Company Implements Leadership Succession Plan for Drug Development Team
MARTINSRIED/MUNICH, Germany and PRINCETON, N.J., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire- FirstCall/ -- GPC Biotech AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: GPC; TecDAX index; Nasdaq: GPCB) today announced a restructuring that will involve U.S. staff reductions of approximately 15 percent of the Company's total workforce. GPC Biotech also announced today that, as part of a succession plan that was put into place in 2006, Martine George, M.D. will succeed Marcel Rozencweig, M.D. as Senior Vice President, Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer and will assume leadership of the Company's drug development team. Dr. Rozencweig will remain with the Company in the new role of Senior Vice President, Clinical Science and Drug Evaluation to focus on identifying and pursuing new drug development in-licensing opportunities.
Bernd R. Seizinger, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, said: "The decision to reduce staff has been a very difficult one to make, particularly since we have been able to build and grow such stellar teams. However, these decisions were necessary as we focus on moving the Company forward and planning for our future. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the affected employees for their important contributions to GPC Biotech. I would also like to emphasize that our belief in satraplatin remains strong and we are committed to doing everything we can to bring satraplatin successfully to the market."
Dr. Seizinger continued: "We hired Dr. Martine George over a year ago as part of a succession plan to ensure a smooth transition in the critical area of drug development, as Dr. Rozencweig had indicated that he would like to gradually reduce his operational involvement. Dr. George's extensive experience in driving oncology development at major pharmaceutical companies and her strong contributions since joining GPC Biotech make her well-suited to move our development efforts forward and build on the excellent work of Dr. Rozencweig. I am happy that Dr. Rozencweig has agreed to stay with GPC Biotech and help us as we intensify our efforts to in-license promising compounds as well as continue to support us with the preparations for re-filing our NDA for satraplatin based on the overall survival analysis. He is an important member of our senior management team, and his strong network in the oncology community and many years of development experience will continue to be invaluable resources to the Company."
Martine George, M.D. joined GPC Biotech as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development in the spring of 2006. At that time Dr. George, a well-known oncology expert, had over fifteen years of experience at major pharmaceutical companies, as well as several years in an academic position as a medical oncologist. Prior to joining GPC Biotech, Dr. George was Senior Vice President, Head of Oncology at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development. Before that she held a number of executive positions in the areas of clinical and medical affairs, including at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (now part of Sanofi-Aventis), Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Corporation (now Novartis) and American Cyanamid.
The Company's restructuring plan involves a staff reduction of 46 of currently 316 employees or approximately 15% of the total workforce. All affected staff are based in the U.S., with reductions in the commercialization, drug development and general and administrative groups. Affected employees will be eligible for severance packages that include severance pay, continuation of benefits and outplacement services. The Company has retained a core team in all affected functional areas which can serve as a basis for rebuilding in the future. The Company is also retaining the personnel needed to prepare and file as quickly as possible a potential NDA for satraplatin based on overall survival results.
GPC Biotech is also planning to slow down certain ongoing activities and not make further financial commitments to its 1D09C3 monoclonal antibody and cell cycle inhibitors programs at this time. However, the Company plans to maintain the capability to ramp up these programs later, should more resources be available to do so. The Company also plans to continue ongoing satraplatin trials, including the SPERA expanded access program.
About GPC Biotech
GPC Biotech AG is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing new anticancer drugs. GPC Biotech's lead product candidate satraplatin is currently in a Phase 3 registrational trial in second-line hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Satraplatin was in-licensed from Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. GPC Biotech has ongoing various drug development and discovery programs and also has an active program to identify and pursue promising drug development in-licensing opportunities. GPC Biotech AG is headquartered in Martinsried/Munich (Germany) and has a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey. For additional information, please visit GPC Biotech's Web site at www.gpc- biotech.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which express the current beliefs and expectations of the management of GPC Biotech AG. Such statements are based on current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, that could cause future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially depending on a number of factors, and we caution investors not to place undue reliance on the forward- looking statements contained in this press release. In particular, there can be no guarantee that the results from the final analysis of overall survival data from the SPARC trial will be available when anticipated or sufficient to support regulatory approval in the United States or elsewhere. In addition, there can be no guarantee that additional information relating to the safety, efficacy or tolerability of satraplatin will not be obtained upon further analysis of data from the SPARC trial or analysis of additional data from other ongoing clinical trials for satraplatin. Furthermore, we cannot guarantee that satraplatin will be approved for marketing in a timely manner, if at all, by regulatory authorities nor that, if marketed, satraplatin will be a successful commercial product. Additionally, we cannot guarantee that our efforts to in-license drug development candidates will be successful nor that, if we do in-license candidates, these programs will be successfully developed and approved for marketing. We direct you to GPC Biotech's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2006 and other reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for additional details on the important factors that may affect the future results, performance and achievements of GPC Biotech. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and GPC Biotech undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
Satraplatin has not yet been approved by the FDA in the U.S., the EMEA in Europe or any other regulatory authority and no conclusions can or should be drawn regarding its safety or effectiveness. Only the relevant regulatory authorities can determine whether satraplatin is safe and effective for the use(s) being investigated.
Source: GPC Biotech AG