Healthcare Industry News: HSMN NewsFeed
News Release - August 30, 2006
Biomira Appoints Robert Kirkman President and CEOChristopher Henney Named Chairman
EDMONTON, Aug. 30 (HSMN NewsFeed) - Biomira Inc. (Nasdaq: BIOM ; TSX: BRA ) today announced the appointment of Robert L. Kirkman, MD, as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Kirkman was also elected to the Board of Directors. In addition, the Company announced that Christopher Henney, PhD, has been named Chairman of the Board. Drs. Kirkman and Henney will commence their duties on September 5, 2006.
Dr. Kirkman was formerly Acting President and CEO of Xcyte Therapies, Inc of Seattle, WA, which concluded a merger with Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in March 2006. From 2004-2005, Dr. Kirkman was Chief Business Officer and Vice President at Xcyte, where he played a significant role in the Company's initial public offering and led business development and strategic planning activities.
From 1998 to 2003, Dr. Kirkman was Vice President, Business Development and Corporate Communications at Protein Design Labs, where he had a broad range of responsibilities, including expansion of PDL's pipeline through in-licensing, mergers and acquisitions. From 1981 to 1998, Dr. Kirkman worked at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA as a surgeon and subsequently as Chief, Division of Transplantation. His research demonstrating that antibodies directed against the IL-2 receptor would prolong allograft survival was instrumental in the approval of Zenapax® for the prevention of renal transplant rejection. Dr. Kirkman has a BA in Economics from Yale University and an MD from Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Christopher Henney has been elected Chairman of Biomira. Dr. Henney joined the Board of Directors in March 2005 and is the co-founder of three major publicly-traded U.S. biotech companies, Immunex, ICOS and Dendreon. Dr. Henney was Chairman and CEO of Dendreon from 1995 to 2004. He is Chairman of SGX Pharmaceuticals and Vice-Chairman of Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals. He has a PhD in experimental pathology from the University of Birmingham, England.
Biomira also announced that Robert Blair has been reappointed to the Board of Directors. "We are glad that Bob Blair has agreed to give us the benefit of his long experience as a prior member of Biomira's Board," said Dr. Henney.
"I am very pleased to be joining Biomira at this exciting time in the evolution of the Company," said Dr. Kirkman. "With the responsibility for the future clinical development of Biomira's lead cancer vaccine, Stimuvax®, now in the hands of our collaborator, Merck KGaA, I look forward to the promise and challenge of expanding and diversifying the pipeline. I am delighted with the opportunity to work with Chris Henney again, and we are committed to building a leading cancer therapeutics company."
Dr. Henney added, "The Board of Directors has fully endorsed a strategy of growth through the acquisition or in-licensing of additional cancer therapeutics. Bob Kirkman and I will be aggressively seeking promising new products to add to the pipeline, both for internal development and future partnering activities."
Mr. Eric Baker, the outgoing Chairman of the Board, will remain on the Board. He commented, "These two key appointments strengthen Biomira's leadership as the Company moves to expand its focus and build new value for the shareholders. Dr. Kirkman brings extensive business and scientific expertise which will be invaluable to the company going forward. We are also delighted that Dr. Henney has agreed to succeed me as Chairman, increasing his activities in business development in partnership with Dr. Kirkman."
Biomira is a biotechnology company specializing in the development of innovative therapeutic approaches to cancer management. Biomira's commitment to the treatment of cancer currently focuses on the development of synthetic vaccines and novel strategies for cancer immunotherapy.
This release may contain forward-looking statements. Various factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements, including those predicting the timing, duration and results of clinical trials, trial reviews and analyses and regulatory reviews, the safety and efficacy of the product, and the ability to identify and partner with owners of possible products through in-licensing arrangements. Although the Company believes that the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, it can give no assurance that the Company's expectations are correct or that the Company will have sufficient resources to fund clinical trials. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.
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