#154 Kenneth Kovan & David Berd on Haptenized Vaccines


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You did it! DNA Today has been nominated for the Best 2021 Science and Medicine Podcast Award. If you nominated us, check your inbox to see if you were one of the people randomly selected to vote for the show! I was this year and received the email on August 9th. So pause the show now and check to see if you got the email. If you did please go ahead and vote for DNA Today, we need all the votes we can get to defend our title as the best Science and Medicine podcast!

This week our host, Kira Dineen, is joined by Kenneth Kovan and Dr. David Berd of BioVaxys, a clinical-stage biopharma company developing antiviral and anticancer vaccine platforms using haptenized viral protein technology.

Kenneth Kovan is the Founder, President, and COO of BioVaxys. He has over 30 years of experience in biopharmaceuticals commercial development. Mr. Kovan’s professional background includes several years in technology transfer with Thomas Jefferson University, Strategic Marketing with GlaxoSmithKline, and Global New Product Development with Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals. His therapeutic experience includes infectious disease, antivirals, oncology, vaccines, cell/gene therapy, and gene editing. Mr. Kovan has a broad international business background, having launched pharma brands in Latin American and Asia/Pacific markets, and has worked in Europe for several years.

David Berd, MD is the Founder and Chief Medical Officer of BioVaxys. He is a medical oncologist with a lifelong record of clinical research in medical oncology and cancer immunotherapy. As National Director for Immunotherapy at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Dr. Berd investigated the application of the AC vaccine to ovarian cancer. Previously, Dr. Berd was Professor of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, where for 20 years he conducted clinical research on melanoma immunotherapy. He also spent nine years as a research physician at Fox Chase Cancer Center. Over the course of his career, Dr. Berd has published more than 85 original papers in numerous medical journals alongside dozens of editorials, reviews and abstracts. He has ten issued patents dealing with cancer vaccines.

Have you been vaccinated for COVID-19? Wouldn’t it be handy to have a digitized version of your vaccine record? States in the US are starting to do just this, with California leading the way. However privacy concerns have been raised about the personal information being kept in a central database. Genobank.io offers digitized vaccine records, without these privacy concerns. Genobank.io ultizes blockchain networks to keep track of your vaccine record without exposing your personal data!

On This Episode We Discuss:

How the immune system fights cancer

Haptenized vaccines and how they work

Safety of haptenized vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines

Anticancer and antiviral vaccines

Vaccinations for COVID-19 variants

To learn more about BioVaxys, visit their website or check them out on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Are you interested in the rapidly growing field of genetics and want to learn more about clinical genetics, molecular genetics, and laboratory science? Then you should check out the Genetic Assistant Online Training Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine! By taking part in the program, you will be joining both national and international learners with the same passion for genetics. Interact directly with your Johns Hopkins instructors and fellow students throughout the program. Applications are now being reviewed for the Fall 2021 cohort, and a limited number of spots are still available.

Stay tuned for the next new episode of DNA Today on September 3, 2021, where I’ll be joined by Dena Goldberg to share advice for starting graduate school for genetic counseling! New episodes are released on the first and third Friday of the month. In the meantime, you can binge over 150 other episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, streaming on the website, or any other podcast player by searching, “DNA Today”. All episodes in 2021 are also recorded with video which you can watch on our YouTube channel.

See what else we are up to on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and our website, DNApodcast.com. Questions/inquiries can be sent to info@DNApodcast.com.

Do you want to influence change in the genomics market? Lucky for you a new position just opened at Agilent where you can have an impact as a Genomic Software Field Applications Scientist. In this west coast remote-based role you will provide technical consultation, training, and education to enable customers to perform data analysis in clinical laboratory environments. You will partner with sales to serve as the scientific/technical specialist to help drive sales and provide support for customers in diverse clinical settings. Learn more about the position here.

Join our host, Kira Dineen, next week on Clubhouse. Dena Goldberg (aka Dena DNA) will be interviewing her about how to prepare and what to expect in grad school for genetic counseling. This is on Thursday August 26th at 4pmPT (7pmET). Dena and Kira will be answering your questions about grad school live! You can tune in by searching for the “Genetic Counseling & The Future of Healthcare” club in the clubhouse app.

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