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U3 Pharma Expands Drug Development Expertise As Products Advance


10/19/2005 5:12:36 PM

MARTINSRIED, Germany, February 1 /PRNewswire/ -- U3 Pharma AG announced today the appointment of Dr. Josefin-Beate Holz as Vice President, Drug Development to spearhead the next stage of development of U3 Pharma's portfolio of targeted therapeutics. With the establishment of its clinical development team, U3 Pharma is continuing its transition towards becoming a premier translational research stage organization. Joining Dr. Holz's team, Dr. Thore Hettmann has been appointed as Director, Preclinical Development.

"As part of the natural maturation of the Company, we are building in-house capabilities to ensure that each product has a dossier of preclinical information that is to the highest standard. By ensuring we conduct all the relevant biological research in advance, we believe we will have greater success with our products as they move into clinical trials," noted Dr. Mike Rothe, Chief Scientific Officer at U3 Pharma. "Dr. Holz and her team, now including Dr. Hettmann, will provide the expertise and experience to establish the infrastructure to successfully take our compounds from the end of research through to phase IIa evaluation."

Dr. Holz joins U3 Pharma with a decade of experience in the clinical development and registration of cancer products, including Taxol(R), Kevatril(R), Ambisome(R) and Daunoxome(R). At U3 Pharma, Dr. Holz will oversee the building of U3 Pharma's drug development capabilities, after research, up to efficacy studies in patients (phase IIa clinical trials).

Most recently, Dr. Holz was a Director of Clinical Trials and Safety at GPC Biotech (Munich, Germany). In this role, she was involved in three oncology development projects, including a phase III compound, taking a monoclonal antibody from preclinical research to IMPD filing and a preclinical stage small molecule. Dr. Holz also provided expertise for regulatory submissions, such as strategic input into NDA preparations for the phase III compound.

Prior to GPC Biotech, Dr. Holz directed oncology clinical research at Allos Therapeutics (Colorado, USA) and Gilead Sciences (Colorado, USA and Cambridge, UK). In these positions, Dr. Holz led teams involved in the design and execution of phase I, II and III trials for products in development for several different types of cancers and infectious diseases. At Gilead (previously NeXstar), before moving to clinical research, Dr. Holz was Medical Marketing Director in Munich, Germany. Her responsibilities in this role included medical support for marketed and licensed products, planning and initiation of a registrational study of Ambisone(R) in AML and training of sales and marketing representatives. Her first pharmaceutical position was as a medical advisor to Bristol-Myers Squibb involved in phase III clinical studies of Taxol(R) In NSCLC and SCLC.

Dr. Holz earned her medical degree and conducted post-doctorate studies in the Department of Hematology and Oncology, University of Marburg, Germany.

Dr. Hettmann joins U3 Pharma from EMD Lexigen (Billerica, USA) where, for the past four years, he has been a senior scientist involved in preclinical immunotherapeutic product development, including antibodies and cytokine fusion proteins. In this role, Dr Hettmann developed proof of concept and efficacy in vivo assays, coordinated toxicology and bioactivity studies, and evaluated therapeutic cancer vaccines in animal tumor models.

Prior to EMD Lexigen, Dr. Hettmann conducted post-doctoral research at the Harvard School of Public Health (Cambridge, USA) and at the University of Chicago (USA). He holds a Ph.D. in immunology and a B.Sc. in microbiology from the University of Toronto (Canada).

About U3 Pharma

U3 Pharma AG is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the creation of novel therapeutic products that specifically target key components of cellular signal transduction systems that are involved in major important human diseases such as cancer. The company has licensed a portfolio of validated drug targets from the Max Planck Society based on pioneering research by Prof. Axel Ullrich. These drug targets have been used to discover a portfolio of therapeutic antibodies and small molecules candidates that U3 Pharma is advancing towards clinical development. In addition, U3 Pharma has created a second-generation functional genomics platform, TASC, which mimics the progression of a tumor cell as it progresses towards its fully malignant cancerous state. The company has signed drug discovery and development collaborations with Abgenix for therapeutic antibodies and EvotecOAI for small molecule drugs. U3 Pharma is privately held and based in Martinsried, Munich, Germany. For additional information, visit http://www.u3pharma.com/.

U3 Pharma AG

CONTACT: U3 Pharma, Ed Stuart, PhD, +49-89-8103-9120,stuart@u3pharma.com. Halsin Partners, Mike Sinclair,+44-870-747-0880, msinclair@halsin.com


Read at BioSpace.com

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