Healthcare Industry News: Merck
News Release - November 17, 2010
Topaz Pharmaceuticals Names Bob Radie Chief Executive OfficerExecutive with 25 years of biotech and pharmaceutical experience to lead company preparing to submit its first New Drug Application
HORSHAM, Pa., Nov. 17, 2010 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Topaz Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company, today announced that Bob Radie has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Thomas Beck, M.D., who was serving as interim Chief Executive Officer, will resume his role as Chief Medical Officer of the company.
Topaz Pharmaceuticals' lead product, ivermectin topical cream, is concluding Phase 3 clinical trials to support a new drug application for the treatment of head lice.
"Bob's appointment follows a comprehensive selection process by the Board of Directors to identify the best leader to take Topaz Pharmaceuticals forward and maximize the value of its lead product, a novel formulation of ivermectin," said Robert D. Casale, non-executive Chairman of the Board. "Bob's combination of business development experience as well as his expertise in successfully introducing new medicines into the commercial market is a great fit for Topaz as we prepare to report Phase 3 data on ivermectin topical cream for the treatment of head lice. Bob's extensive pharmaceutical experience should prove highly beneficial to Topaz as the company continues to advance this novel product through the drug approval process."
Mr. Radie has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of TransMolecular, Inc., a biotechnology company developing novel cancer diagnostic and treatment products. He previously served as Chief Business Officer at Prestwick Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Morphotek. He played leading roles in the acquisition of Prestwick by Biovail Corp. in 2008 and Morphotek by Eisai, Inc. in 2007. He has also served as senior vice president of strategic projects and planning at Vicuron Pharmaceuticals (acquired in 2005 by Pfizer). Before joining Vicuron, Mr. Radie worked for Eli Lilly and Company, where he led several different sales forces and played a key role in numerous product launches. Among the flagship products he successfully launched were Prozac®, Zyprexa® and Actos®. Mr. Radie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Boston College.
"I am honored to join the team at Topaz as we advance a promising late-stage development product targeted for the treatment of head lice, a common condition that affects millions of children. There is a true need for effective, safe and convenient treatment options for eradication of head lice," said Radie. "Ivermectin has a long history of productive use for the treatment of other parasitic infections. Studies conducted to date in this development program have shown very promising results. I look forward to partnering with the team and Board of Directors as we propel Topaz to the next phase of commercial growth and optimizing the value of the asset."
Ivermectin is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent. Its known mechanism of action is that it binds selectively to certain ion channels present in invertebrate nerve and muscle cells but not present in mammals. The resulting increase in permeability of the cell membrane causes the death of certain parasites. First developed from a soil bacterium, widespread oral use of ivermectin, under the brand name Mectizan®, began in 1987 in sub-Saharan Africa to control onchocerciasis (river blindness) in humans. As of 2009, over 800 million doses of oral ivermectin had been administered as part of a river blindness eradication program.(1) A novel topical form of ivermectin is currently under clinical investigation at Topaz as a potential therapy to treat head lice.
About Topaz Pharmaceuticals
Topaz Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company developing innovative treatments for the adult and pediatric markets. The company's lead investigational product is a topical cream formulation of ivermectin, a broad spectrum parasiticide, under development for the treatment of head lice. The company is conducting two Phase 3 studies of ivermectin for this potential indication. For more information about Topaz Pharmaceuticals Inc., please visit www.topazpharma.com.
Mectizan® is a registered trademark of Merck & Company.
Prozac® is a registered trademark of Eli Lilly and Company.
Zyprexa® is a registered trademark of Eli Lilly and Company.
Actos® is a registered trademark of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.
1. Moreno Y, Nabhan JF, Solomon J, Mackenzie CD, Geary TG. Ivermectin disrupts the function of the excretory-secretory apparatus in microfilariae of Brugia malayi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 2010;Published on line, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1011983107.
Source: Topaz Pharmaceuticals
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