ThromboGenics' Founder Prof Desire Collen Retiring as Chairman
LEUVEN, Belgium, December 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Dr Staf Van Reet appointed as new Chairman of the Board
ThromboGenics NV (Euronext Brussels: THR), an integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic medicines, announces today that Prof Désiré Collen has decided to retire as Chairman and board member. Dr Staf Van Reet, currently a member of the ThromboGenics Board and a seasoned biopharma veteran, has been appointed Chairman of ThromboGenics.
Prof Collen, Founder and Chairman of ThromboGenics, said: "As the founder and a key member of the ThromboGenics team for more than 20 years, I've decided it is time for me to take a step back and to stand down from my current role as ThromboGenics' Chairman. I believe that this is an appropriate time to hand over to my successor.
"Recognizing a number of challenges, I believe that the Company has a clear strategy to optimize the US sales of JETREA®and in the rest of the world via its partner Alcon. I remain confident that JETREA® will find its way forward as part of a new standard of care for the treatment of symptomatic VMA/VMT, particularly for earlier stage patients."
Prof Collen, a world renowned scientist, has played an instrumental role in ThromboGenics' development and subsequent success since he founded the Company in 1991. During his tenure as CEO of ThromboGenics, the company started its research on JETREA® (ocriplasmin) and advanced it through its early clinical development for the treatment of symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion (VMA)/ vitreomacular traction (VMT). He was appointed ThromboGenics' Chairman at the founding of the company.
Prof Collen has had an extensive and prominent career in drug development. Before the successful development of JETREA®, Prof Collen led the research and development of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a key product for Genentech in the late 1980s and 1990s. This product revolutionized the treatment of acute myocardial infarction and stroke when it was introduced.
Prof Collen has been recognized as a leading figure in the life sciences industry. He has won numerous awards, including two recent lifetime achievement awards as recognition of his excellent services to the global industry. He has co-authored more than 650 scientific publications, and has co-invented over 20 issued patents and patent applications. During his career, he has proved a successful biotech entrepreneur and investor. In 1998 he set up Life Sciences Research Partners, which invests in emerging life sciences companies and promotes scientific research through grants, scholarships and related activities.
ThromboGenics has appointed Dr Staf Van Reet, currently on the ThromboGenics Board of Directors, as the company's new Chairman.
Dr Van Reet was previously Head of R&D at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and was co-founder of Movetis N.V. and Chairman of its Board of Directors until November 2010, when the company was acquired by Shire S.a.r.l. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Actogenix N.V. and Okapi Sciences N.V. and a director of Biocartis S.A., Therasolve N.V. and VIB (the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology).
Dr Staf Van Reet said: "Desiré has made a huge contribution to the growth of ThromboGenics and the successful development of JETREA®. On behalf of the entire ThromboGenics team, I am extremely grateful for his dedication and commitment to the Company, which is now a leader in the European biotech industry. I look forward to continuing his record and to ensure the successful growth trajectory of JETREA® and further development of ThromboGenics' emerging portfolio of therapies for the treatment of diabetes-related retinal diseases."
ThromboGenics is an integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic and oncology medicines. The Company's lead product, JETREA® (ocriplasmin), has been approved by the US FDA for the treatment of symptomatic VMA and was launched in January 2013.
ThromboGenics signed a strategic partnership with Alcon (Novartis) for the commercialization of JETREA® outside the United States. Under this agreement, ThromboGenics could receive up to a total of €375 million in up-front and milestone payments. It will receive significant royalties from Alcon's net sales of JETREA®. ThromboGenics and Alcon intend to share the costs equally of developing JETREA® for a number of new vitreoretinal indications.
In Europe, JETREA® is approved for the treatment of vitreomacular traction (VMT), including when associated with macular hole of diameter less than or equal to 400 microns. Alcon has launched JETREA® in the UK, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Canada.
ThromboGenics is also further exploring anti-PIGF (Placental Growth Factor), also referred to as TB-403, for the treatment of ophthalmic and oncology indications.
ThromboGenics is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Iselin, NJ (US) and Dublin, Ireland. The Company is listed on the NYSE Euronext Brussels exchange under the symbol THR. More information is available at http://www.thrombogenics.com.
Important information about forward-looking statements
Certain statements in this press release may be considered "forward-looking". Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, and, accordingly, entail and are influenced by various risks and uncertainties. The Company therefore cannot provide any assurance that such forward-looking statements will materialize and does not assume an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason. Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties affecting the business and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement is contained in the Company's Annual Report.
This press release does not constitute an offer or invitation for the sale or purchase of securities or assets of ThromboGenics in any jurisdiction. No securities of ThromboGenics may be offered or sold within the United States without registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or in compliance with an exemption therefrom, and in accordance with any applicable U.S. state securities laws.
For further information please contact:
Wouter Piepers, Global Head of Corporate Communications
+32-16-75-13-10 / +32-478-33-56-32
Dr. Patrik De Haes, CEO
Chris Buyse, CFO
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
David Dible/ Sita Shah
The Trout Group (US investor relations)
Todd James/ Simon Harnest