HAMPTON, N.J., Dec. 05, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLDX) today announced that the Company has hired Theresa LaVallee, Ph.D., to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Regulatory and Precision Medicine. Dr. LaVallee was previously Senior Vice President, Translational Medicine and Product Development at Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, which Celldex recently acquired. Dr. LaVallee brings more than 15 years of industry experience in discovery and development of drug candidates in oncology and inflammation, including extensive global regulatory experience and expertise in translational medicine to enable science-driven drug development. "Dr. LaVallee played a critical role in developing and advancing the pipeline at Kolltan Pharmaceuticals, and we felt it was important to bring her expertise in-house to Celldex," said Anthony Marucci, Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Celldex Therapeutics. "In her new role, Theresa will continue to provide leadership to the receptor tyrosine kinase programs but will also reinforce our efforts in targeted drug development by assuming the leadership function for our precision medicine and regulatory activities. We believe Theresa is a valuable addition to our team and look forward to working with her." "Celldex has been at the forefront of the precision medicine field, identifying specific disease-related markers and developing targeted therapeutics to meet the needs of these distinct patient groups," said Theresa LaVallee, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Regulatory and Precision Medicine. "While these initiatives combine the best of science—biomarker discovery, companion diagnostics and drug development—they also bring an increasing level of complexity, especially from a regulatory perspective. I look forward to working with Celldex to navigate these complexities and improve outcomes for patients." Dr. LaVallee joined Kolltan in 2013, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Translational Medicine and Product Development, and was responsible for developing and executing the research and development strategy. She established and expanded the Company's translational medicine, project management and development capabilities to transition Kolltan from a preclinical to clinical stage company, including leading the regulatory strategy behind these programs. Prior to Kolltan, Dr. LaVallee held increasingly senior level roles at MedImmune/AstraZeneca and EntreMed. Dr. LaVallee started her career as a research scientist and has published extensively on her work throughout her career. She received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles.