Our vision, to disrupt cancer with the development of highly innovative immunotherapies aimed at increasing patient survival rates

MimiVax is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on developing novel immunotherapies for the treatment of brain tumors, particularly glioblastoma (GBM), which is one of the most aggressive and deadly forms of brain cancer. Our approach involves leveraging the body’s immune system to target and destroy cancer cells. 

MimiVax’s lead product candidate, SurVaxM, is a peptide-based immunotherapeutic vaccine designed to target survivin, a protein that is overexpressed in many types of cancer cells, including GBM. By targeting survivin, SurVaxM aims to stimulate the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells while sparing healthy tissue. MimiVax is conducting clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of SurVaxM as a potential treatment for GBM and other cancers.

SurVaxM was  recently evaluated in a now completed Phase 2a clinical trial in adults with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, showing an increase in progression free and overall survival. A Phase 2b Randomized study for newly diagnosed glioblastoma was launched in 2022 and has rapidly reached full enrollment. Completed studies in multiple myeloma in combination with lenalidomide will be releasing data soon. Additional studies in adults with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (NET) as well as a Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium sponsored study in children with relapsed/recurrent high grade glioma, medulloblastoma and DIPG are open and recruiting.

With a team of experienced scientists, leading clinicians and business executives along with the support of our clinical trial collaborators, patients and investors, we are committed to pursuing the most efficient path to deliver on the promise of SurVaxM and other products to improve the lives of patients battling cancer.

Leadership Team

Dr. Ciesielski is a co-inventor of the survivin vaccine technology on which MimiVax was founded. He joined the Academic Faculty of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2004 after obtaining his Ph.D. in Immunology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Prior to this, he obtained a BS Biology/Biotechnology from Niagara University and a Masters degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. After which he first established the Neuro-Oncology laboratory at Roswell Park together with Dr. Fenstermaker.

He is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology at Roswell Park and a member of the Graduate Faculty of the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He has co-authored more than 50 journal articles and numerous abstracts. He is an active member of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

Dr. Ciesielski was honored with a Research Scholar award from the American Cancer Society, the Glioblastoma award from the National Brain Tumor Foundation, Top C-level Executive by Buffalo ‘612 and holds 22 global patents, 21 of which are for survivin-based technology. In his spare time he also enjoys coaching youth football.

Michael J. Ciesielski, PhD

Dr. Fenstermaker is a co-inventor of the survivin vaccine technology on which MimiVax was founded. He joined Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1995, became Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery in 1997, and was appointed Co-Director of the Gamma Knife Center when it opened in 1998.

He earned his medical degree at Northeast Ohio Medical University (previously known as Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine) in 1981. Following residency training in Neurosurgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland in 1986, he completed a fellowship in Pharmacology and Neurological Surgery (1987) and an NIH postdoctoral fellowship in Biochemistry (1989) at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Fenstermaker is licensed to practice medicine in New York and is certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery (1991). He is also Director of Neurosurgical Oncology and Professor of Neurosurgery at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Dr. Fenstermaker is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American College of Surgeons, Society for Neuro-Oncology, Gamma Knife Society, American Association for Cancer Research, and American Medical Association. Currently, he is a member of the CNS Tumor Guidelines Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Dr. Fenstermaker has co-authored more than 150 journal articles, book chapters and abstracts. He has been a reviewer for leading cancer and neurosurgical journals and has presented his research at many national and international meetings.


Robert A. Fenstermaker, MD

Mr. Friedman is a co-founder and Board Member of MimiVax. In addition to serving as the Company’s General Counsel, he is the

Mr. Friedman is a co-foounder and Board Member for MimiVax. In addition to serving as the company’s General Counsel he is also a partner and the immediate past chairman of Lippes Mathias LLP, law firm, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Varia Ventures, a management consulting firm with a capital raising platform, and a General Partner in Impact Capital of New York, LLC, an Upstate New York venture capital fund.
The author of seven books and over 100 articles on business, he serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University at Buffalo’s School of Management. 
 Mr. Friedman provides guidance on a range of issues, including strategy, financing, and innovation. His work also includes providing counsel on strategic joint ventures and other forms of cooperative agreements and his experience includes negotiating joint ventures with strategic partners in China, Europe, Israel, and Canada. 

In addition to sitting on a number of private company boards, Friedman is an active volunteer in the WNY community, currently serving as a Member of the University at Buffalo Council, the Daemen College Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors of the WNY Law Enforcement Foundation, and the Western New York Venture Association. 

