PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Dec. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Novocure, a commercial stage private oncology company, announced today the addition of three former senior OSI Pharmaceuticals executives to its Global Commercialization Team. The Global Commercialization Team is responsible for bringing the company's new tumor treating fields (TTF) cancer therapy to patients worldwide.
Peter M. Melnyk has joined Novocure as chief commercial officer responsible for directing the company's global marketing and sales efforts. Mr. Melnyk was previously senior vice president for sales and marketing at OSI Pharmaceuticals where he led the global commercialization efforts for Tarceva, resulting in the most successful launch in US oncology history. In 2010, Mr. Melnyk also led OSI's US sales force to the number one rank within the top tier of all oncology companies. Prior to OSI, Mr. Melnyk was executive director of oncology at Pfizer and Pharmacia and a director of oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Mr. Melnyk also serves on the Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Advisory Workgroup of C-Change.
Angela M. Davies will serve as Novocure's executive vice president, head of clinical development and medical oncology and will lead the global medical development and clinical strategy for the company. Dr. Davies was previously senior vice president and chief medical officer of oncology for OSI Pharmaceuticals where she was responsible for the clinical development of Tarceva and pipeline compounds. Prior to OSI, Dr. Davies was an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Davis Cancer Center. At UC Davis, Dr. Davies maintained a clinical oncology practice and was director of the developmental therapeutic (Phase I) clinic and co-director of the thoracic oncology program. During this time, she was a recognized lung cancer expert and served as lead investigator on many trials including NCI sponsored trials, and Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) trials. Dr. Davies completed her medical training at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a board-certified internist and medical oncologist and a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Laura Benson has joined Novocure as vice president, medical affairs and will support patients and healthcare professionals through field liaisons, medical information and communications, clinical trials support, including development and investigator sponsored trials, as well as liaising with professional and patient advocacy groups. Ms. Benson was formerly vice president, medical affairs at OSI Pharmaceuticals. Prior to OSI, she was associate medical director at Pfizer and Pharmacia, vice president of content at Oncology.com and a patient care and health management consultant at Schering Plough. She was elected to serve a three-year term as secretary of the board of directors for the Oncology Nursing Society and is currently serving as president of the board of directors of ONS:EDGE, a for-profit subsidiary of ONS. Ms. Benson received her nursing degree at Adelphi University and has 16 years of clinical experience at Albert Einstein Cancer Center, Bronx, N.Y.
"The addition of Peter, Angela and Laura to our executive management team is an important milestone in building Novocure's commercial operation," said Gabriel Leung, chairman of the company's global commercialization team. "Their knowledge of the oncology community will be an asset as we make this important advance in cancer treatment available to physicians and their patients."
"Novocure's global commercialization team is responsible for launching the NovoTTF-100A System under its approved indications for use in the US and Europe, as well as for developing the clinical and commercial plans to lead us into the future," said Asaf Danziger. "I am happy to welcome Peter, Angela and Laura to Novocure and look forward to working with them to make TTF therapy available to cancer patients around the world."
Novocure Limited is a private oncology company pioneering a novel therapy for solid tumors. Novocure's worldwide headquarters is located in the Jersey Isle. Novocure's US operations are based in Portsmouth, NH and the company's research center is located in Haifa, Israel. For additional information about the company, please visit www.novocure.com.
About the NovoTTF-100A System
NovoTTF-100A is a portable, non-invasive medical device designed for continuous use throughout the day by the patient. The device has been shown in in vitro and in vivo studies to slow and reverse tumor growth by inhibiting mitosis, the process by which cells divide and replicate. The NovoTTF-100A device, which weighs about six pounds (three kilograms), creates a low intensity, alternating electric field within the tumor that exerts physical forces on electrically charged cellular components, preventing the normal mitotic process and causing cancer cell death prior to division. In patients with recurrent glioblastoma brain tumors, the device has shown clinical efficacy comparable to that of active chemotherapies with many less side effects and an improved quality of life. The NovoTTF-100A has received marketing approval in the US and is a CE Marked device that is cleared for sale in Europe.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the NovoTTF-100A System for use as a treatment for adult patients (22 years of age or older) with histologically-confirmed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), following histologically – or radiologically-confirmed recurrence in the supra-tentorial region of the brain after receiving chemotherapy. The device is intended to be used as monotherapy, and is intended as an alternative to standard medical therapy for GBM after surgical and radiation options have been exhausted.
Patients should only use the NovoTTF-100A System under the supervision of a physician properly trained in use of the device.