Healthcare Industry News: Conforma Therapeutics
News Release - October 26, 2006
Kosan Appoints Robert De Jager as Chief Medical OfficerHAYWARD, Calif., Oct. 26 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Kosan Biosciences Incorporated (Nasdaq: KOSN ) announced today the appointment of Robert De Jager, M.D., F.A.C.P., as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer. Dr. De Jager is a distinguished medical oncologist and clinical pharmacologist with more than 30 years of experience in the global development and successful registration of novel cancer therapeutics spanning multiple modalities. Dr. De Jager joins Kosan from Conforma Therapeutics Corporation (acquired by Biogen Idec in May 2006) where he served as Chief Medical Officer and Vice President, Clinical Research and Development, and was responsible for the company's development programs.
"Robert De Jager joins Kosan at an exciting time in our growth, as we prepare to advance our clinical programs toward late-stage development and registration," said Robert G. Johnson, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer. "Robert has broad expertise in cancer drug discovery and development, from translational research through all phases of global clinical development and registration. He has direct experience in working with Hsp90 inhibitors, as well as with many other chemotherapeutic agents and approaches. Robert has successfully registered multiple anticancer agents and has developed novel cancer therapeutic regimens. He is an innovator, a dedicated clinician, and a respected and influential member of the international oncology community. Kosan's management and board of directors join me in warmly welcoming Robert to our company."
"I admire Kosan's commitment to innovation, their ability to implement high-quality clinical and regulatory strategies, and their focus on advancing promising cancer therapeutics toward registration in an expeditious manner," said Dr. De Jager. "Hsp90 inhibitors and epothilones represent important new approaches to the treatment of cancer. I believe that Kosan is the leader in Hsp90 inhibitor development and that these compounds have the potential to be the first to reach the market. I share the company's sense of urgency and commitment, and hope to make a major contribution to accelerating the progress of this vital and exciting company."
Dr. De Jager has a long and successful professional career in developing and registering novel cancer therapeutics in global markets. Prior to joining Conforma, he served as Director of Cancer Research and Development at Sanofi Research in Paris, Director of Medical Research at Perlmmune, Inc. (formerly Akzo-Organon Teknika/Biotechnology Research Institute) in Rockville, Maryland, Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Rgene Therapeutics in The Woodlands, Texas, and Vice President, Research and Development, Oncology and Internal Medicine at Daiichi Pharmaceutical Corporation in Montvale, New Jersey. Dr. De Jager has been a principal investigator and served on committees of many influential cancer organizations including European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), the Southeastern Cancer Study Group and the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group.
Dr. De Jager earned his M.D. from the Free University of Brussels in Belgium. He did postdoctoral training at Lenox Hill Hospital (internship), the Mayo Clinic (residency in internal medicine) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (fellowship in medical oncology and clinical pharmacology). He is licensed in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Belgium. Dr. De Jager has held academic appointments at Cornell University Medical School, the Free University of Brussels, New Jersey Medical School and University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He has served in the U.S. Army and has held multiple hospital appointments. Dr. De Jager is the author of 183 publications and abstracts and is the recipient of multiple grants and awards for his work in cancer research and development.
Kosan Biosciences is a biotechnology company advancing two new classes of anticancer agents through clinical development -- Hsp90 (heat shock protein 90) inhibitors and epothilones. Kosan is leveraging its proprietary discovery platform to generate a pipeline of potentially significant product candidates, primarily in the area of oncology.
Hsp90 inhibitors have a novel mechanism of action targeting multiple pathways involved in cancer cell growth and survival. Kosan's proprietary formulation of tanespimycin (KOS-953) is currently in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials, primarily for multiple myeloma and HER2-positive breast cancer. In addition, intravenous and oral formulations of Kosan's second-generation Hsp90 inhibitor, alvespimycin (KOS-1022), are being evaluated in Phase 1 clinical trials.
Epothilones inhibit cell division with a mechanism of action similar to taxanes, one of the most successful classes of anti-tumor agents. KOS-862 is currently being studied in a Phase 2 single-agent clinical trial in patients with metastatic breast cancer, as well as a Phase 2 combination trial with Herceptin®. KOS-1584, a second candidate designed to improve pharmacokinetics, is in Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with solid tumors. Kosan's epothilone program is partnered with Roche through a global development and commercialization agreement.
For additional information on Kosan Biosciences, please visit the company's website at www.kosan.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"). Such forward-looking statements include but are not limited to statements relating to the further development and potential safety, efficacy and registration of Kosan's product candidates. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause the results of Kosan to differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements, including, among others, risks related to the clinical advancement of Kosan's clinical candidates, including the risk that clinical trials may not demonstrate safety and efficacy sufficient to obtain the requisite regulatory approvals or to result in a marketable product; and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2006 and other periodic filings with the SEC. Kosan does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.
Source: Kosan Biosciences
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