Robert J. Palmisano Selected as President & CEO of MacroChem

New head of topical drug-delivery company sees similar opportunity to

capitalize on MacroChem's "undervalued" technology



Former Summit Autonomous CEO, Palmisano engineered its recent nearly $1

billion acquisition by Alcon



Apr 04, 2001, 01:00 ET from MacroChem Corporation

    LEXINGTON, Mass., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of
 MacroChem Corporation (Nasdaq: MCHM) announced today that it has selected
 Robert J. Palmisano, who built a local medical products company into a world-
 leading ophthalmic laser company recently acquired by Alcon Laboratories for
 nearly $1 billion, as its new chief executive officer and president.
     "When I joined Summit three and a half years ago, I found sound underlying
 fundamentals in its undervalued technology, and set about making the changes
 necessary to capitalize on it," Mr. Palmisano said.  "I see the same
 opportunity to build shareholder value at MacroChem."
     MacroChem Corporation is a pharmaceutical company developing innovative
 through-the-skin prescription products for a wide range of clinically
 important and commercially significant human and veterinary health conditions.
 It is currently completing a Phase 3 trial for a novel topical agent for
 erectile dysfunction, a condition affecting more than 76 million men in the
 industrialized world.
     Mr. Palmisano brings to MacroChem a history of successful corporate
 restructuring and growth, capitalizing on his strengths as a team-builder at
 multi-billion-dollar companies as diverse as Bausch & Lomb, International
 Playtex and Mobil Oil.  He succeeds Alvin J. Karloff, who is retiring after
 having served MacroChem as its president and CEO since 1990.  Mr. Karloff
 recently relinquished his position as chairman of the board to John Zabriskie,
 PhD, a well-known pharmaceutical executive with more than 30 years of
 experience at Merck, Pharmacia & Upjohn, and most recently, NEN Life Science
 Products.
     "I am pleased that our long search for a CEO capable of capitalizing on
 MacroChem's strengths has ended in the selection of such a fine leader," Mr.
 Karloff said.  "There is no question he brings to our shareholders a
 reputation earned and well respected in both industry and on Wall Street."
     When Mr. Palmisano joined Summit in 1997, the company's stock was selling
 for $3 a share, and market capitalization was approximately $90 million --
 virtually the same as MacroChem's recent history, Mr. Karloff noted.
     "In a little more than three years, Bob increased shareholder value more
 than tenfold," Mr. Karloff said.  "He created that value by focusing the
 organization on the most profitable, highest potential areas of ophthalmic
 instrumentation - lasers for treatment of common vision problems.  Equally
 important, he led the company to industry leadership in gaining FDA approvals.
 He made a highly opportunistic acquisition that transformed Summit into the
 industry's technological leader, recognized at its recent sale to Alcon --
 arguably the world's most prestigious vision products company, at a price
 unprecedented in the ophthalmic instrument industry's history."
     Prior to Summit, Mr. Palmisano was senior vice president at Bausch & Lomb
 and chief executive of the company's eyewear division.  His strategic
 positioning of the company's Ray-Ban(R) brand of sunglasses fueled growth of
 the eyewear division from $67 million in 1987 to total global sales of $575
 million in 1995.  During that period, he grew the division's market share from
 39% to 51%, and increased pretax operating earnings to 24%.  Much of that
 growth came from domestic and international licensing agreements that brought
 such brands as Donna Karan(R), Liz Claiborne(R) and KillerLoop(R) under the
 Bausch & Lomb umbrella.
     Much of Mr. Palmisano's accomplishments arise from his ability to motivate
 his managers to industry excellence, according to MacroChem's new board
 chairman, Dr. Zabriskie.
     "Bob has a well-recognized ability to come into new situations and take
 advantage of the skills of people inside and outside the company," Dr.
 Zabriskie said.  "His track record of building value and sharing it among the
 people who contribute to growth is a powerful attraction to both prospective
 employees and investors.
     "The board of directors and I look forward to working with Bob to
 capitalize on the many strengths of MacroChem's platform technology, pipeline
 products, and dedicated employees."
     MacroChem specializes in formulating drugs that address large and unmet
 medical needs.  Following a capital infusion of more than $20 million in 1998,
 the company restructured itself from its contract R&D origins to develop
 proprietary drugs based on its patented absorption-enhancement technology,
 SEPA(R).  SEPA temporarily neutralizes the absorption-barrier effect of the
 outer lipid layer of mammal skin, known as the stratum corneum.  In addition
 to Topiglan, MacroChem is developing EcoNail(TM), a nail lacquer containing
 SEPA and an antifungal agent for onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the
 fingernails or toenails, and other topically delivered drugs for other human
 and veterinary conditions.
 
