Greg Duncan Appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Celtaxsys, Inc.

Jan 08, 2014, 13:03 ET from Celtaxsys

ATLANTA, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Celtaxsys Board of Directors today announced that Greg Duncan has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and will join the board of directors effective immediately.  Mr. Duncan joins Celtaxsys following his most recent role as an Executive Committee member and President of North America for Brussels based UCB, prior to which he served as a Senior Vice-President at Pfizer where his duties included leading US marketing, as well as President of their Latin America operations.  Greg will be based in Atlanta, Georgia.


Daniel Perez, Chairman of the Board at Celtaxsys said, "Greg has a keen understanding of the development and commercial challenges and opportunities facing the biopharmaceutical industry.  Working with a strong existing Celtaxsys leadership team, we foresee Greg building a first class biopharmaceutical company.  His global operational experience, extensive work with the investment community and his experience in overseeing both development and life-cycle activities will ensure we successfully advance our portfolio of anti-inflammatory medicines." 

Director Mike Masters conveyed that, "Greg has a strong track record of successfully launching blockbuster medicines in virtually every global market, most notably in the US.  He has extensive experience in inflammatory disease and in building first class partnerships.  We have full confidence that he will help us progress our lead asset CTX 4430 and our early stage medicines through development and into the hands of patients in need of better therapies."

Greg most recently served as an Executive Vice President at UCB, a member of UCB's Executive Committee, and President of North American Operations for UCB, Inc.  He was responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction to all aspects of the organization's operations in both the United States and Canada.  He and his team were committed to raising the standard of care for patients suffering from serious neurologic and immunologic diseases.  Greg joined UCB in 2007 as President of European Operations. In 2008, he became President of Operations for both Europe and Emerging Markets (Asia, Africa/Middle East, and Latin America). 

Prior to joining UCB, Greg spent 17 years with Pfizer, beginning as a sales representative with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Group.  He steadily worked his way through U.S. and international assignments in market research, brand management, and general management with accountability for the launches of many "blockbuster" pharmaceutical brands including Lipitor®, Zoloft®, Viagra®, Celebrex®, Aricept®, Lyrica, Cimzia and Vimpat.

Greg has served as a Board Member of the American Psychiatric Foundation (a chapter of the American Psychiatric Association), Helsinki based Biotie Therapies and as a Board Director for both the national Bio and the Georgia Bio industry association groups. 

Greg holds a master's degree in business administration from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, and a bachelor's degree in economics from the State University of New York in Albany, NY.      

About Cystic Fibrosis: Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a chronic disease that affects the lung and digestive system and impacts 70,000 patients worldwide.   CF is caused by a gene deficiency leading to abnormal protein functioning, the result of which causes the body to produce excessive, unusually thick levels of mucous in the lungs and pancreas.  This excessive sticky mucous clogs the lungs, leading to life threatening infections and hospitalization, as well as altering pancreatic ability to break down and absorb food. 

Respiratory distress in CF, defined as acute difficulty in breathing, infection and/or hospitalization, is most commonly related to persistent lung infection and lung tissue damage.  This distress is the result of an overwhelming and dysfunctional response by neutrophils. Treatment of this lung inflammation is, therefore, a key to CF patient well-being and longevity.

About CTX-4430:  CF patients show increased levels of Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) and this drives massive and persistent neutrophil migration into airways, compounded by the inability of neutrophils to be cleared from the airways. CF airway neutrophils actively release destructive enzymes that damage nearby lung tissue, leading to degradation of lung function over time.

CTX-4430 is a first-in-class once-daily oral medicine currently undergoing clinical trials for treatment of CF lung disease. It is a novel small molecule inhibitor of Leukotriene A4 Hydrolase (LTA4H), the key enzyme in production of the potent inflammatory mediator Leukotriene B4 (LTB4). LTA4H and LTB4 are strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of pulmonary inflammation in CF.  CTX-4430 has been shown to be effective in several CF related pre-clinical models, has been well tolerated in healthy volunteers and in CF patients.  The ability of CTX-4430 to modulate neutrophil activity is complementary to existing CF therapies. 

Importantly, LTB4 inhibition also been shown to be effective in treating additional pulmonary diseases such as Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis and Non-CF Bronchiectasis, suggestion CTX 4430 may have substantial utility in treating a host of other important and currently underserved orphan disease populations.  

About Celtaxsys: Celtaxsys is a privately-held drug discovery and development company focused on advancing medicine to treat patients with orphan inflammatory and pulmonary disease. The company is building a sustainable pipeline of first-in-class immunomodulators, the most advanced of which is CTX-4430. 

SOURCE Celtaxsys