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Bionor Pharma ASA's Shareholders Voted Industry Experts Steen Kroyer, Jerry Zeldis and Benedicte Fossum to Its Board of Directors at Annual General Meeting


5/11/2012 9:35:20 AM

OSLO, NORWAY--(Marketwire - May 11, 2012) -

Bionor Pharma ASA (OSLO: BIONOR) announced today unanimously shareholder approval for new and re-elected Board members to the Board of Directors, and members to the Nomination Committee at the Company's Ordinary General Meeting 11 May.

Bionor Pharma is entering a dynamic phase with an extensive clinical program leading towards phase III, partnering process and commercialization of existing products. The Nomination Committee recommended the newly approved Board of Directors in order to significantly strengthen the leadership that will help guide the Company through the exciting and challenging time going forward. The Nomination Committee believes the new Board reflects the international clinical, regulatory, and commercial experience needed as part of the preparations for a partnering process ahead.

"This year we add extensive competence from big pharma to help lead our company," said Lars H. Høie, MD, PhD, Chairman, Board of Directors, Bionor Pharma. "We're proud of our new Board of Directors and we're confident this will help us put in place the international alliances we'll need to bring our promising treatments to market."

The new Board members are joined by the following Board members who were not up for election:

  • Lars H. Høie (Chairman)
  • Marianne Furru (board member)
  • Bjørn Fuglaas (board member)

The Newly Approved Board of Directors Are:

Steen Krøyer (elected as Deputy Chairman after a new CEO has taken his position). Mr. Krøyer is CEO at Bionor Pharma since September 2011. Mr. Krøyer has 35 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Through leadership positions in large companies such as Astra Zeneca and Astra, Chairman of smaller companies and experience of business management in Europe, China and Asia, and last year's experience as CEO of Bionor Pharma, Mr. Krøyer is considered to be well suited as member of the Board of Directors as soon as his successor is in place.

Jerome "Jerry" Zeldis , MD. Dr. Zeldis is CEO of Celgene Global Health and Chief Medical Officer of Celgene Corporation, based in Summit, New Jersey. Dr. Zeldis is an experienced global industry leader with a distinguished career at one of the world's leading biopharmaceutical companies with operations in more than 50 countries and products sold in more than 70 markets in the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions. Ref. separate release 11 April 2012.

Benedicte Fossum B.Sc. Veterinary Medicine. One of the founders of Pharmaq AS, the global leader in pharmaceuticals for aquaculture. Until January 2010, Ms. Fossum was Director of Strategic Development, Legal Affairs and M&A within Pharmaq AS. Professional experience from Alpharma Inc. (Regulatory Manager) and the Norwegian Medicines Agency (Statens Legemiddelverk). Currently, Benedicte Fossum is Director of the board of Navamedic ASA, Codfarmers ASA, ProBio ASA, Probi AB, Smartfish AS, Foinco AS and Altaria AS.

Based on the above nominations, the new Board until Steen Krøyer's entry will consist of:

  • Lars H. Høie (Chairman)
  • Bjorn Fuglaas (board member)
  • Jerome Zeldis (board member)
  • Benedicte Fossum (board member)
  • Marianne Furru (board member)

Based on the above nominations, the new Board after Steen Krøyer's entry will consist of:

  • Lars H. Høie (Chairman)
  • Steen Krøyer (Deputy Chairman)
  • Jerome Zeldis (board member)
  • Benedicte Fossum (board member)
  • Marianne Furru (board member)

Shareholders also selected a new Nomination Committee:

Leader of the nomination committee:

Ivar Sigurd Eide (Leader, re-elected to the committee)

Members of the nomination committee:

Birger Sørensen EVP, Head of Vaccines, and Founder of the vaccine technology of Bionor Pharma, is trained as physical chemist (M.Sc./Cand real) with mathematics and biology as supporting subjects. Birger Sørensen is a major shareholder in the Company.

Lars Helmer Enger (re-elected)

About Bionor Pharma ASA
Bionor Pharma is a biopharmaceutical, listed company based in Oslo, Norway. The Company's investments in developing therapeutic vaccines exceed US$70 million. Bionor's vaccines are based on the proprietary technology platform developed following more than two decades of research on peptides. The vaccines are designed to safely activate each person's immune system to combat viral diseases.

The Company's lead investigational product, the HIV therapeutic vaccine Vacc-4x, has in a completed phase IIb multinational (USA, Germany, UK, Spain and Italy), placebo controlled, double-blind study, shown a statistically significant reduction in viral load.

Bionor researchers believe that the 64 % reduction in viral load in patients who received Vacc-4x in the phase IIb study is a long-lasting viral control as a result of the patient's immune system's new ability to kill virus producing cells, in contrast to the viral reduction obtained with daily conventional medicine (antiretroviral therapy, ART). Research shows that treatment with ART is putting the virus producing cells into a resting state, from which they can "wake up" even more than a decade later, and again start producing virus within few weeks if patients go off ART. Because most patients who are given ART are known to stop taking it for various reasons (high costs, limited access, development of resistance, and serious adverse events), Bionor believes Vacc-4x could be a vital treatment option that can stabilize patients even when they stop taking ART.

Bionor's second HIV therapeutic vaccine, Vacc-C5 is planned to be ready for first in man clinical trial 2Q 2012, and is developed to induce antibodies to HIV that can reduce immune hyper activation associated with HIV infection.

Subsequent to the Vacc-C5 phase I/II trial, Bionor intends to combine Vacc-4x with Vacc-C5, which could form the basis for both a therapeutic and a preventative vaccine.

According to the UN organization UNAIDS, 34 million people were living with HIV in 2010. Approximately three million new people are infected annually. Pharmaceutical sales to treat HIV are US$ 10.6 billion (NOK 63 billion) annually, and treatment cost per patient is approx. US$ 15,000 (NOK 90,000) per year.

Only one out of six HIV infected patients globally are today provided with treatment.

Pathways to market for HIV vaccines
Bionor researchers will investigate various independent pathways to market for the HIV vaccine candidates Vacc-4x and Vacc-C5, through further clinical studies starting this year:

1. Vacc-4x revaccination in patients who participated in the phase IIb study, which aims to further reduce the viral load by killing of virus producing cells, during periods where patients are not on ART.

2. Vacc-4x combined with Revlimid® (lenalidomide), in patients with a weakened immune system which does not improve despite well controlled viral load by treatment with ART.

3. Vacc-C5 clinical trial phase I/II, to document whether Vacc-C5 increases HIV antibodies, subsequent Vacc-C5 in combination with Vacc-4x, with the aim of eradicating HIV and thereby revolutionize HIV treatment.

Vaccines for other viral diseases
The Company's innovative technology platform is also well suited to develop vaccines for other viral diseases, such as Influenza, HCV (Hepatitis C), HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and CMV (Cytomegalovirus).

All preclinical trials with Vacc-Flu (Universal Influenza vaccine) and Vacc-HCV (Hepatitis C vaccine), including toxicology are planned to be finalized second half 2012, thereby being ready to enter human clinical studies.

More information about Bionor Pharma, its research and products, is available at www.bionorpharma.com.

This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to §5-12 vphl (Norwegian Securities Trading Act). Vacc-4x is an investigational treatment that has not been approved for marketing by any regulatory authority.


Contacts:

Bionor Pharma ASA
Oslo: +47 23 01 09 60
Bionor Pharma laboratories: +47 35 90 85 00
Lars H. Hoie, MD, PhD
Chairman of the Board

USA Contact:
David Sheon
202 422-6999
Email Contact

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