SAN DIEGO, Aug. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) announced that Vincent Aurentz will join its management team as Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer, effective today. Mr. Aurentz will report to Amit Munshi, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer.
"I am excited to have Vince join us at Arena," said Mr. Munshi. "His experience in product planning, operations and corporate development will add significant value as we continue our transition from a discovery research company to an execution-driven, clinically focused company."
Mr. Aurentz joins Arena with over 27 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Prior to Arena, Mr. Aurentz served as the Chief Business Officer of Epirus Biopharmaceuticals. Prior to that, Mr. Aurentz served as President of HemoShear Therapeutics, where he oversaw the scientific and business development efforts including collaborations with global organizations such as Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Janssen R&D and Children's National Health System. Before his time at HemoShear Therapeutics, Mr. Aurentz was Executive Vice President and a member of the Executive Management Board at Merck KGaA (Merck Serono) where he directed R&D programs, portfolio strategy and headed deal activity and venture investments. Mr. Aurentz is a former Executive Vice President at Quintiles, and Co-founder and Managing Director of a venture capital and advisory business. He started his career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).
"I am thrilled to be a part of Arena as it re-orients its priorities to deliver first or best-in-class compounds in a timely and cost-conscious manner," said Mr. Aurentz. "I look forward to working with the team to unlock the value in our portfolio of three Phase 2 programs and multiple partner collaborations."
Inducement Equity Award
In connection with the hiring of Mr. Aurentz, the Compensation Committee of Arena's Board of Directors approved an inducement stock option grant to Mr. Aurentz to purchase 800,000 shares of Arena common stock. The option grant will be effective on August 15, 2016, and will have an exercise price per share equal to the closing price of Arena's common stock on that date. The non-qualified stock option will have a 7-year term and will vest over four years, with 25% of the shares subject to the option vesting one year after the commencement of Mr. Aurentz's employment and the remainder of the shares vesting monthly over the following three years in equal installments, subject to Mr. Aurentz's continued service with Arena through the applicable vesting dates. The vesting of the option is subject to acceleration in certain circumstances as provided in Arena's Amended and Restated Severance Benefit Plan. The stock option grant is subject to the terms and conditions of Arena's 2013 Long-Term Incentive Plan, as amended, and the stock option agreement pursuant to which the option is granted.
The stock option is granted as an inducement material to Mr. Aurentz entering into employment with Arena in accordance with NASDAQ listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
About Arena Pharmaceuticals
We are a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel, small molecule drugs across a range of therapeutic areas. We have three primary proprietary clinical programs: etrasimod (APD334) in Phase 2 evaluation for ulcerative colitis, APD371 entering Phase 2 evaluation for the treatment of pain associated with Crohn's disease, and ralinepag (APD811) in Phase 2 evaluation for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Additionally, we have collaborations with four pharmaceutical companies: Eisai Co., Ltd. and Eisai Inc. (commercial stage), Axovant Sciences Ltd. (Phase 2 candidate), Ildong Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (Phase 1 candidate), and Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (preclinical candidate).
Our US operations are located in San Diego, California. Our primary clinical operations are located in Zug, Switzerland, and our commercial manufacturing for BELVIQ is located in Zofingen, Switzerland.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include statements about the timing and significance of Mr. Aurentz's appointment as an executive officer; Mr. Aurentz's experience and his expected contribution; Arena's transition from a discovery research company to a clinically focused company; re-orienting priorities and delivering compounds in a timely and cost conscious manner; Arena's pipeline of programs and potential, including in delivering value; the timing and terms of Mr. Aurentz's equity award; and Arena's focus, plans, goals, strategy, expectations, research and development programs, and ability to discover and develop compounds and commercialize drugs. For such statements, Arena claims the protection of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual events or results may differ materially from Arena's expectations. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: having adequate funds and other resources and their effective use; enrollment in the Phase 2 clinical trials is competitive and challenging, and their progress, completion and results are uncertain; recruiting and retaining effective management and other key employees; risks related to commercializing drugs, including regulatory, product supply, marketing and use; the focus, efforts and decisions of collaborators; the entry into, modification or termination of collaborative arrangements, and risks related to relying on such arrangements; the timing and receipt of payments from others; the risk that Arena's revenues are based in part on estimates, judgment and accounting policies, and incorrect estimates or disagreement regarding estimates or accounting policies may result in changes to Arena's guidance or previously reported results; the timing and outcome of regulatory review is uncertain, and lorcaserin may not receive any additional marketing approvals; regulatory decisions in one territory may impact other regulatory decisions and Arena's business prospects; reimbursement and pricing decisions; the timing, success and cost of Arena's research and development; results of clinical trials and other studies are subject to different interpretations and may not be predictive of future results; clinical trials and other studies may not proceed at the time or in the manner expected or at all; unexpected or unfavorable new data; nonclinical and clinical data is voluminous and detailed, and regulatory agencies may interpret or weigh the importance of data differently and reach different conclusions than Arena or others, request additional information, have additional recommendations or change their guidance or requirements before or after approval; data and other information related to any of Arena's research and development may not meet regulatory requirements or otherwise be sufficient for (or Arena or a collaborator may not pursue) further research and development, regulatory review or approval or continued marketing; intellectual property rights; and satisfactory resolution of litigation or other disagreements. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by Arena's forward-looking statements are disclosed in Arena's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent Arena's judgment as of the time of this release. Arena disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, other than as may be required under applicable law.
Contact: Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Kevin R. Lind, Chief Financial Officer
SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.