     To the extent that this press release discusses matters relating to the
 development of future products, these are forward-looking statements and are
 subject to various risk factors that could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.  The
 relevant risk factors are set forth in MacroChem's annual report on Form 10-K
 as filed with the SEC and include, without limitation, risks regarding product
 development, clinical trials, dependence on third parties for development and
 licensing arrangements, and risks involving regulatory approval of products,
 and licenses and patents.
     Visit our web site at: http://www.macrochem.com or http://www.mchm.com
 
 

SOURCE MacroChem Corporation
    LEXINGTON, Mass., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of
 MacroChem Corporation (Nasdaq: MCHM) announced today that it has selected
 Robert J. Palmisano, who built a local medical products company into a world-
 leading ophthalmic laser company recently acquired by Alcon Laboratories for
 nearly $1 billion, as its new chief executive officer and president.
     "When I joined Summit three and a half years ago, I found sound underlying
 fundamentals in its undervalued technology, and set about making the changes
 necessary to capitalize on it," Mr. Palmisano said.  "I see the same
 opportunity to build shareholder value at MacroChem."
     MacroChem Corporation is a pharmaceutical company developing innovative
 through-the-skin prescription products for a wide range of clinically
 important and commercially significant human and veterinary health conditions.
 It is currently completing a Phase 3 trial for a novel topical agent for
 erectile dysfunction, a condition affecting more than 76 million men in the
 industrialized world.
     Mr. Palmisano brings to MacroChem a history of successful corporate
 restructuring and growth, capitalizing on his strengths as a team-builder at
 multi-billion-dollar companies as diverse as Bausch & Lomb, International
 Playtex and Mobil Oil.  He succeeds Alvin J. Karloff, who is retiring after
 having served MacroChem as its president and CEO since 1990.  Mr. Karloff
 recently relinquished his position as chairman of the board to John Zabriskie,
 PhD, a well-known pharmaceutical executive with more than 30 years of
 experience at Merck, Pharmacia & Upjohn, and most recently, NEN Life Science
 Products.
     "I am pleased that our long search for a CEO capable of capitalizing on
 MacroChem's strengths has ended in the selection of such a fine leader," Mr.
 Karloff said.  "There is no question he brings to our shareholders a
 reputation earned and well respected in both industry and on Wall Street."
     When Mr. Palmisano joined Summit in 1997, the company's stock was selling
 for $3 a share, and market capitalization was approximately $90 million --
 virtually the same as MacroChem's recent history, Mr. Karloff noted.
     "In a little more than three years, Bob increased shareholder value more
 than tenfold," Mr. Karloff said.  "He created that value by focusing the
 organization on the most profitable, highest potential areas of ophthalmic
 instrumentation - lasers for treatment of common vision problems.  Equally
 important, he led the company to industry leadership in gaining FDA approvals.
 He made a highly opportunistic acquisition that transformed Summit into the
 industry's technological leader, recognized at its recent sale to Alcon --
 arguably the world's most prestigious vision products company, at a price
 unprecedented in the ophthalmic instrument industry's history."
     Prior to Summit, Mr. Palmisano was senior vice president at Bausch & Lomb
 and chief executive of the company's eyewear division.  His strategic
 positioning of the company's Ray-Ban(R) brand of sunglasses fueled growth of
 the eyewear division from $67 million in 1987 to total global sales of $575
 million in 1995.  During that period, he grew the division's market share from
 39% to 51%, and increased pretax operating earnings to 24%.  Much of that
 growth came from domestic and international licensing agreements that brought
 such brands as Donna Karan(R), Liz Claiborne(R) and KillerLoop(R) under the
 Bausch & Lomb umbrella.
     Much of Mr. Palmisano's accomplishments arise from his ability to motivate
 his managers to industry excellence, according to MacroChem's new board
 chairman, Dr. Zabriskie.
     "Bob has a well-recognized ability to come into new situations and take
 advantage of the skills of people inside and outside the company," Dr.
 Zabriskie said.  "His track record of building value and sharing it among the
 people who contribute to growth is a powerful attraction to both prospective
 employees and investors.
     "The board of directors and I look forward to working with Bob to
 capitalize on the many strengths of MacroChem's platform technology, pipeline
 products, and dedicated employees."
     MacroChem specializes in formulating drugs that address large and unmet
 medical needs.  Following a capital infusion of more than $20 million in 1998,
 the company restructured itself from its contract R&D origins to develop
 proprietary drugs based on its patented absorption-enhancement technology,
 SEPA(R).  SEPA temporarily neutralizes the absorption-barrier effect of the
 outer lipid layer of mammal skin, known as the stratum corneum.  In addition
 to Topiglan, MacroChem is developing EcoNail(TM), a nail lacquer containing
 SEPA and an antifungal agent for onychomycosis, a fungal infection of the
 fingernails or toenails, and other topically delivered drugs for other human
 and veterinary conditions.
 
     To the extent that this press release discusses matters relating to the
 development of future products, these are forward-looking statements and are
 subject to various risk factors that could cause actual results to differ
 materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.  The
 relevant risk factors are set forth in MacroChem's annual report on Form 10-K
 as filed with the SEC and include, without limitation, risks regarding product
 development, clinical trials, dependence on third parties for development and
 licensing arrangements, and risks involving regulatory approval of products,
 and licenses and patents.
     Visit our web site at: http://www.macrochem.com or http://www.mchm.com
 
 SOURCE  MacroChem Corporation