing the Company’s pipeline of groundbreaking cellular immunotherapies. Tessa’s Virus- Specific T (VST) cell platform holds tremendous potential for the treatment of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. We are at a point in medical history in which immunotherapy is being widely recognized as the most promising path to treat cancer. Tessa’s portfolio includes opportunities to develop that path in truly unique ways. I look forward to working closely with the management and staff to make Tessa’s vision a reality.”


Tessa Therapeutics Media Contacts
Brunswick Group
Will Carnwath, Ben Fry
+65 6426 8188


About Tessa Therapeutics

Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with the scientific vision of revolutionizing the treatment of cancer by redirecting the body’s potent anti-viral immune response to recognize and kill cancer cells. Tessa’s virus-specific T cell (VST) platform has shown compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors, and the Company is building a portfolio of therapies addressing a wide range of tumors by combining the qualities of its T cell platform with complementary technologies. Tessa’s lead Phase III trial for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the world’s largest Phase III T cell immunotherapy trial for any cancer indication. The Company is also conducting a Phase I trial targeting cervical cancer and oropharyngeal cancer which is expected to move into Phase II in 2019. In addition, Tessa is developing a broad pipeline of pre-clinical programs targeting major cancers such as liver and lung cancer. The Company has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool across five countries. The combination of technologies from its academic, clinical, and commercial research partners have enabled Tessa to create a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy. For more information on Tessa, please visit www.tessacell.com.