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Apitope Hires Dr. Graham Roberts as Development Director for Therapeutics



7/16/2009 11:49:06 AM

Diepenbeek, Belgium – 16 July, 2009, Apitope International N.V., the autoimmune peptide therapy company, announced today the appointment of Dr. Graham Roberts as Development Director for Therapeutics. Among his responsibilities at Apitope, Dr Roberts will have overall responsibility for Apitope’s R&D activities with an initial focus on the ATX-MS-1467 project. In January, Apitope signed a development and commercialization deal with Merck Serono to develop ATX-MS-1467, a targeted approach to treat multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Roberts joins Apitope from SRA GCD Ltd (formerly, Constella Group Ltd), which he joined in 2004 and was promoted to Global VP of Regulatory Affairs & Strategic Drug Development Services in early 2009.

“Dr. Keith Martin, CEO of Apitope said: Graham brings considerable experience and expertise to the programmes at Apitope and in particular the Merck Serono development activities. Apitope has entered a new phase of growth following our fundraising and the Merck Serono deal in January. These events provided us the ability to build Apitope into a successful player in the European biotech space. With Graham’s experience in taking products from late stage research through to proof-of-concept clinical studies, he is certain to drive the therapeutic development processes through to success.”

Dr. Roberts will be reporting directly to Dr. Martin and will also work on advancing Apitope’s growing portfolio in other autoimmune diseases areas.

From 1991 to 2004, Dr. Roberts worked with British Biotech in a number of roles; latterly as Project Director & Biologics Manufacturing Manager. Earlier, he was a Group Manager within research at Celltech Group. Dr. Roberts obtained his PhD. in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Cambridge.

“With Graham, we certainly have a very strong, experienced addition, to lead the Apitope Therapeutics team in Bristol. Clearly, Graham has true understanding of the importance of our science approach in the therapeutic arena,” said Professor David Wraith, CSO. “I very much look forward to working with him in the coming years.”

About Apitope

Apitope International NV is a biopharmaceutical company with headquarters in Hasselt, Belgium and a subsidiary in Bristol, England. The Company is developing novel products to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of chronic autoimmune and allergic disorders. Apitope’s therapeutic peptide technology platform is based on established scientific evidence showing that soluble, synthetic peptides can reinstate tolerance and selectively attenuate pathological immune responses. The ApitopesTM (Antigen Processing Independent epiTOPES) inhibit the immune system's harmful attack on the body while preserving normal immune responses to harmful antigens, such as infections. Apitope’s portfolio includes novel peptide therapies for MS as well as other autoimmune diseases and common allergies. Apitope is also developing novel diagnostic products for the early detection of autoimmune diseases such as MS and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Apitope is backed by LRM; Vesalius Biocapital; Fast Forward, VINNOF; Hasselt University; The Wellcome Trust; the Daniels family, Wyvern Seedcorn Fund and the University of Bristol; Innovator Capital Limited advised on the recent funding rounds.

Read at BioSpace.com


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