Healthcare Industry News: Bayer HealthCare
News Release - August 2, 2007
Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals Names Scott M. Freeman, M.D., Chief Medical OfficerSAN DIEGO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:HEPH ) today announced that Scott M. Freeman, M.D., has joined the Company in the newly created position of Chief Medical Officer. As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Freeman will be responsible for all clinical development programs and activities of the Company. Dr. Freeman brings to Hollis-Eden a strong background in strategic clinical drug development at a time when the Company has embarked on an aggressive development program with next-generation drug candidates for metabolic disorders, autoimmune conditions and cancers.
Most recently, Dr. Freeman served as Vice-President, Clinical Development and Operations, at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was a key architect of the successful clinical development and FDA approval of NexavarŽ, a novel kidney cancer drug co-developed with Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals Inc. Dr. Freeman joined Onyx when Nexavar was in early Phase I clinical development and the company had a market capitalization of approximately $80 million. Approved by the FDA in 2006, first year sales of Nexavar totaled approximately $160 million and Onyx's current market capitalization is over $1 billion. Prior to Onyx, Dr. Freeman was Clinical Project Director, Clinical Research-Oncology, at Schering-Plough Corporation, where he provided leadership in pre-clinical and clinical data assessment, regulatory strategy, and competitive analysis in multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology and women's health. As one aspect of his role at Schering-Plough, Dr. Freeman was involved in developing a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM), a similar class of drug to that being developed at Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Schering-Plough, Dr. Freeman spent over fifteen years in academic research at the National Institutes of Health, Tulane University and the University of Rochester, developing clinical protocols and completing regulatory requirements in the cancer and genetic disease areas. Dr. Freeman played a pivotal role in developing the first human gene therapy clinical trials in the late 1980s and early 1990s for both cancer and genetic disease.
Dr. Freeman received his medical degree from the University of Nevada, and his undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado. He completed both his internship and residency at the University of Minnesota, where he researched the molecular biology of HLA genes in the laboratory of Dr. Fritz Bach, and then served as a guest researcher in gene therapy at the National Institutes of Health developing human gene therapy clinical trials.
"This is an exciting time for me to be joining Hollis-Eden," stated Dr. Freeman. "I fell in love with steroid hormones a decade ago during my days at Schering-Plough. Steroid hormones are known to have beneficial effects in multiple medical conditions so new, innovative and potentially safer steroid hormone therapies have an enormous potential in the marketplace. The challenge for this class of steroid hormones that stalled their development for decades has been in understanding how to develop active metabolites of adrenal steroid hormones that are pharmaceutically stable and devoid of side effects. With advancements in modern drug development technology, Richard Hollis' keen vision, and outstanding chemistry by Dr. James Frincke and his group, I believe Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals has solved the pharmacology drug development challenges and is ready to exploit a new first-in-class line of steroid hormone drugs. This should lead to a rich pipeline for many years to come. I look forward to being part of such groundbreaking work and further advancing Hollis-Eden's clinical development activities. I am very impressed with the data reported on the activity of HE3286 in animal models of type 2 diabetes and diseases of inflammation as well as the activity of HE3235 in models of prostate and breast cancer. Moreover, the initial results of good oral bioavailability and blood drug concentrations of HE3286 from the Phase I clinical study augur well for Hollis-Eden as we enter into studies aimed at demonstrating efficacy."
"The addition of Dr. Freeman to the Hollis-Eden management team will further strengthen our capabilities in the critical area of clinical drug development," stated Richard B. Hollis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals. "Having successfully taken a drug candidate from Phase I studies through FDA approval, Dr. Freeman will serve a leadership role in our strategic clinical development planning and execution as we seek to commercialize HE3286 and HE3235 for multiple indications in major medical markets in need of better therapies."
In connection with joining the Company, Dr. Freeman was granted an inducement stock option to purchase up to 150,000 shares of common stock of Hollis-Eden at an exercise price of $1.66 per share. This stock option was granted in reliance upon NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 4350 (i)(1)(A)(iv). The exercise price of Dr. Freeman's stock option is equal to the fair market value of a share of the Company's common stock on August 1, 2007, the date of grant. The stock option has been classified as a non-qualified stock option, has a ten-year term and vests as to one-fourth of the total number of shares upon the first anniversary of the grant date and as to the remaining shares monthly over the next three years subject to continued employment or service through each relevant vesting date.
Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a world leader in the development of a proprietary class of adrenal steroid hormones as novel pharmaceuticals for human health. Through its Hormonal Signaling Technology Platform, Hollis-Eden is developing a new series of small molecule compounds that are metabolites or synthetic analogs of endogenous hormones derived by the adrenal glands from the body's most abundant circulating steroid. These steroid hormones, designed to restore the biological activity of cellular signaling pathways disrupted by disease and aging, have been demonstrated in humans to possess several properties with potential therapeutic benefit -- they regulate innate and adaptive immunity, reduce nonproductive inflammation and stimulate cell proliferation. The Company's clinical drug development candidates include HE3286, a next-generation compound currently in a clinical trial for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and being prepared for potential clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis, and HE3235, a next-generation candidate that has been selected for cancer. In addition to these clinical development candidates, Hollis-Eden has an active research program that is generating additional new clinical leads that are being further evaluated in preclinical models of a number of different diseases. For more information on Hollis-Eden, visit the Company's website at www.holliseden.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws concerning, among other things, the potential and prospects of the Company's drug discovery program and its drug candidates. Any statement included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors which, if they do not materialize or prove correct, could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from historical results or those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company's business, including, but not limited to: the ability to complete preclinical and clinical trials successfully and within specified timelines, if at all; the ability to obtain regulatory approval for HE3286, HE3235 or any other investigational drug candidate; the Company's future capital needs; the Company's ability to obtain additional funding; the ability of the Company to protect its intellectual property rights and to not infringe the intellectual property rights of others; the development of competitive products by other companies; and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or circumstances arising after the date of this press release.
Source: Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals
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