Healthcare Industry News: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals
News Release - August 22, 2006
Momenta Pharmaceuticals Announces Appointment of Craig A. Wheeler as Chief Executive OfficerCEO transition positions Momenta for next stage of growth
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 22 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: MNTA ), a biotechnology company specializing in the characterization and engineering of complex drugs, announced today that Craig A. Wheeler has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer of Momenta. Mr. Wheeler will assume his CEO duties beginning September 12, 2006. He has also been elected to the Company's board of directors, effective August 22, 2006. Mr. Wheeler will succeed Alan Crane, who will remain active with the Company as a member of the board of directors.
Mr. Wheeler has extensive professional experience in the biotechnology and healthcare industries. Most recently, he was President of Chiron BioPharmaceuticals, the biotechnology division of Chiron Corporation. The division, which employed over 2,300 people worldwide, manufactured and distributed products treating cancer, cystic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis. During his tenure, global sales in the division doubled to over $600 million and the clinical development pipeline was significantly expanded. Mr. Wheeler also led the transformation of the division's research and development organization to focus on oncology and infectious diseases and oversaw the acquisitions of Matrix Pharmaceuticals and Sagres Discovery. Prior to joining Chiron, Mr. Wheeler served as a partner at The Boston Consulting Group in the firm's health care practice. Mr. Wheeler worked at Merck as a senior engineer in process chemistry earlier in his career and holds a BS and an MS degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in marketing and finance.
"Momenta has tremendous potential given its multiple product opportunities and leading technology for analyzing complex sugars," said Mr. Wheeler. "Alan's leadership has been instrumental in assembling a talented team and leveraging the technology platform to build a robust product pipeline. I look forward to advancing these development opportunities and realizing the Company's vision to create significant value for patients, our healthcare system, as well as our shareholders."
Commenting on the transition, Peter Barrett, Chairman of the board of directors said, "This was a proactive step on the part of Alan to address Momenta's evolving leadership needs in light of the Company's rapid pace of growth. Craig brings significant expertise which we believe will be extremely valuable in leading Momenta through its next phase of growth. In addition to his experience leading an integrated biopharmaceutical organization, his background in commercialization, drug development and protein therapeutics can be directly applied as Momenta seeks to expand its pipeline."
Mr. Barrett continued, "I would also like to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution that Alan has made in helping to rapidly build Momenta from a small start-up with a promising technology platform into an established, public biotechnology company with a significant product pipeline and an exciting future." In addition to continuing to serve on the board of
directors of Momenta, Mr. Crane will serve as a Venture Partner at Polaris Venture Partners.
Mr. Wheeler will continue to serve as a director for AVANIR Pharmaceuticals and as a member of the IBM Life Sciences Strategic Advisory Council. He has been heavily involved in promoting non-profit activities to bring healthcare technologies to those in need through his work with the Rockefeller Foundation, the Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development and the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. He is a member of the Board of Associates of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and serves on the Cornell University Council.
As part of the transition, Mr. Wheeler has been appointed as President of Momenta and has been elected as a Class II director as of August 22, 2006. Mr. Crane has resigned as President and will remain Chief Executive Officer through the transition period until September 12, 2006.
Momenta Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company specializing in the detailed characterization and engineering of complex sugars. Momenta is applying its technology to create technology-enabled generic versions of sugar-based and other complex drug products, develop improved versions of existing drugs, and discover novel drugs and new biological processes. The Company's most advanced product candidate is M-Enoxaparin, a technology-enabled generic version of Lovenox®. Momenta's first improved drug candidate is M118, a rationally engineered anticoagulant specifically designed for acute coronary syndromes. The Company is developing other novel drug candidates through its discovery effort focused on understanding sugar-based biological processes. Momenta was founded in 2001 based on technology initially developed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is headquartered in Cambridge, MA.
To receive additional information about Momenta, please visit the website at http://www.momentapharma.com, which does not form a part of this press release.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements in this press release regarding Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s future expectations, beliefs, intentions, goals, strategies, plans or prospects may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to the Company's technology, product pipeline, and future growth and opportunities. Momenta's actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied in forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those factors contained in Momenta's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2006 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the section "Risk Factors," as well as other documents that may be filed by Momenta from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Momenta's expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future and can be identified by forward-looking words such as "anticipate", "believe", "could", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "may", "should", "will", and "would" or similar words. Momenta assumes no obligations to update the information included in this press release.
Our logo, trademarks, and service marks are the property of Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. All other trade names, trademarks, or service marks are property of their respective owners.
Source: Momenta Pharmaceuticals
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