Former Johns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Ben Carson has been named chairman of the board of Frederick biotechnology company Vaccinogen Inc., which also announced Monday it received a commitment of up to $80 million from a Swedish investor.
The company is readying for clinical trials of OncoVAX, a cancer treatment it has shown to prevent recurrence in colon cancer patients.
An investor group known as The Investment Syndicate, led by Swedish entrepreneur Anders Halldin, invested $10 million in Vaccinogen and pledged $70 million more in four installments, contingent on the company hitting certain milestones.
Carson, a renowned pediatric neurosurgeon who in recent years has become a popular conservative political figure, replaces Vaccinogen CEO and co-founder Michael G. Hanna Jr. as chairman. Hanna stepped down from his roles as chairman and CEO at the time of the investment. Company co-founder and President Andrew L. Tussing has taken over as CEO for Hanna, who will remain on the board of directors and serve as chairman emeritus.
Halldin has joined the company's board of directors and will serve as its vice chairman.
Shares of Vaccinogen, traded over the counter, rose nearly 30 percent in Monday trading, reaching about $4.20.