Vical Inc. (Nasdaq: VICL) develops biopharmaceutical products based on patented non-viral DNA delivery technologies for the prevention and treatment of life-threatening diseases.
The company currently focuses its resources on the independent development of DNA vaccines for infectious diseases and cancer therapeutics. Vical also collaborates with major pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and government agencies, providing access to complementary technologies or greater resources.
Prior to joining Vical in November 2000, Vijay Samant had 23 years of diverse U.S. and international sales, marketing, operations and business development experience with Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK). From 1998 to mid-2000, he was chief operating officer of the Merck Vaccine Division, culminating with chief operating officer. As COO, he managed Merck's worldwide vaccine business with sales of $1.2 billion and operating income of $700 million. He was responsible for vaccine business strategy, including long-range research planning, licensing/regulatory strategy, manufacturing capacity planning and new product acquisitions. He was responsible for the European vaccine business as a member of the Aventis Pasteur-MSD board's executive committee, and directed a sales and marketing organization of 600.
Before 1998, he served in the Merck Manufacturing Division as vice president of vaccine operations, vice president of business affairs and executive director of materials management.
Samant earned his MBA from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983. He received a master's degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University in 1977 and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Bombay in 1975.
Samant is a member of the board of trustees of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) Finance and Development (Endowment) committees, a director of the Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation and a member of the Project Management Subcommittee for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). He also is a board member of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences alumni association at Columbia University.