Healthcare Industry News: CERE-120
News Release - April 23, 2008
Ceregene Announces Two Key Additions to Leadership TeamSAN DIEGO, April 23 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Ceregene, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has added two key people to its management team. Maurice Mezzino has been hired to the position of vice president, chief business officer, and Andrea Loewen-Rodriguez joins the company as senior director, regulatory affairs. These positions have been created to support development and commercial activities as Ceregene transitions to a later stage biotechnology company with two product candidates in clinical trials -- CERE-110 for Alzheimer's disease and CERE-120 for Parkinson's disease.
"We are excited to add two such experienced professionals to our leadership team during a time when we are advancing our product candidates into late-stage clinical development, with CERE-120 for Parkinson's disease potentially entering Phase 3 clinical trials next year," stated Jeffrey M. Ostrove, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer. "Maurice will be a key contributor toward our business and partnering strategies having structured and completed multiple deals during his career, and Andrea will play an important role in liaising with the FDA and European regulators in our efforts to move our therapies through the approval process."
Maurice Mezzino, a business development executive with more than 20 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience, joins us from Biogen Idec, where he has been since 2000, serving most recently as vice president, business development, responsible for managing the west coast business development team. Among his accomplishments, Mr. Mezzino spearheaded an oncology strategic alliance between IDEC and Biogen in 2003, which was a precursor to the merger between the companies later that year; and in 2006 he led the acquisition of Conforma Therapeutics. Prior to Biogen Idec, Mr. Mezzino held a variety of positions in clinical development, business planning, strategic marketing and business development at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Schering-Plough Corporation, Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals and Ayerst Laboratories. Maurice received a BA degree in environmental biology from Rutgers University, an MS degree in microbiology from Louisiana State University and an MBA in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Andrea Loewen-Rodriguez, a regulatory affairs professional with more than 18 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience, joins us from the regulatory affairs division at Biogen Idec, where she has been since 2000. Her responsibilities included developing and implementing global regulatory strategies and submissions for multiple products in clinical development. Prior to Biogen Idec, Ms. Loewen-Rodriguez held various positions with Nexell Therapeutics and Baxter Healthcare Corp. Andrea holds a Regulatory Affairs Certification and received her BA degree in biology from Gustavus Adolphus College.
Ceregene, Inc. is a San Diego-based biotechnology company focused on the delivery of nervous system growth factors for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders using gene delivery. Ceregene's clinical programs include CERE-110, an AAV2 based vector expressing nerve growth factor that is currently in Phase 1 studies for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, and CERE-120 (AAV2-Neurturin) which has completed enrollment of a controlled Phase 2 study for Parkinson's disease. CERE-135 and CERE-140 are in preclinical development for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and ocular disorders, respectively. Ceregene was launched in January 2001. The company's investors include Alta Partners, MPM Capital, Investor Growth Capital and Cell Genesys, Inc. (Nasdaq: CEGE ) as well as Hamilton BioVentures and California Technology Partners.
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