CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: INFI) today announced that Lawrence Bloch, M.D., J.D., has been promoted to president. In his new role, Dr. Bloch will retain responsibility for the finance, business development, corporate communications and investor relations functions at Infinity and will assume responsibility for pharmaceutical development as well as facilities operations. Dr. Bloch will continue to report to Adelene Perkins, Infinity's chief executive officer. Dr. Bloch joined Infinity as chief financial officer and chief business officer in 2012 and has played a key role in developing and executing the company's corporate and financial strategies. Additionally, the company has promoted Claudio Dansky Ullmann, M.D., to senior vice president, clinical development. Dr. Dansky Ullmann joined Infinity as vice president, clinical development in 2015 and has since led Infinity's clinical development team. Dr. Dansky Ullmann will join the executive leadership team and report to Ms. Perkins.
Today Infinity also announced that Julian Adams, Ph.D., president of research and development (R&D), will retire from the company effective January 6, 2017. Dr. Adams has been president of research and development at Infinity since 2003. Prior to joining Infinity, he served as senior vice president, drug discovery and development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and previously held leadership roles at Leukosite and ProScript Inc. during which time he was responsible for the successful discovery and development of Velcade®.
"Larry's appointment to president reflects his strong strategic and operational leadership across a broad range of corporate functions," stated Adelene Perkins, chief executive officer. "I look forward to continuing to work together as we advance IPI-549, a potentially first-in-class immuno-oncology product candidate that selectively inhibits PI3K-gamma."
"At the same time, we will miss Julian tremendously. Julian has made significant contributions to Infinity, building and leading a strong R&D organization, including the team that discovered IPI-549. Julian's scientific acumen and desire to improve treatments for people fighting cancer will continue to be a source of inspiration for everyone at the company as we advance IPI-549. We wish Julian all the best following his retirement from Infinity," Ms. Perkins continued.
"It has been a pleasure to have been a part of Infinity and an honor to have led the R&D organization. I am proud of what my Infinity colleagues – current and former – accomplished in taking on the challenges of drug discovery and development in oncology," said Dr. Adams. "Now is the right time for me to retire from Infinity given that we have completed the transition of duvelisib to Verastem, and the Phase 1 study evaluating IPI-549 both as a monotherapy and in combination with Opdivo® is rapidly progressing. The Phase 1 study builds on strong preclinical research which was recently published in two Nature articles. I have the utmost confidence in Infinity's clinical team to successfully advance IPI-549, and I wish everyone at Infinity success with this potentially first-in-class development candidate."
Today Infinity also announced the promotion of Joseph Pearlberg, M.D., Ph.D., to vice president, clinical development, and Melissa Hackel to vice president, finance.
"Infinity has an experienced clinical team in place to enable the advancement of IPI-549. Claudio is an extraordinary leader and, together with Joe Pearlberg, has been instrumental in designing and advancing our clinical development program for IPI-549 with renowned academic leaders in immuno-oncology," commented Ms. Perkins. "We are also committed to maintaining a strong financial profile, and Melissa's promotion reflects her leadership in ensuring that we appropriately allocate the financial resources necessary to optimize the value of IPI-549. I am appreciative of the efforts of every member of Infinity's talented team in advancing this program."
Dr. Dansky Ullmann has nearly 30 years of experience in drug development. Prior to joining Infinity, he served as a senior medical director, global clinical lead, at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited from 2012 to 2015. From 2005 to 2012, Dr. Ullmann worked at the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program of the National Cancer Institute as a senior investigator where he participated in numerous early-phase and late-phase clinical trials, including studies evaluating treatments for lung and head and neck cancers, melanoma and other solid tumors. During his career, Dr. Dansky Ullmann also held research roles at the National Institute of Health and at Biomira Inc., and he held postdoctoral fellowship positions in tumor immunology and drug resistance at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Dansky Ullmann is a native of Argentina and earned his M.D. at the School of Medicine, Universidad de Buenos Aires. He completed his medical oncology training at Guemes Private Hospital, Buenos Aires.
Dr. Joseph Pearlberg joined Infinity in 2014 and has 25 years of experience in research and medicine. Prior to joining Infinity, Dr. Pearlberg worked at Sanofi from 2010 to 2014 where he held various roles of increasing responsibility within the clinical development organization. Prior to that, Dr. Pearlberg held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School from 2002 to 2010. During his career, he also held various medical and research positions at Dana Farber Cancer Center and Massachusetts General Hospital. Additionally, Dr. Pearlberg was a Genentech Research Fellow from 1997 to 1999. He earned a M.D. from University of California, San Francisco, a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Harvard University and a B.A. from University of Pennsylvania.
Melissa Hackel joined Infinity in 2015 and has more than 15 years of financial experience in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry and has made financial and operational contributions throughout her career leading and developing teams to manage financial analysis in support of strategic decision-making. Prior to joining Infinity, Ms. Hackel served as director of finance at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. She received a MBA from Duke University and a B.A. in political science from Bates College.
Infinity is an innovative biopharmaceutical company dedicated to advancing novel medicines for people with cancer. Infinity is advancing IPI-549, an oral immuno-oncology development candidate that selectively inhibits PI3K-gamma. A Phase 1 study in patients with advanced solid tumors is ongoing. For more information on Infinity, please refer to Infinity's website at www.infi.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include those regarding: the therapeutic potential of PI3K-gamma selective inhibition and IPI-549, alone and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors, including Opdivo; clinical trial plans regarding IPI-549; and the company's ability to execute on its strategic plans. Such statements are subject to numerous important factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events or results to differ materially from the company's current expectations. For example, there can be no guarantee that IPI-549 will successfully complete necessary preclinical and clinical development phases. Further, there can be no guarantee that any positive developments in Infinity's product portfolio or other strategic options Infinity may pursue will result in stock price appreciation. Management's expectations and, therefore, any forward-looking statements in this press release could also be affected by risks and uncertainties relating to a number of other factors, including the following: Infinity's results of clinical trials and preclinical studies, including subsequent analysis of existing data and new data received from ongoing and future studies; a failure of Infinity and/or Verastem Inc. to fully perform under duvelisib license agreement; the content and timing of decisions made by the U.S. FDA and other regulatory authorities; Infinity's ability to obtain and maintain requisite regulatory approvals and to enroll patients in its clinical trials; unplanned cash requirements and expenditures; development of agents by Infinity's competitors for diseases in which Infinity is currently developing or intends to develop IPI-549; and Infinity's ability to obtain, maintain and enforce patent and other intellectual property protection for IPI-549. These and other risks which may impact management's expectations are described in greater detail under the caption "Risk Factors" included in Infinity's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 9, 2016, and other filings filed by Infinity with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Infinity expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
OPDIVO® is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb.
VELCADE® is a registered trademark of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Jaren Irene Madden, Senior Director,
Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
617-453-1336 or Jaren.Madden@infi.com
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SOURCE Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.