Scott E. Friedman

Ms. Casucci is the VP of Clinical Operations for MimiVax. She joined MimiVax during her career path at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to which she became involved with the first Phase 1 and first Phase 2a trials involving SurVaxM. She increased their exposure to some of the most prestigious Cancer Institutions across the United States Danielle is responsible for the oversight of MimiVax’s clinical trials including safety reporting, protocol compliance, monitoring, regulatory, and network expansions, both national and internationally, as trials expand out to other centers across the United States, China and Canada.

Danielle is a Graduate Nurse with a BS in Biology and a BA in Psychology, both from Canisius College, Buffalo, NY. She is an active member for the Society of Clinical Research (SOCRA). She has spent over 30 years in the area of clinical research involving both medical device and advanced pharmaceutical research with specializations that range across a variety of therapeutic oncology’s. She has collaborated with Oncologists across the world to bring the latest and greatest advancements in the Cancer arena to light. Danielle has also co-authored more than 20 journal articles, all in the areas of medical device and oncology research.

In Danielle’s spare time, she enjoys her Family, four children and two dogs, home design and decorating, fundraising to support Cancer Research and Cycling. She is a six -time finalist for the Empire State Ride, a week-long bicycle ride that extends across 550 miles from New York City to Niagara Falls, which has generated millions of dollars for Cancer Research at Roswell Park.



Board of Directors

Jeremy M. Jacobs Jr. is Co-Chief Executive Officer of Delaware North, a hospitality and food service company that is one of the most admired family-owned and operated companies in the world. Delaware North has annual revenues of $3 billion and more than 55,000 employees, and they serve half a billion customers annually on four continents. As Co-CEO, Mr. Jacobs provides stewardship to the 100-year-old Delaware North and its operating subsidiaries, which include industry leaders in food and retail operations at airports and sports venues, sports facility ownership and management, operations of parks and major tourist attractions, hotel ownership and management, and gaming operations. The company recently acquired Patina Restaurant Group, a leader in the premium segment of the restaurant and catering industry that operates restaurants and manages catering and food service at high-profile venues such as Rockefeller Center in New York, the Emmy Awards Governors Ball in Los Angeles, and Walt Disney World in Orlando.

In his position, Mr. Jacobs is responsible for long-term strategic direction, determining mergers and acquisition candidates, positioning the company in emerging markets, and working with financial institutions on overall business strategy. In addition to his senior management post with Delaware North, Mr. Jacobs serves as alternate governor for the six-time Stanley Cup winning Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League.

Delaware North is a generous benefactor of multiple non-profit institutions throughout the world, and particularly in Buffalo, NY, where they are headquartered. The company has committed over $50 million to the University at Buffalo, the largest institution of the State University of New York system, and the university recently renamed their medical school the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in recognition of his family’s steadfast support.

Mr. Jacobs has a Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University. He is the past chair of the Nichols School Board of Trustees in Buffalo, and he serves on the Say Yes Buffalo Scholarship Board and is a member of the Georgetown University Board of Regents.


Jerry Jacobs Jr. - BOARD CHAIR

David C. Hohn, MD, was named President Emeritus and Executive Director of Health Policy at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Roswell Park) in April 2007 as part of a planned transition of leadership, after serving for 10 years as President and CEO.

As Roswell Park President Emeritus and Executive Director of Health Policy, Dr. Hohn continues his national leadership role in health policy issues, especially as they relate to cancer research and treatment and the training of the next generation of cancer specialists. He is active in New York State cancer control initiatives and in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) as well as serving as a senior advisor to the Institute’s 14th President & CEO, Dr. Candace Johnson.

During his tenure as Institute President, Dr. Hohn was widely credited with re-establishing the Institute as a leader in the national cancer community. He provided leadership and vision to implement the Institute’s first strategic plan focused on making Roswell Park internationally and nationally competitive in cancer science; finalized legislation to create a new governance model for Roswell Park as a New York State Public Benefit Corporation; stabilized funding and increased sources of revenue; reorganized Roswell Park’s senior leadership team, clinical departments and scientific programs; successfully recruited over 160 senior leadership faculty, top-tier clinicians and scientists; completed the $250 million renovation and rebuilding of the Institute campus and the construction of a $74 million Center for Genetics & Pharmacology; implemented an innovative managed care strategy which opened regional access to Roswell Park; implemented community partnerships which broaden quality of cancer services to residents of Western New York; and increased patient referrals.

As Principal Investigator of the National Cancer Institute Cancer’s Center Support Grant (CCSG), Dr. Hohn led the successful renewal of Roswell Park’s designation as a comprehensive cancer center – a designation that the Institute has held continuously since 1974.

Dr. Hohn served for three years as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NCCN, an alliance of 21 of the world’s leading cancer centers. He currently is a member of a number of Western New York civic and professional boards including the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Dr. Hohn came to Roswell Park from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center where her served as Vice President for Patient Care from 1993 to 1997.


