– USA, NY – Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:ICPT) a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat chronic underserved liver diseases, today announced the election of Gino Santini and Daniel Welch to its Board of Directors. Messrs. Santini and Welch were elected to Intercept’s Board of Directors at the 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders held on November 24, 2015. Mr. Santini was formerly Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Eli Lilly and Company. Mr. Welch is Executive Partner, Sofinnova Ventures and former Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of InterMune.
“We are really pleased to add Gino and Dan to our Board,” said Mark Pruzanski, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Intercept. “We are confident that their deep industry and operational experience will be invaluable in helping guide the company as we prepare for the anticipated commercial launch of OCA for PBC and continue to advance our pipeline to address the significant unmet need in a number of chronic liver diseases.”
Mr. Santini held a variety of commercial and operational roles at Eli Lilly, serving most recently as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, where he led corporate strategy and long-range planning, mergers and acquisitions, new product licensing and the expansion of Lilly Ventures in the United States and China. Mr. Santini also previously served as President, U.S. Operations with full P&L responsibility over Eli Lilly’s U.S. business which he led through successful approval and launch of seven products, including Actos®, Alimta® and Cialis®. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of several public biopharmaceutical companies, including AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Collegium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Horizon Pharma plc, and Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Santini also serves as a director for several private biopharmaceutical companies. Mr. Santini holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Bologna and an M.B.A. from the Simon School of Business, University of Rochester.
Mr. Welch recently joined Sofinnova Ventures, a leading venture capital firm, as an Executive Partner. For the past decade he was the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of InterMune, Inc., which was listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market until being acquired by Roche. During his tenure, InterMune secured registration of Esbriet® in Europe and subsequently the United States, the first medicine approved for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, successfully launching the product in Europe in 2011 and setting the stage for its successful launch in the US by Roche in 2014. Prior to InterMune, Mr. Welch served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Triangle Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company which was acquired by Gilead Sciences. Previously, he also served as President of the pharmaceutical division of Elan Corporation, PLC and in various senior management roles at Sanofi-Synthelabo (now Sanofi S.A.). During his time at Sanofi, he led the worldwide launches of Plavix®, Eloxatin® and Avapro® as Vice President of Worldwide Marketing and served as Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. business. Mr. Welch currently serves on the Board of Directors of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (where he serves as the Chairman of the Board) and Seattle Genetics, Inc. Mr. Welch holds a B.S. from the University of Miami and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina.
“We are honored that Gino and Dan have joined the Board at this pivotal time,” said Paolo Fundaro, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Intercept. “We look forward to working with Mark and the entire Intercept team to transform Intercept into a successful global commercial biopharmaceutical company.”
Intercept is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat chronic underserved liver diseases. The Company’s lead product candidate, obeticholic acid (OCA), is an agonist of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR). OCA is being developed for a variety of chronic liver diseases, including primary biliary cirrhosis, recently renamed primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and biliary atresia. The FDA has granted OCA breakthrough therapy designation for the treatment of NASH with liver fibrosis and granted OCA fast track designation for the treatment of patients with PBC. OCA has also received orphan drug designation in both the United States and Europe for the treatment of PBC and PSC. Intercept owns worldwide rights to OCA outside of Japan, China and Korea, where it has out-licensed the product candidate to Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. Intercept’s pipeline of product candidates includes other novel bile acid analogs such as INT-767, which is in clinical development.
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