SAN DIEGO, April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- 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
"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
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.
SOURCE Ceregene, Inc.