Aeterna Zentaris Appoints Chief Commercial Officer, Reaffirming New Company Vision
All amounts are in US dollars
QUÉBEC CITY, Nov. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) (the "Company") today announced the appointment of Jude Dinges as Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer, thus reaffirming its new vision of becoming a specialty biopharmaceutical commercially operating company.
"Over the last few months, we have conducted an in-depth review of our R&D and corporate activities. This has led to a comprehensive strategic growth plan focused on achieving our goal of transforming Aeterna Zentaris into a biopharmaceutical operating company through the commercialization of our pipeline, as well as through actively pursuing in-licensing and acquisition opportunities", said David Dodd, President and CEO of Aeterna Zentaris. "Jude's appointment is in line with this new vision. His more than 30 years experience in pharmaceutical and biologics commercial development will be very valuable as we are in the process of bringing macimorelin acetate to market as the first approved oral product for evaluating growth hormone deficiency in adults. He will also be responsible for future commercial opportunities with a view of ensuring sustained growth. We are delighted that Jude is joining our management team, and we look forward to his contributions to our growth and development."
Jude Dinges added, "I'm very excited to join the Aeterna Zentaris team at this important time in its history. With a near-term NDA filing, a promising oncology pipeline and a talented leadership team, I feel Aeterna Zentaris holds great promise as a commercial entity, offering solutions to the unmet medical needs of patients and the healthcare professionals who serve them."
New Strategic Vision
- Focus on the successful development and commercialization of Company pipeline:
Macimorelin acetate (AEZS-130)
Submission of NDA to the FDA as the first approved oral product for the
evaluation of adult growth hormone deficiency
Preparation for its commercial launch (sales and marketing strategy)
- Commercial launch and brand development
Zoptarelin doxorubicin (AEZS-108)
- Increased efforts regarding patient enrollment for Phase 3 ZoptEC (Zoptarelin doxorubicin in Endometrial Cancer) trial in women with endometrial cancer resistant to platinum/taxane-based chemotherapy
Co-development agreement with Ergomed as CRO who has agreed to assume
30% of external costs of the trial (up to $10 million)
Approval from Danish regulatory authorities for a Phase 1
proof-of-concept trial as an oral prostate cancer vaccine
Initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial
- Focus on successful in-/out-licensing and acquisition opportunities:
Identification of companies with already marketed products
Integration of commercial activities
- Leveraging of sales force
Jude Dinges Background
Jude Dinges began his career nearly 30 years ago as a professional sales representative at Bristol Laboratories and later at Merck & Co., where he was promoted to positions with increased responsibilities in training, sales, management, marketing, and market development. While at Merck, Mr. Dinges won multiple awards, including the President's Achievement Award in 2001, awarded to one of 32 Business Directors each year. He received the Change Agent Award for his market development prelaunch business planning and contributions to sales force execution, while launching the blockbuster brands Cozaar®, Fosamax®, Singulair®, Maxalt®, Vioxx®, and Vytorin®. He was recognized with a Career Achievement Award for his consistent top performance as a Senior/Executive Business Director.
Mr. Dinges joined Novartis Pharmaceuticals in 2006 and led his region to top performance in the launch of Tekturna® while balancing a broad antihypertensive portfolio across several Novartis divisions. His region also led the nation in market share for Exelon® and Exelon Patch®. In 2008, Mr. Dinges became the Respiratory & Infectious Disease Specialty Medicines Director.
In 2009, Mr. Dinges joined Amgen Inc. as Executive Director of Region Sales, Bone Health Business Unit. Mr. Dinges led his region team to a highly successful launch of monoclonal antibody, Prolia®, across southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. His region ranked number one among eight regions in sales, producing 18% of total company revenue while leading 13% of the national sales force. His teams produced the highest sales month on month, achieved the highest number of buy and bill accounts, and developed the broadest use of Prolia® by primary care physicians. He has consistently produced exceptional performance while launching blockbuster and mature in-line brands alike.
About Aeterna Zentaris Inc.
Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing novel treatments in oncology and endocrinology. The Company's pipeline encompasses compounds from drug discovery to regulatory approval. For more information, visit www.aezsinc.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of the U.S. Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including forward-looking statements relating to the expected impact of the transfer of the listing of the Company's shares on the NASDAQ Capital Market. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, market reaction to the transfer of the listing of the shares on the NASDAQ Capital Market, the availability of funds and resources to pursue R&D projects, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the risk that safety and efficacy data from any of our Phase 3 trials may not coincide with the data analyses from previously reported Phase 1 and/or Phase 2 clinical trials, the ability of the Company to take advantage of business opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry, uncertainties related to the regulatory process and general changes in economic conditions.
Investors should consult the Company's quarterly and annual filings with the Canadian and U.S. securities commissions for additional information on risks and uncertainties relating to forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update these forward-looking statements. We disclaim any obligation to update any such factors or to publicly announce the result of any revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect future results, events or developments, unless required to do so by a governmental authority or by applicable law.
SOURCE Aeterna Zentaris Inc.