Healthcare Industry News: Elan Corp
News Release - November 20, 2006
Anadys Pharmaceuticals Names Lawrence C. Fritz, Ph.D., as President and Chief Executive OfficerSAN DIEGO, Nov. 20 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANDS ) announced today that it has appointed Lawrence C. Fritz, Ph.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company and a member of the Board of Directors, effective today. Dr. Fritz succeeds Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D., co-founder and former President and Chief Executive Officer, in accordance with the transition plan announced in June 2006. Dr. Xanthopoulos, who has served as President and CEO since Anadys' inception in May 2000, will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors.
Prior to joining Anadys, Dr. Fritz was President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Conforma Therapeutics Corporation, a privately-held company that he founded. Conforma was acquired by Biogen Idec, Inc. in May 2006.
"We are delighted that someone of Larry's exceptional entrepreneurial and scientific leadership will guide Anadys in the coming years, as Anadys evolves from a research and development company to a comprehensive biopharmaceutical company," said George Scangos, Ph.D., Anadys' Chairman of the Board. "Larry has an extraordinary record of involvement in innovative biotechnology companies, forging overall business strategy, establishing major collaborations with Big Pharma, and motivating teams of employees across all levels of an organization. Meanwhile, on behalf of the Board of Directors I wish to thank Kleanthis for his motivational leadership, the creation of an outstanding organization and his commitment and dedication to Anadys as its founding President and CEO. We all look forward to Kleanthis' continued involvement at Anadys as a board member."
"Since Anadys' inception, we have been fortunate to have attracted a strong management team with a common vision and passion to create novel medicines for serious viral infections and recently cancer," said Dr. Xanthopoulos. "I am very pleased that Larry has joined Anadys as President and CEO. He shares both Anadys' vision and core values, and together with the rest of Anadys' management team and Board of Directors, will move Anadys forward to its next exciting stage of development and growth."
"I am very excited to be joining Anadys at this important and promising time in its corporate development," said Dr. Fritz. "I am eager to build on Anadys' legacy of discovering and developing novel medicines for the treatment of patients with viral infections and cancer. I especially look forward to being a part of Anadys' outstanding team as we work to advance our product candidates to the market in the coming years."
From 1999 to 2006, Dr. Fritz was the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Conforma Therapeutics Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapeutic applications of HSP90 chaperone antagonists in oncology. Prior to Conforma, he co-founded Idun Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he led groups developing therapeutic agents modulating programmed cell death, or apoptosis. He was a member of Idun's Board of Directors and served as Executive Vice President from 1997 to 1999 and Vice President, Research, from 1993 to 1997. From 1986 to 1993, Dr. Fritz was co-founder and Vice President, Research, of Athena Neurosciences, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurological diseases. Athena was subsequently acquired by Elan Corporation, plc.
Dr. Fritz received a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Rockefeller University. He earned a master's degree in Physiology from University College London and a bachelor's degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard.
Inducement Stock Option Grant
The Compensation Committee of the Company's Board of Directors has approved an inducement grant to Dr. Fritz of a non-qualified stock option to purchase 570,000 shares of Anadys' Common Stock, with a date of grant of November 20, 2006, Dr. Fritz's first day of employment with Anadys. This option award was granted without stockholder approval pursuant to NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 4350(i)(1)(A)(iv) and with the following material terms: an exercise price of $4.36 which is equal to the fair market value of Anadys' common stock on the grant date (as determined by the closing price on the prior trading day), a term of 10 years, and a vesting schedule providing that 1/4th of the shares will vest on the one year anniversary of the grant date and 1/48th of the total shares will vest monthly thereafter over the next three years. Although this option was granted outside the Company's 2004 Equity Incentive Plan, it is subject to substantially identical terms and conditions as those contained in the Company's 2004 Equity Incentive Plan.
Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Inc., www.anadyspharma.com, is a biopharmaceutical company committed to advancing patient care by discovering, developing and commercializing novel small molecule medicines for the treatment of viral diseases and cancer. The Company has core expertise in structure-based drug design coupled with medicinal chemistry and Toll-Like Receptor-based small molecule therapeutics. Anadys' clinical development programs include ANA380 for the treatment of HBV, currently in mid-stage clinical development, and ANA975 for the treatment of HCV and HBV, which was suspended while in Phase Ib clinical trials due to pre-clinical toxicology observations in animals. The IND covering ANA975 is currently on full clinical hold; however, a new pre- clinical study has been initiated as a step toward the objective to resume the ANA975 clinical program. Overall, Anadys' therapeutic platform is designed to advance a strong and continual pipeline of drug candidates into the clinic.
Safe Harbor Statement
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature constitute "forward-looking statements." Such statements include, but are not limited to, references to Anadys' objective to become a comprehensive biopharmaceutical company and to advance its product candidates to the market. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause Anadys' actual results to be materially different from historical results or from any results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In particular, there is no guarantee that the FDA will lift the clinical hold on the ANA975 IND, that Anadys and Novartis will be able to agree on future development activities for ANA975 or that the clinical development of ANA975 will be able to be resumed. In addition, the results of initial clinical trials may not be predictive of future results, and Anadys cannot provide any assurances that any of its product candidates will not have unforeseen safety issues, will have favorable results in future clinical trials or will receive regulatory approval. Furthermore, Anadys' results may be affected by risks related to its collaborative relationships with Novartis and LG Life Sciences, competition from other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, its effectiveness at managing its financial resources, its ability to successfully develop and market products, the level of effort that its collaborative partners devote to development and commercialization of its product candidates, difficulties or delays in its pre-clinical studies or clinical trials, difficulties or delays in manufacturing its clinical trials materials, the scope and validity of patent protection for its products, regulatory developments involving future products and its ability to obtain additional funding to support its operations. These and other factors that may cause actual results to differ are more fully discussed in Anadys' SEC filings, including Anadys' Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 and the "Risk Factors" section of Anadys' Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2006. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Anadys is providing this information as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this document as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Source: Anadys Pharmaceuticals
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