Healthcare Industry News: protein therapeutics
News Release - May 1, 2007
Viron Therapeutics Appoints Claude Benedict, M.D. as New Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Regulatory AffairsExperienced Pharmaceutical Executive to Drive Viron's Phase II Clinical Programs
LONDON, Ontario & BOSTON--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Viron Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the commercialization of novel anti-inflammatory therapeutics, today announced that Claude R. Benedict, M.D. has been appointed the Company's Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs. Dr. Benedict brings over thirty years of medical and pharmaceutical experience to Viron, including leadership positions at Archemix Corporation and Aventis Pharmaceuticals.
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the location of the Company's newly formed U.S. office, Dr. Benedict will lead the clinical development of Viron's robust pipeline. The Company's lead compound, VT-111, is currently in a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of vascular inflammation in patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes (ACS). VT-111 is also being advanced for its second indication, the prevention of chronic organ rejection in transplant patients. Dr. Benedict will be instrumental in driving these two programs forward.
Neil K. Warma, President and CEO, Viron Therapeutics, stated, "We are very pleased to have Dr. Benedict join Viron as a key member of our senior management team and look forward to benefiting from his wealth of experience. Dr. Benedict's successful track record in the areas of clinical, medical and regulatory affairs, and his recognized achievements in accelerating development programs, will be of critical importance to support our objectives as we look to secure several key clinical milestones over the next 12 to 18 months."
Dr. Benedict joins Viron from Archemix Corporation, where he served as Senior Vice President and Head of Development and helped to build and advance the company's preclinical and clinical programs across all therapeutic areas. Prior to his position at Archemix Corporation, Dr. Benedict served as Senior Vice President, Global Lead Optimization, Drug Innovation and Approval (Research and Development) for Aventis Pharmaceuticals. In this position, he led an effort to characterize all of the Company's discovery/licensed molecules to determine which had the greatest likelihood of becoming a registered product with the desired product profiles. During his tenure, Dr. Benedict helped increase the number of compounds in Phase I/II from nine to 34 and shortened the development cycle, from early decision to Phase II, to approximately 40 months. Dr. Benedict's pharmaceutical experience also includes consulting and scientific advisory panel positions with Merck, Lilly, and Hoechst Marion Roussel.
Dr. Benedict commented, "I am very pleased to have joined Viron and to have the opportunity to lead the development of a completely novel class of compounds for the treatment of inflammatory-based disorders. Our proprietary approach to treating these diseases is unmatched in the industry; our candidates have the potential to be more effective and safer than current therapies; and our lead compound, VT-111, has the potential to be first to treat the underlying inflammation causing cardiovascular disease."
Dr. Benedict received his M.D. with honors from the University of Ceylon Medical School. He has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications, is a member of the American Federation of Clinical Research, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology.
Viron's lead product, VT-111, is undergoing a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of vascular inflammation in patients with ACS. In a Phase I clinical study, VT-111 demonstrated a strong safety profile with no adverse events. In preclinical testing, the compound has shown a remarkable ability to reduce atherosclerosis and increase the stability of vulnerable plaques that can cause heart attacks. The potential of VT-111 to quickly stabilize patients with ACS could result in a reduction of patients who require surgical intervention, thereby reducing the incidence of heart attacks and death. In addition, Viron will soon submit an IND to support the clinical program in a second indication, the prevention of chronic rejection in transplantation.
About Viron Therapeutics Inc.
Viron Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the commercialization of a new class of anti-inflammatory drugs. Viron is focused on the development of therapeutics derived from viral proteins as a safe, sustainable and unexploited source of novel drugs. Harnessing the evolutionary power of viruses that naturally produce potent anti-inflammatory proteins allows Viron to identify and develop powerful protein therapeutics that target the most effective pathways regulating the body's inflammatory responses to promote healing. In addition to VT-111, Viron has a robust and promising pipeline of six preclinical and several discovery-stage drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory disorders. More information is available at: http://www.vironinc.com.
Source: Viron Therapeutics
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