PALO ALTO, Calif., June 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: EIGR), focused on the development and commercialization of therapies for rare diseases, announced today the appointment of David Apelian, MD, PhD, MBA to its Board of Directors. Dr. Apelian's clinical development and regulatory experience spans 17 years in all phases of development ranging from discovery to registration, across multiple therapeutic areas including GI, hepatology, immuno-oncology, infectious diseases, and rare diseases. The company concurrently announced that Nina Kjellson, founding venture investor, is departing from the Board.
"We are very pleased to have Dr. Apelian join our Board of Directors and believe his experience will be invaluable to our company," stated Thomas Dietz, PhD, Chairman of the Board of Eiger. "David has a proven track record in the pharmaceutical industry and brings relevant clinical, regulatory, and operational experience, having served in broad executive management roles at both large pharma and start up biotechnology companies. In particular, we believe his extensive background in viral hepatology and liver disease drug development will be very helpful as we advance our HDV program into late stage development. We look forward to David's strategic insights and contributions to the Board."
"I am very pleased to be nominated to Eiger's Board at this exciting point in the Company's development, and look forward to working closely with the other Board members and Eiger's management team to advance a diverse set of exciting clinical stage orphan disease programs in therapeutic areas of high unmet medical need," said Dr. Apelian.
"We also wish to thank Nina Kjellson for her many contributions to Eiger during her near decade-long tenure on our board. In her service as Chair of our Nominating and Governance Committee she has helped evolve our Board for the next phase of the Company's progress," concluded Dr. Dietz. "It's been a privilege to have been with Eiger from the very beginning and to work alongside an extraordinary team and Board. David Apelian will be an excellent addition," stated Nina Kjellson, General Partner, Canaan Partners.
Dr. Apelian is currently Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer of Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a position he has held since 2013. At Achillion, he was responsible for creating portfolio strategy and managing the company's clinical development programs with a focus on hepatitis C. He was instrumental in securing a partnership between Achillion and J&J, which resulted in a $225 million equity upfront payment and the potential for over $900 million in milestones. Currently, he is leading the Achillion rare disease development program for novel small-molecule complement factor D inhibitors for alternative pathway-mediated diseases.
From 2005 to 2013 Dr. Apelian was Chief Medical Officer and subsequently head of all R&D and Regulatory Affairs for GlobeImmune, where he was a member of the management team that built the company to include multiple immuno-oncology and infectious disease programs, as well as helping to secure multiple corporate and government partnerships. He was previously at Bristol-Myers Squibb where he served as Clinical Director in the Department of Clinical Design and Evaluation/Infectious Diseases Group and was Medical Leader for clinical development for Baraclude® (entecavir) for chronic HBV through NDA filing. Baraclude is widely recognized as one of the most successful antiviral therapies, with revenues exceeding $1 billion per year. Prior to that, Dr. Apelian was Clinical Director in the Department of Hepatology & Gastroenterology at Schering Plough, where he coordinated a supplemental NDA filing for interferon alpha-2b and ribavirin for the treatment of pediatric patients with chronic HCV.
Dr. Apelian completed his residency training in pediatrics at New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center and is board certified in Pediatrics. He received a PhD in Biochemistry from Rutgers University, an MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and an MBA from Quinnipiac University. He earned a BA in Biochemistry from Rutgers University.
Eiger is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to bringing to market novel products for the treatment of rare diseases. The company has built a diverse portfolio of well-characterized product candidates with the potential to address diseases for which the unmet medical need is high, the biology for treatment is identified, and for which an effective therapy is urgently needed. For more information, please visit the Company's website at www.eigerbio.com.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release regarding our strategy, future operations, future financial position, future revenue, projected expenses, prospects, plans and objectives, intentions, beliefs and expectations of management are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may be accompanied by such words as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "intend," "may," "plan," "potential," "project," "target," "will" and other words and terms of similar meaning. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, whether or not pegylated interferon lambda-1a, lonafarnib, ubenimex or exendin 9-39, including SC formulations, may be further developed and approved, whether additional studies of exendin 9-39 will show safety and activity consistent with early clinical results, including the interim results of the MAD study, or that the new liquid formulation will be consistent with results seen with IV and SC formulations of exendin 9-39, statements relating to the availability of cash for Eiger's future operations, Eiger's ability to develop its drug candidates for potential commercialization, the timing of the commencement and number and completion of Phase 2 trials and whether the products can be successfully developed or commercialized. Various important factors could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements that Eiger makes, including the risks described in the "Risk Factors" sections in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2017 and our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Eiger assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
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SOURCE Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc.