Immune Response Corporation Names New CEO; Company Has Sufficient Funding for ‘Several More Months’
Carlsbad, Calif.-based Immune Response Corp., the developer of the experimental HIV vaccine Remune, on Thursday named John Bonfiglio as new chief executive, following the September 2002 resignation of former CEO Dennis Carlo, Bloomberg News/New York Times reports. Bonfiglio previously served as chief operating officer at San Diego-based Cypress Bioscience, according to Bloomberg/Times. Immune Response, which is reorganizing while "trying to avert bankruptcy," currently has no products on the market and has been trying for 10 years to market Remune. Bonfiglio said the company has enough money to operate for "several more months" (Bloomberg News/New York Times, 1/10). In September 2002, the company also announced that it would cut more than half of the jobs at its headquarters, and earlier in the year auditors questioned the company's "ability to stay in business" following financial losses and the resignation of its chief financial officer. The company in 2002 reported a first-quarter loss of $5.2 million, compared to a loss of $5.1 million for the same quarter in 2001, and the company in August 2001 announced it would terminate a study of Remune after a Pfizer subsidiary withdrew its development partnership for the research because of a lack of "convincing evidence" that Remune was effective. In November 2000, a study conducted by University of California-San Francisco researchers and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that Remune was ineffective in preventing the onset of AIDS (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/11/02).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.