Press Release

Antiva Biosciences Announces Formation of Scientific and Development Advisory Board

Board Consists of Distinguished Thought Leaders with Clinical Expertise Spanning Women’s Health and Virology, Combined with Successful Drug Development and Commercialization Experience

Redwood City, CA – June 13, 2024 – Antiva Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel, topical therapeutics for the treatment of high-risk infections and pre-cancerous lesions caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) in women, today announced the formation of a scientific and development advisory board featuring distinguished thought leaders from both academia and industry with clinical expertise spanning the fields of women’s health and virology. Additionally, several inaugural members of this advisory board possess deep experience in drug discovery and development, including launch and commercialization of novel therapeutics. The newly formed scientific and development advisory board will provide Antiva with key scientific and clinical guidance to support its continued development of ABI-2280, a topical treatment for high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (HSIL, CIN 2,3) and for women with high-risk HPV infection.

“We have been fortunate to establish a scientific and development advisory team comprised of distinguished scientists, clinicians and seasoned drug developers from world renowned academic institutions and industry. Their expertise will be invaluable as we work to develop ABI-2280 as the first approved drug treatment for HPV infection and pre-cancerous lesions caused by the infection,” said Kristine Ball, chief executive officer of Antiva. “We will look to these thought leaders to provide strategic input and guidance into the scientific and clinical direction of our ABI-2280 program, helping us build a development path to regulatory approval where one does not yet exist.”

Antiva is currently enrolling patients in two phase 1/2 clinical studies of ABI-2280 for the treatment of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN 2,3) and for the treatment for high-risk HPV infection in genotypes that can lead to cancer. ABI-2280 has potent activity across all genotypes of HPV and works by blocking HPV replication and inducing apoptosis in HPV-infected cells. Antiva has leveraged its development expertise to formulate a vaginal insert of ABI-2280 that will enable self-administration at diagnosis and facilitate worldwide distribution, increasing potential impact for patients.

The company’s inaugural scientific and development advisory board members include:

Constance A. Benson, M.D.
Dr. Benson is an internationally recognized clinical and translational investigator whose current areas of research include drug development and clinical trials for a host of the most pressing needs within the virology field. She is a Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair for Education in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where she also serves as Co-Director of the UCSD Antiviral Research Center. In addition, she is a regulatory and product development consultant for NDA Partners, a ProPharma Company. Prior to her tenure at UCSD, Dr. Benson served on the faculties of Rush University School of Medicine and the University of Colorado School of Medicine, as well as three years of active duty in the U.S. Navy as an internist. She has mentored or co-mentored more than 100 medical students, residents, post-graduate research fellows and junior faculty engaged in infectious diseases research and has more than 300 publications to her name.

J. Thomas Cox, M.D.
Dr. Cox is an OB/GYN with broad-ranging expertise on human papillomavirus (HPV) and the clinical management of women with abnormal cervical cytology and HPV-induced precancer. He is Past President of the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) and previously served as Chair of the ASCCP Practice Committee, which wrote the first U.S. guidelines for the management of women with abnormal cervical cytology. He has testified before Congress twice as an expert on HPV and has served on many national committees including every Gardasil HPV vaccine data safety monitoring board since 2002 and multiple American Cancer Society expert advisory boards on HPV and gynecologic cancer. Dr. Cox has published over 90 articles and chapters on HPV and cervical disease and co-authored/co-edited the medical textbook Modern Colposcopy. In 2023 he received the ASCCP Lifetime Achievement Award.

William “Bill” Lee, Ph.D.
Dr. Lee has over 37 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. His most recent role was as executive vice president of research at Gilead Sciences, where he oversaw the company's research and preclinical programs across therapeutic areas. Earlier in his career at Gilead, Dr. Lee headed up all chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) activities, including commercial manufacturing through the launch of Viread in 2001. During his 30-year tenure at Gilead, he was involved in the discovery, development and launch of 18 commercial products. Before joining Gilead, he served as head of drug delivery at California Biotechnology and prior to that, as a scientist at Syntex Research. Dr. Lee is co-inventor of Cellcept, Viread and Vemlidy (TAF).

Richard Whitley, M.D.
Dr. Whitley is a highly regarded expert on antiviral therapies in both pediatric and adult patients. He currently serves as the Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Pediatrics and Co-Division Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. His research spans four decades, during which he has published more than 400 scientific papers on pediatric infectious disease. In 2019, Dr. Anthony Fauci appointed Dr. Whitley to chair the NIH-NIAID COVID-19 Data Safety and Monitoring Board. Today, he continues to serve as a member of the Steering Committee for the NIH Long COVID-RECOVER initiative. He was named the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Research Scholar and Educator in Residence at the NIH Clinical Center and received the 2020 National Foundation for Infectious Diseases John P. Utz Leadership Award for his work in the field of clinical virology.

Thomas C. Wright, Jr. M.D.
Dr. Wright is a Professor Emeritus at Columbia University and is involved in a variety of clinical trials focusing primarily on the development of diagnostic and risk-assessment tests for cervical disease both in the U.S. and low resource settings. He previously served as the Director of the Division of Gynecologic, Perinatal, and Cytologic Pathology at Columbia University Medical Center and headed the colposcopy services at New York Presbyterian Hospital for over 15 years. He is a Past President of the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) and was the lead author of the 2001 and 2007 ASCCP Consensus Guidelines for the Management of Cytologic Abnormalities. In addition to clinical research, Dr. Wright is in active clinical practice as a gynecological pathologist at Labcorp. He has published over 250 articles and chapters on HPV and cervical disease.

About HPV-Related Diseases and Cervical Cancer

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women are infected with the virus at some point in their lives. Many of these are transient infections the body is capable of clearing, but this typically takes months to years. When the infections persist, they are known to drive the formation of malignancies, including cervical, anal, vulvar, penile, and head and neck cancers.

The introduction of prophylactic vaccines for HPV was a major step forward in the fight against HPV-associated cancers by preventing infection by certain high-risk HPV subtypes. However, due to low adoption rates in major countries such as the US, EU, and Japan, and limited access to the vaccines in developing countries, HPV infections and the disease states driven by such infections remain a major unmet clinical need.

Globally, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women and as such represents a major public health problem. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 660,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer worldwide and approximately 350,000 women died from the disease in 2022.

About Antiva Biosciences

Antiva Biosciences, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, topical therapeutics for the treatment of diseases caused by HPV infection. The company’s lead drug candidate, ABI-2280 is being developed as a topical treatment for high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (HSIL, CIN 2,3) and for women with high-risk HPV infection.


Kristine Ball
Antiva Biosciences, Inc.

Tim Brons
Vida Strategic Partners (media)