Dynavax Technologies names 2 senior executives

Dynavax Technologies Corp. announced Jan. 12 the addition of two new senior executives to direct key commercial and clinical activities prior to the launch of Heplisav, an investigational adult hepatitis B vaccine.

Brant Biehn, after more than 20 years with Merck, joins as chief commercial development officer. He will be responsible for the development and execution of Dynavax's commercial strategy, including market development, sales and distribution channel partnerships.

Since 2005, Biehn was responsible for many adult vaccine products, including Merck's Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and pneumococcal vaccines. Most recently, he served as international market lead for Zostavax, a vaccine launched in the United States in 2005 for the prevention of shingles as well as Merck's other adult vaccines.

William Heyward, M.D., an epidemiologist and specialist in the design and conduct of licensure-directed clinical trials, joins Dynavax as vice president of clinical research. He will manage the company's two registration trials for Heplisav, for which approximately 70 centers in North America and Europe will enroll 2,600 subjects.

Most recently, he was vice president of clinical development at Osel Inc., a bacterial therapeutics company and prior to that, a founding member and president of Quattro Clinical Research, a clinical research organization providing clinical research services to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies developing therapeutics and anti-viral products.