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


MimiVax is a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of immunotherapeutic vaccines and targeted therapies for the treatment of cancer. Our proprietary product portfolio is based on technology licensed from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center that targets survivin, a cell-survival protein that is present in most cancers and rarely detectable in normal tissue. Our therapies are designed to stimulate immune responses to control tumor growth and recurrence.

SurVaxM, our lead immunotherapeutic vaccine, demonstrated safety and tolerability in a Phase 1 study in people with malignant gliomas (brain tumors). SurVaxM was also evaluated in a recently completed Phase 2a clinical trial in adults with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, showing an increase in progression free and overall survival. The new Phase 2b Randomized study for newly diagnosed glioblastoma was just launched in 2022. A Phase 1 clinical trial in combination with REVLIMID® (lenalidomide) as a maintenance therapy for adults with multiple myeloma (a form of blood cancer) and a Phase 1 clinical trial of adults with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (NET) are ongoing.

With a team of experienced scientists, leading clinicians and industry leaders 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

Get to know us better

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 of MimiVax. In addition to serving as the Company’s General Counsel, he is the Chairman and CEO of Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP, a Western New York headquartered law firm, which concentrates on representing businesses and entrepreneurs. He co-founded, and sits on the board of, a number of start-up life science companies. 

Mr. Friedman is experienced in venture capital and private equity transactions and is also a General Partner in Impact Capital, a newly established venture capital fund, and sits on the board of directors of the Western New York Venture Association. Mr. Friedman is the General Editor of a Field Guide for Starting and Growing a Life Science Company in Western New York, a guidebook prepared by the Lippes Mathias law firm and Invest Buffalo Niagara.


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

Doug Plessinger joined Global Biotechnology & Cancer Therapeutics (GB CT), a wholly-owned drug development and commercialization affiliate of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, in June 2017. In his current role, Mr Plessinger is directly responsible for leading the clinical, scientific and drug development efforts and external partnership activities for GBCT on behalf of Roswell Park.

Mr Plessinger is a licensed clinical pharmacist who possesses more than 22 years of oncology and hematology product development and commercialization experience within the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Over the past decade, Mr Plessinger has held leadership roles within Medical Affairs, Scientific Affairs and Clinical Operations, where he has been responsible for building teams and advancing global phase I-III immuno-oncology programs.


Doug Plessinger - BOARD MEMBER
Chief Clin. & Scientific Dev. Officer, Global Biotech & Cancer Therapeutics

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