Healthcare Industry News:  InterMune 

Biopharmaceuticals Personnel

 News Release - October 4, 2007

Alvine Pharmaceuticals Announces Management Additions

SAN CARLOS, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutic products for the treatment of celiac disease, today announced three new additions to the company's senior management team. Kirk Essenmacher, M.D., joins Alvine as Vice President of Marketing, Corporate and Strategic Development; Henk Kocken, Ph.D., as Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs; and Revati Shreeniwas, M.D., as Vice President of Clinical Research and Development.

"We are pleased to welcome Kirk, Henk and Revati to Alvine. Each has a distinguished background and strong functional expertise coupled with a wealth of biopharmaceutical industry experience," said Abhay Joshi, Ph.D., Alvine's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to their contributions to further expand our operations and move our programs into the clinic."

Dr. Essenmacher previously served as head of Commercial Development for Genentech's BioOncology Group, and head of Operations Planning and Franchise Development, Genentech Hematology. Prior to Genentech, he was responsible for corporate business development, corporate VC, corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions at Guidant Corporation. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at UCSF and is board certified in Internal Medicine. He has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Prior to joining Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Kocken served as Head of Quality at KaloBios, Inc. and Vice President, Quality Systems at VaxGen, Inc., where he was responsible for building cGMP, FDA and ISO 9000 compliant processes. In addition, he has held leadership positions at CoTherix (now Actelion Ltd.), InterMune, FibroGen, BioRad and Clontech. Dr. Kocken also served as Assistant Professor on the faculty at Eindhoven University of Technology.

Dr. Revati Shreeniwas has over twenty years of clinical and drug development experience and has held positions of increasing responsibility as Director, Clinical Research at CV Therapeutics, and Senior Director, Clinical Research and Development at Actelion Inc, and Scios, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. Dr. Shreeniwas was President of Revati, Inc., a consulting group where she was responsible for providing strategic consulting to life sciences companies. Dr. Shreeniwas has also served on the faculties of Columbia University and Stanford University.

About Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by the ingestion of gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. Celiac disease prevalence in the U.S. and E.U. may be as high as 1% of the total population (approximately 3,000,000 in the U.S.) according to a recent NIH study. It is believed that many individuals with celiac disease remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Gluten, a protein found naturally in wheat, rye, and barley, is poorly digested in humans due to high proline & glutamine content. Genetically predisposed individuals mount an immune response to gluten and gluten fragments, which can lead to a diverse array of conditions including intestinal damage & gastrointestinal symptoms, osteopenia/osteoporosis, anemia, dermatitis, malignancies, and nervous system conditions. There are currently no approved pharmaceutical therapies for celiac disease. At this time, the only available treatment for individuals diagnosed with celiac disease is a life-long adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. There is a high unmet need for celiac disease therapies.

About Alvine

Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a privately held biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing therapeutics for the treatment of celiac disease. Alvine's lead product candidate, ALV003, is a combination protease designed to digest gluten in order to render it non-toxic to individuals with celiac disease. For additional information about the company, please visit

Source: Alvine Pharmaceuticals

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