Toragen, Inc. announces appointment of Dr. Sandra Coufal, M.D. as CEO

Toragen is focused on uniquely selective drugs targeting cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (“HPV”)

Toragen Inc., a San Diego-based biotechnology company focused on developing, repurposing and commercializing uniquely selective drugs targeting cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (“HPV”), announced today that Dr. Sandra Coufal, M.D. will join Toragen as its new CEO. Dr. Coufal brings over 30 years of experience to Toragen as a physician and serial entrepreneur working with multiple successful companies in medicine, chemistry, biotechnology, material sciences, and digital technology.

Most recently, Dr. Coufal co-founded and managed Sibling Capital Ventures and Sibling Capital, founded Relypsa’s and Ilypsa’s Scientific Advisory Boards, and co-founded and serves as Director on the Management Board of Tricida, Inc. (NASDAQ: TCDA). Since 2001, Dr. Coufal has also served as the Biomedical Advisor for the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation. Previously, Dr. Coufal was Head of the Division of Internal Medicine at the Torrey Pines site of Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA, where she also sat on the Board of Scripps Green Hospital as the Representative-at-Large.

Dr. Coufal received her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas. She also completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas under Chairman Dr. Daniel Foster. She received her Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and was designated a Notre Dame Scholar.

Andrew Sharabi, MD, PhD, the founder and former CEO of Toragen and Assistant Professor of Radiation Medicine and Applied Sciences at UC San Diego Health, said, “Dr. Coufal is exceptionally qualified to lead Toragen at this important time as we prepare to submit an Investigational New Drug application to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for our first clinical trial in 2022. HPV associated cancers include Head and Neck Cancer, Cervical Cancer, and multiple other Genitourinary and Gastrointestinal Cancers.

Toragen is developing drugs designed to inhibit HPV oncogenes, the root cause of malignant transformation in these cancers. It is the Company’s intent that our drugs will be more selective for malignant cells and better tolerated by patients than traditional cytotoxic and radiation cancer therapy. Toragen’s drugs under development interfere with the ability for the HPV virus to inhibit the immune system and could thus enhance the ability for the immune system to eradicate these cancers and potentially augment the activity of existing immunotherapies for cancer.”

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