, May 18
/PRNewswire/ -- Emmaus Medical, Inc., the privately-held pharmaceutical company developing and bringing to market a promising new treatment for sickle cell disease, announced today that Henry (Hank) McKinnell Jr.
, PhD, has joined the board of directors. Dr. McKinnell is the former chief executive officer and former chairman of the board of directors of Pfizer Inc. The announcement comes as the company pursues final FDA approval of its sickle cell disease treatment.
"We are very pleased to have Dr. McKinnell join our board and look forward to benefitting from his expertise," said Dr. Yutaka Niihara, CEO, President & Chairman of Emmaus Medical, Inc. "His knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry and global experience will be invaluable as our company positions itself for significant near term growth."
Emmaus Medical, Inc. is now in phase 3 clinical trials with its patented L-glutamine treatment for sickle cell disease. The experimental treatment was originally developed by investigators led by Professor Yutaka Niihara, MD, MPH at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor- UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) and is licensed to Emmaus Medical. This is one of very few experimental treatments for sickle cell disease to reach the Phase 3 clinical trial stage. This treatment has already received FDA orphan drug and fast track designations.
"Emmaus has made tremendous strides in finding a new treatment and new hope for patients with sickle cell disease," said Dr. McKinnell. "I am impressed by the preliminary clinical data from the L-glutamine treatment for sickle cell disease and am excited to be a part of a strong team that has the potential to dramatically improve the lives of 150,000 people in the United States and Europe and four to five million people in Latin America and Africa who are afflicted with this debilitating disease."
Dr. McKinnell retired as Chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc, the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company, in 2006, after originally joining the company in Tokyo in 1971. Over the years, he held positions of increasing responsibility around the world, including service as President of Pfizer Asia, based in Hong Kong and Country Manager-Iran/Afghanistan.
About Dr. McKinnell
Dr. McKinnell is a member of the Boards of Directors of Moody's Corporation and Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Accordia Global Health Foundation, an organization he co-founded to strengthen academic centers in Africa to train Africans to fight disease in Africa. He is also chairman emeritus of the Connecticut Science Center; the Business Roundtable; the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers Association; the Food and Drug Law Institute; and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association. Dr. McKinnell also served as Vice Chairman of the World Economic Forum and as a member of the WEF Foundation Board of Trustees.
He served on the President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He is a Director of the Medal of Honor Foundation, the Royal Shakespeare Company of America, a life trustee of the Japan Society, and a member and former chairman of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Advisory Council. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from the University of British Columbia, and MBA and PhD degrees from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Recent honors include the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan's highest award to other than members of the Imperial Family and heads of state; the Islamic Republic of Pakistan's Sitara-i-Eisaar award, Pakistan's highest award for humanitarian relief; the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for contributions to health services in Uganda; the United Nations Association of the United States of America's Global Leadership Award; the Woodrow Wilson Institute Corporate Service Award, Columbia University's Teachers College Cleveland E. Dodge Medal for Distinguished Service to Education; Stanford University's Graduate School of Business Arbuckle Award and Excellence in Leadership Award; and an honorary doctorate in engineering from Polytechnic University.
About Emmaus Medical, Inc.
Emmaus Medical, Inc. is a Torrance, California, private pharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and bringing to market new treatments for rare diseases and conditions. Emmaus Medical launched its first product, NutreStore® [L-glutamine powder for oral solution] in June 2008, and received exclusive rights to market Zorbtive® [somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection] in December 2008. Emmaus Medical is currently conducting clinical trials to investigate the safety and efficacy of oral L-glutamine for sickle cell disease. Emmaus Medical received FDA orphan drug designation and fast track designation for the sickle cell project. For more information, please visit www.emmausmedical.com, www.nutrestore.com and www.zorbtive.com.
SOURCE Emmaus Medical, Inc.