Keynote Speakers

Sponsored by

Mitchell Steiner, MD

Presentation Title:  VERU-111, an oral selective alpha and beta tubulin inhibitor, for the treatment of canine cancers

Date/Time:  Friday, October 16th  –  2:30 – 3:30 pm

Synopsis: Antitubulins, like taxanes, are the most widely used and effective agents in human oncology. Unfortunately, antitubulins have major limitations in canine oncology care: intravenous route of administration, high rates of severe hypersensitivity reactions to the cremophor EL solvent, and dose limiting toxicities of severe febrile neutropenia and sepsis. VERU-111 is an oral antitubulin that targets both alpha and beta tubulin subunits of microtubules and could have an important role against canine malignancies. Based on safety studies in dogs, VERU-111 has high oral bioavailability without the hypersensitivity, neurotoxicity and neutropenia dose limiting toxicities typical of taxanes. Preclinical in vitro cell line studies show that VERU-111 has activity against many of the common canine tumors including mast cell tumor, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, and lymphoid malignancies. A Phase 1 study is currently being planned in dogs with a variety of metastatic cancers. Oral antitubulin VERU-111 could be an important new addition to the armamentarium against canine cancers: ability for home administration and dose changes with efficacy against a broad ranges of cancer types and a better safety profile.

Mitchell Steiner, M.D., F.A.C.S. has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Veru,Inc. (NASDAQ:VERU) October 2016. Dr. Steiner was the co-founder of Aspen Park and served as Aspen Park’s Chief Executive Officer, President and Vice Chairman of the Board from July 2014 to October 2016. From 2014 to 2016, Dr. Steiner was a consultant and then the President, Urology and member of senior management of OPKO Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPK) and had responsibilities for the launch, marketing, sales and reimbursement of 4Kscore prostate cancer test to urologists and primary care physicians. Dr. Steiner was also the co-founder of GTx, Inc., a men’s health and oncology public company, where he served as Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of Board of Directors from 1997 to 2014. Dr. Steiner is a Board Certified Urologist and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and has held numerous academic appointments, including Assistant Professor of Urology, Cell Biology, and Pathology at Vanderbilt School of Medicine from 1993 to 1995 and Chairman and Professor of Urology, Director of Urologic Oncology and Research and the Chair of Excellence in Urologic Oncology at the University of Tennessee from 1995 to 2004. Dr. Steiner holds a B.A. in Molecular Biology and Chemistry from Vanderbilt University and an M.D. from the University of Tennessee. He performed his surgical and urologic training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and postdoctoral research fellow in cell biology at Vanderbilt School of Medicine. He has authored over 250 publications and abstracts. He has been named in over 250 patents.


Elias Sayour, MD, PhD

Presentation Title: Cancer immunotherapy with nanoparticles: From canines to humans

Date/Time:  Saturday, October 17th  –  1:00 – 2:00 pm

Synopsis:  Dr. Sayour’s translational efforts are also focused on new pipeline technologies including a novel lipid-nanoparticle (NP) formulation that his team has pioneered for the immunologic treatment of cancer. In this presentation, Dr. Sayour will discuss challenges to creating effective cancer vaccines, advantages of a nanoparticle based approach, and how the comparative oncology model has served as an important bridge to translate novel vaccine approaches. Dr. Sayour will discuss how the comparative oncology model can be leveraged for establishing safety, response correlates and activity of new therapies while simultaneously helping both pet dogs and humans with cancer.

Elias Sayour, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics and Principal Investigator of the RNA-Engineering Lab at the University of Florida.  He functions as the newly appointed Director of the Pediatric Cancer Immunotherapy Initiative (PCI2) of the UF Health Cancer Center and Vice Chair of the UFHCC Scientific Review Monitoring Committee. As a board-certified pediatrician and oncologist, Dr. Sayour has extensive translational experience as PI/Co-I on several human trials. His translational efforts are also focused on new pipeline technologies including a novel lipid-nanoparticle (NP) formulation that he pioneered for the immunologic treatment of cancer currently being tested in canine (pet dog) patients with terminal brain cancer before translation into dedicated human studies.