Avax Technologies Inc., a Philadelphia biotechnology company developing cancer vaccines, has named Francois Martelet president and chief executive officer. He joined the board of directors in July.

Martelet succeeds Richard Rainey, who had been president since 2002 and CEO since June, and will continue as chief financial officer through at least May 31, 2008, the company said.

Avax Technologies' lead vaccine candidate, M-Vax, is intended for late-stage melanoma. The company said the technology holds promise for developing vaccine candidates for ovarian cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Contact staff writer Linda Loyd at 215-854-2831 or lloyd@phillynews.com.