David C. Hohn, MD - BOARD MEMBER

Michael B. Sexton serves in the dual capacity as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, NY. He joined Roswell in March 1998, and was one of the primary management team members who negotiated the transfer of operations of the Institute from the NYS Department of Health to the Public Benefit Corporation that operates Roswell Park now. 

He has served as General Counsel since joining Roswell, overseeing all legal affairs for the cancer center, participating in labor, corporate, governance, regulatory, contract, and reimbursement matters, as well as overseeing litigation matters and relations with outside counsel.

In November 2005, Mr. Sexton was appointed Chief Institute Operations Officer, and given administrative oversight over the departments of Human Resources, Information Technology, Facilities Management, Safety, Radiation Safety, as well as Legal and Regulatory Compliance.

He is a 1983 graduate of the University at Buffalo Law School, and graduated from the undergraduate division at UB in 1980. Prior to joining Roswell Park, Mr. Sexton was a partner in the Buffalo law firm of Williams, Stevens, McCarville & Frizzell, where he practiced health and corporate law.

Michael B. Sexton, Esq - BOARD MEMBER
SVP & Chief Legal Officer, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Board of Advisors

Board Advisor: Dr. Levy is the Chairman of Neurological Surgery and Professor of Neurosurgery and Radiology at State University of New York at Buffalo (UB). He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons. Dr. Levy is the Director of Stroke Research, Co-Director of Kaleida Health Stroke Center and Cerebrovascular Surgery, and Director of Endovascular Stroke Treatment & Research. Prior to his professorship at the University, Dr. Levy graduated from Dartmouth College and received his Doctor of Medicine degree with distinction from George Washington University. He completed a surgical internship and his neurosurgical residency at the University of Pittsburgh and his fellowship at the University of Buffalo. He also received his M.B.A. from Northeastern University in 2013.
Elad I. Levy
Board Advisor: Dr. Ahluwalia is the Chief of Medical Oncology, Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer of Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. DR. Ahluwalia subspecializes in the treatment of brain tumors and brain metastases. He most previously was a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, is the Director of the Brain Metastasis Research Program and Head of Operations in the BBTC of the Neurological Institute of the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Ahluwalia received his medical degree from the Maulana Azad Medical College of the University of Delhi. He completed his residency at Fairview General Hospital and a fellowship training at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Ahluwalia's research focuses on the development of new therapies for people with brain tumors and brain metastases. He is currently leading several clinical trials involving immune therapy and new targeted therapies as well as treatments targeting tumor blood vessels (angiogenesis) and cancer stem cells. His results have been presented nationally and internationally and have resulted in over 100 manuscripts.
Manmeet S. Ahluwalia
Board Advisor: Dr. Kaminski serves as the Meta A. Neumann Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He is an internationally recognized expert in the care of patients with myasthenia gravis. His research work focuses on the development of novel therapeutics for myasthenia gravis. He is a member of the executive committee of the National Institutes of Health funded trial of thymectomy for myasthenia gravis and directs the Biomarker in MG study. In addition to funding from the National Institutes of Health, his work has been supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, and several pharmaceutical companies. He has served on numerous NIH study sections including being a regular member of the Clinical Trials Study Section (NSD-K), National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke. He was a member of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke intramural research review committee. Dr. Kaminski is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Neurological Association. He is past President of the Association of University Professors of Neurology and past chair of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America Medical Scientific Advisory Committee.
Henry J. Kaminski
Board Advisor: Dr. Kusner is a Research Professor in the Department of Pharmacology & Physiology at The George Washington University in Washington DC. She is an internationally recognized expert in basic and translational aspects of the autoimmune disorder, myasthenia gravis. She directed an NIH-sponsored symposium focused on optimization of preclinical models of myasthenia gravis. She has performed extensive evaluations of the role of complement in myasthenia gravis pathogenesis, which led to a patent for an approach to concentrate complement inhibitors to the neuromuscular junction. Dr. Kusner was the first to discover the role of the anti-apoptotic protein, survivin, in the pathology of human and animal models of myasthenia gravis. She is now investigating a survivin inhibitor strategy as a therapeutic approach. Dr. Kusner serves as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous high-impact peer reviewed journals and has served on study sections for the National Institutes of Health and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She is vice chair of the Medical Scientific Advisory Board of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America. Her work has been supported by the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America and the National Institutes of Health. She has collaborated with several companies with the biotech industry in drug development for myasthenia gravis. She is Chief Scientific Officer for ARC Biotechnology, which was established to further develop targeted complement inhibition for treatment of myasthenia gravis.
Linda L. Kusner