SAN DIEGO, Nov. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Tocagen Inc., a clinical-stage, cancer-selective gene therapy company, today announced the appointment of Martin "Marty" Duvall as chief executive officer and member of the company's board of directors. Harry Gruber, M.D., who previously served as Tocagen's chief executive officer, has assumed the role of president, research and development, and will remain a member of Tocagen's board of directors.
"Marty has clearly demonstrated over his career that he is skilled in building oncology focused companies and successfully commercializing major oncology products, including Taxotere® and Abraxane®," said Dr. Gruber. "Tocagen has entered a new era as we advance towards potential commercialization of our lead product candidate, and Marty's expertise and strategic vision will guide us at this pivotal point in the company's growth. I enthusiastically welcome Marty to lead our team and inspire us to continue developing first-in-class immunotherapy drugs to help patients in their fight against cancer." Mr. Duvall holds more than 30 years of experience in oncology drug development and commercialization at mid-stage and global pharmaceutical companies, including building numerous successful oncology teams. Prior to joining Tocagen he served as executive vice president, chief commercial officer of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, and helped lead the company's transformation into a fully integrated, global biotechnology company. "While we have made strides in treating some cancers, it is clear that we need to think 'outside the box' and pursue approaches with unique mechanisms of action to truly impact this disease, particularly for difficult-to-treat tumors," said Mr. Duvall. "I was impressed by Tocagen's team and the clinical data demonstrated by the company's lead immunotherapy product candidate. I am honored that Tocagen's board has entrusted me to lead the company and I look forward to working with all of Tocagen's key stakeholders as we advance its novel cancer-selective gene therapy technology platform towards potential commercialization."