Healthcare Industry News: VELCADE
News Release - January 25, 2006
Millennium Announces Appointments of Executive Vice President of Commercial Operations, Vice President of Finance and Several Key PromotionsCAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 25 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MLNM ) today announced Christophe Bianchi, M.D., will join the Company as executive vice president for commercial operations. He will also be an executive officer of the Company and a member of the leadership team. Also announced today is the appointment of Mark Kost as vice president, finance, as well as the promotions of Grant Bogle, senior vice president, sales and marketing; and Elizabeth Lewis, Esq., vice president, commercial law. In addition, the Company has appointed Anna Protopapas, senior vice president, corporate development, as an executive officer and a member of the leadership team.
"We are excited to have Christophe join the Millennium team," said Deborah Dunsire, M.D., president and chief executive officer. "His experience in building commercial and sales organizations, launching major products and delivering sustained growth is very much aligned with the Company's goals to build a competitive commercial organization and deliver long-term success. Also, the appointment of Mark Kost and the promotions we announced today reflect the growing breadth of experience and talent at Millennium, one of the Company's greatest assets."
Dr. Bianchi will join Millennium on February 1, 2006, with 17 years of experience in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. He comes to the Company from sanofi-aventis, where he led the U.S. oncology business unit, a $2 billion business with blockbuster brands such as Eloxatin® and Taxotere®. Previously, Dr. Bianchi headed sanofi's internal medicine, central nervous system and oncology U.S. business unit, an organization comprised of approximately 1,000 professionals with a $1 billion profit and loss, and seven brands including Ambien®. Dr. Bianchi also had a successful 10-year career at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer with positions of increasing responsibility, most recently serving as vice president and head of global marketing. During that period, he led many of the commercial efforts for the market-leading antithrombotic, Lovenox®, taking it from pre-launch to blockbuster status.
A native of France, Dr. Bianchi is a naturalized American citizen who earned his M.D. from the University of Reims-Champagne in France and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Joining Millennium on February 6, 2006, is Mark Kost, as the vice president of finance. For the past three years, Mr. Kost has served as vice president of finance for Gillette's global technology and manufacturing group. He was responsible for more than $4 billion in annual spend in global manufacturing, research and development, supply chain, new product development and engineering organizations, as well as the global real estate portfolio. These organizations delivered significant productivity improvements and new products. Prior to joining Gillette, Mr. Kost held executive finance positions at Polaroid, FosterGrant, and Pepsico, and has more than 20 years of corporate finance experience.
Grant Bogle has been promoted to senior vice president, sales and marketing for VELCADE® (bortezomib) for Injection. Since June 2005, Mr. Bogle has been responsible for the overall marketing and sales strategy for VELCADE and has been integral to the continued growth of the product. He joined Millennium in 2004 as the head of sales and marketing for INTEGRILIN® (eptifibatide) Injection, a product the Company sold the development and commercial rights to Schering-Plough in 2005. Mr. Bogle has broad sales management and marketing experience from BASF Pharma (Knoll Pharmaceuticals) and Roche, and hospital experience from American Critical Care and Dupont. Prior to joining Millennium, Mr. Bogle was president of ViaCord, the blood- banking division of ViaCell, Inc. in Boston.
Elizabeth Lewis, Esq. has been promoted to vice president, commercial law. Ms. Lewis played a critical role in the launch of VELCADE and has worked closely with senior leadership within the commercial organization to support the continued growth of the product. Ms. Lewis joined Millennium in 2002. Prior to joining Millennium, Ms. Lewis was a partner in the firm of Epstein Becker & Green and co-chaired the firm's pharmaceutical health regulatory practice group.
Anna Protopapas, senior vice president, corporate development, has been appointed an executive officer and a member of the leadership team. Since Ms. Protopapas joined Millennium in 1997, she has led many of the Company's efforts in strategic alliances, product acquisitions, out-licensing and new ventures. During her tenure at Millennium, Ms. Protopapas has been a key driver in forging partnerships that have generated significant revenue and value for the Company, including collaborations with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals Research and Development L.L.C., Aventis Pharmaceuticals and Abbott Laboratories. Under her leadership, Millennium has built a strong business development team with significant industry experience.
VELCADE is indicated for the treatment of multiple myeloma patients who have received at least one prior therapy. VELCADE is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to bortezomib, boron, or mannitol. VELCADE should be administered under the supervision of a physician experienced in the use of antineoplastic therapy.
Risks associated with VELCADE therapy include new or worsening peripheral neuropathy, hypotension, cardiac disorders, gastrointestinal adverse events, thrombocytopenia and tumor lysis syndrome. Women of childbearing potential should avoid becoming pregnant while being treated with VELCADE.
In 331 patients who were treated with VELCADE in a phase III study, the most commonly reported adverse events were asthenic conditions (61%), diarrhea (57%), nausea (57%), constipation (42%), peripheral neuropathy (36%), vomiting (35%), pyrexia (35%), thrombocytopenia (35%), psychiatric disorders (35%), anorexia and appetite decreased (34%), parasthesia (27%), dysesthesia (27%), anemia and headache (26%), and cough (21%). Fourteen percent of patients reported at least one episode of grade 4 toxicity; the most common grade 4 toxicities were thrombocytopenia (4%), neutropenia (2%), and hypercalcemia (2%). A total of 144 patients on VELCADE (44%) reported serious adverse events (SAEs) during the study. The most commonly reported SAEs were pyrexia (6%), diarrhea (5%), dyspnea and pneumonia (4%), and vomiting (3%).
VELCADE is being co-developed by Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. Millennium is responsible for commercialization of VELCADE in the U.S.; Janssen-Cilag is responsible for commercialization in Europe and the rest of the world. Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K. is responsible for commercialization in Japan. VELCADE is approved in more than 60 countries worldwide. VELCADE is also approved in the European Union as a second-line treatment.
For more information about VELCADE clinical trials, patients and physicians can contact the Millennium Medical Product Information Department at 1-866-VELCADE (1-866-835-2233).
Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass., markets VELCADE, a novel cancer product, and has a robust clinical development pipeline of product candidates. The Company's research, development and commercialization activities are focused in two therapeutic areas: oncology and inflammation. By applying its knowledge of the human genome, understanding of disease mechanisms and industrialized drug discovery platform, Millennium is seeking to develop breakthrough products. The Company's website is http://www.millennium.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including statements about the Company's growth and development of products. Various important risks may cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from the results indicated by these forward-looking statements, including: adverse results in its drug discovery and clinical development programs; failure to obtain patent protection for its discoveries; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; the Company's dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialize products and services based on its work; difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from its development efforts; product withdrawals; competitive factors; difficulties or delays in manufacturing the Company's products; government and third party reimbursement rates; the commercial success of VELCADE and INTEGRILIN® (eptifibatide) Injection; achieving revenue consistent with internal forecasts; and the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialization activities. For a further list and description of the risks and uncertainties the Company faces, see the reports it has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward- looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Eloxatin®, Taxotere®, Ambien® and Lovenox® are registered trademarks of sanofi-aventis.
Editor's Note: This release is available under the Media section on the Company's website at http://www.millennium.com.
Source: Millennium Pharmaceuticals
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