– USA, CA – Allergen Research Corporation (ARC), a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing desensitization treatments for food allergies, today announced additions to the company’s Board of Directors: Mark McDade, joining as Chairman; and Mark Iwicki, joining as a member of the Board. Mr. McDade is a global pharmaceutical operations executive with nearly 30 years of experience, and Mr. Iwicki is a pharmaceutical industry leader who has managed all stages of drug development and commercialization in multiple therapeutic areas during his 25-year career.
“I am really excited to have Mark and Mark join the ARC Board at this crucial time,” said ARC CEO Stephen Dilly, MBBS, PhD. “Their deep skill sets in operations and commercial execution will be extremely valuable as we advance our lead program.”
Mr. McDade is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company focusing on neurology and immunology treatment and research. At UCB, Mr. McDade leads worldwide geographic operations, established brands, technical operations and business development. Previously, Mr. McDade served as CEO and as a Director of PDL Biopharma. He was also CEO of Signature Bioscience; Founder, Chief Operating Officer, President and a Director of Corixa Corporation; and Chief Operating Officer of Boehringer Mannheim Therapeutics, the bio-pharmaceutical division of Corange. Earlier in his career, Mr. McDade held several positions at Sandoz Ltd., including business development, product management and general management. He serves on the Boards of Directors of Five Prime Therapeutics and Dermira. Mr. McDade received an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BA in History from Dartmouth College.
“ARC is a prime example of a company responding to a critical medical need in a therapeutic area where there are no FDA approved products,” said Mr. McDade. “I’m honored to come on to lead the board at this critical juncture — as we head into Phase 3, we are putting all the pieces in place to be able to offer people a meaningful treatment program to protect them against accidental exposure to their food allergens, with our initial focus in peanut.”
Mr. Iwicki is Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kala Pharmaceuticals and sits on the Boards of Nimbus Therapeutics and Taris Biomedical. He was President and CEO of Civitas Therapeutics until late 2014, when it was acquired by Acorda Therapeutics. Prior to joining Civitas, Mr. Iwicki was President and CEO of Blend Therapeutics, a nanotechnology oncology biotech company. He was also President and CEO of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals after leading its launch from the acquisition of Sepracor, where he had been Chief Commercial Officer. Previously, Mr. Iwicki was Senior Vice President at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and headed the cardiovascular business unit and additional therapeutic areas. He began his career in sales and marketing at Merck, Astra Merck and AstraZeneca. Mr. Iwicki received an MBA from Loyola University Maryland and a BS in Business Administration and Management from Ball State University.
“ARC is working to address a very compelling therapeutic area and provide an option to those dealing with food allergies,” said Mr. Iwicki. “I’m looking forward to contributing to the effort to get through development and make this treatment available as a reality for physicians to offer their patients.”
About Food Allergies
Food allergies represent an urgent and growing global unmet medical need. Approximately 15 million people in the United States and 17 million people in Europe have food allergies. Moreover, the prevalence of food allergies is increasing rapidly. In the United States, 1 in 25 children suffered from a food allergy a decade ago, compared to 1 in 13 today. For people living with food allergies, certain foods can cause severe allergic reactions, including potentially life-threatening anaphylaxis. There is no cure for food allergies. Currently, food-allergic patients manage their condition by strict allergen avoidance and carrying epinephrine auto-injectors for use in case of accidental exposure. Thus, in addition to the unmet medical need, food allergies can impose a significant quality of life burden.
About Allergen Research Corporation
Allergen Research Corporation (ARC), founded in 2011, develops treatments for food allergies using characterized oral desensitization immunotherapy (CODIT™), its proprietary approach to oral immunotherapy (OIT). ARC’s CODIT system combines standardized, pharmaceutical-grade food allergens with controlled up-dosing protocols to desensitize patients and increase the thresholds at which they could experience severe allergic reactions. ARC recently completed a successful Phase 2 study of its lead product, AR 101, a standardized, pharmaceutical-grade peanut protein formulation for the treatment of peanut allergy, one of the most common food allergies. ARC is also developing CODIT therapies for other common food allergies.
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