Healthcare Industry News:  personalized oncology 

Biopharmaceuticals Oncology Personnel

 News Release - July 20, 2009

ChemGenex Appoints Mr. Thomas DeZao as Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer

Key Appointment in Preparation for U.S. Commercial Launch of Omacetaxine in 2010

MELBOURNE, Australia & MENLO PARK, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX:CXS ) announced today that it has appointed Mr. Thomas DeZao to the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. Mr. DeZao will commence his position immediately and will lead the company’s commercial efforts including sales, marketing and the coordination of manufacturing activities for the launch of omacetaxine in the USA.

"Tom is a highly respected executive in the pharmaceuticals industry and we are delighted that he will be joining ChemGenex as he brings the crucial experience and expertise to lead a successful launch of omacetaxine in the U.S. next year,” said Dr. Greg Collier, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director. “This is an exciting stage in the company’s development; we are on track to complete the submission of our NDA to the U.S. FDA in Q3, 2009 with the European submission to the EMEA due Q4, 2009.”

Mr. DeZao has more than 25 years of drug sales and marketing experience and a significant track record of achievement with several pharmaceutical companies who have launched innovative products in the U.S. oncology market. Most recently, Mr. DeZao spent six years at Genitope Corporation as Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Sales, where he created a solid foundation for the commercialization of the MyVax(R) Personalized Immunotherapy for the treatment of follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (f-NHL). Prior to joining Genitope, Mr. DeZao was the Vice President of Marketing and Medical Affairs at Corixa/Coulter Pharmaceuticals Inc, where he played a pivotal role in the highly successful collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to develop and launch BEXXAR(R). Previously Mr. DeZao held commercial positions of increasing responsibility with Asta Medica Inc. and Chiron Corporation.

“I am thrilled to join the ChemGenex team at this pivotal period in the company’s development and look forward to this unique opportunity to plan and implement the launch of a new and important oncology product that has the potential to positively impact the lives of leukemia patients,” added Thomas DeZao.

Omacetaxine Overview

Omacetaxine mepesuccinate is a first-in-class cetaxine with demonstrated clinical activity as a single agent in a range of hematological malignancies. Omacetaxine has a novel mechanism of action, specifically binding to the ribosomal A-site cleft and inhibiting protein translation of short-lived oncoproteins that are upregulated in leukemic cells (particularly Cyclin-D1, Mcl-1 and c-Myc). As omacetaxine acts independently of tyrosine kinase inhibitors, it may have a therapeutic advantage for patients who have developed resistance to TKIs. Omacetaxine is administered subcutaneously. Omacetaxine is currently in global phase 2/3 clinical trials for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and has been granted Orphan Drug designations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMEA) as well as Fast Track status by the FDA.

About ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals Limited (http://www.chemgenex.com)

ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical development company dedicated to improving the lives of patients by developing personalized oncology medicines. ChemGenex harnesses the power of genomics both to discover novel targets and drug compounds, and in clinical trials to develop more individualized treatment outcomes. ChemGenex’s lead compound, omacetaxine mepesuccinate, is currently in phase 2/3 clinical trials for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). ChemGenex has a second anticancer compound, amonafide dihydrochloride (Quinamed(R)), which is in phase 2 clinical development for various solid cancers, and a portfolio of assets in pre-clinical development. ChemGenex currently trades on the Australian Stock Exchange under the symbol "CXS" and as a level 1 ADR program on the US OTC market under the symbol "CXSPY". For additional information on ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals, please visit our web site at http://www.chemgenex.com.

Details on the clinical trials can be accessed from the following websites;

http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00375219?term=homoharringtonine&rank=9 and http://www.tkiresistantcmltrials.com

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements made herein (including for this purpose sites to which a hyperlink has been provided) that use the words “estimate”, “project”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements within the meaning of the US Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company to be materially different from those which may be expressed or implied by such statements, including, among others, risks or uncertainties associated with the development of the company’s technology, the ability to successfully market products in the clinical pipeline, the ability to advance promising therapeutics through clinical trials, the ability to establish our fully integrated technologies, the ability to enter into additional collaborations and strategic alliances and expand current collaborations and obtain milestone payments, the suitability of internally discovered genes for drug development, the ability of the company to meet its financial requirements, the ability of the company to protect its proprietary technology, potential limitations on the company’s technology, the market for the company’s products, government regulation in Australia and the United States, changes in tax and other laws, changes in competition and the loss of key personnel. These statements are based on our management’s current expectations and are subject to a number of uncertainties that could change the results described in the forward-looking statements. Investors should be aware that there are no assurances that results will not differ from those projected.


Source: ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals

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