– UK, Cambridge – Acacia Pharma Group plc, the supportive care company developing products for US and international markets, today announces that Ian Kent will retire as non-executive Chairman on 31st December 2015 and will be succeeded by Dr Patrick Vink.
Patrick Vink most recently served as chief operating officer of Cubist Pharmaceuticals, joining there from senior roles at Mylan Inc., including having global responsibility for the group’s hospital business. Previously Patrick held several leadership positions with Novartis Sandoz, Sanofi and Biogen, principally in global commercial roles. He is also a non-executive director of Inhibikase Inc. and Micreos BV.
Patrick commented “I am delighted to be joining Acacia Pharma at such an exciting time for the company. Under Ian’s chairmanship Acacia Pharma has significantly grown in value as its lead pipeline products move through Phase 3 trials towards a potential FDA filing in 2016. I now look forward to working with the Board and the wider Acacia Pharma team on the next stage of the company’s evolution.”
Ian Kent added “I am pleased to deliver the chairmanship of Acacia Pharma to Patrick who brings significant senior-level commercial experience to the business as it moves towards its goal of bringing its own products to market. I wish him every success in his role and look forward to hearing of the progress that Julian and his team achieve over the coming years.”
Dr Julian Gilbert, CEO, said: “Both on a personal basis and on behalf of the Board I would like to thank Ian for the advice, support and friendship he has brought in his role as Chairman over the last 7 years and for his enormous contribution to Acacia Pharma’s development. Patrick brings great experience in specialty pharmaceutical companies that we believe will be of great benefit to us and we all look forward to working with him.”
About Acacia Pharma
Acacia Pharma is developing supportive care product opportunities for post-surgical and cancer patients. Patients and healthcare professionals urgently need new and improved interventions in these rapidly expanding, yet poorly served, areas of supportive care, to improve treatment outcomes and patients’ quality of life.
Acacia Pharma has generated its pipeline of product opportunities using a commercially driven approach to product discovery, identifying completely new uses for marketed drugs, a process termed repurposing. This strategy leads to opportunities with a higher probability of success and enables more rapid development. All of Acacia Pharma’s repurposed programmes are optimised for their new use using a new route of delivery and dose that are appropriate for the new indication identified, thereby differentiating them from the original marketed product.
The lead project, APD421 for post-operative nausea & vomiting (PONV), has generated positive results in Phase 3 clinical studies. Its sister project, APD403 for chemotherapy induced nausea & vomiting (CINV) has successfully completed one Phase 2 dose-ranging study in patients receiving highly emetogenic chemotherapy. In addition, the company has completed a Phase 2 study with APD515 for xerostomia (dry mouth) in advanced cancer patients and a Phase 2a study with APD209 for cancer cachexia (muscle wasting).
Acacia Pharma, has an experienced management team and management, Gilde Healthcare, Lundbeckfond Ventures, Novo A/S and F-Prime Capital are the Company’s key shareholders. Acacia Pharma is based in Cambridge, UK and has US operations in Indianapolis IN.
APD421 comprises a low dose intravenous formulation of the marketed dopamine antagonist amisulpride, which Acacia Pharma has repurposed for the completely new, patent-protected use of management of PONV. Amisulpride is currently indicated for the management of psychoses, and is given at high doses in oral form. Amisulpride is not available for any use in the US.
Data generated by Acacia Pharma indicate that APD421 is an effective, safe, dopamine antagonist. The company believes that a drug with these characteristics can be used prophylactically in combination with 5HT3 antagonists and/or corticosteroids in the highest risk patients and to rescue patients that have not responded to PONV prophylaxis with a 5HT3 antagonist alone or in combination.
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