OSLO, December 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Algeta ASA (OSE: ALGETA), the Norwegian cancer therapeutics company, announces that Mr. Andrew Kay has been appointed as President and Chief Executive Officer and will take up the role on 19 January 2009. Dr. Thomas Ramdahl will continue as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Mr. Kay (53), B. Pharm., will join Algeta from Renovo plc (LSE: RNVO - News) where he was Executive Director, Commercial. He brings more than 25 years of commercial experience in the pharmaceutical sector, where he has managed the successful licensing and launch of several new chemical entities. At Renovo, he played a crucial role in securing the company's major licensing agreement in 2007 with Shire plc to develop and commercialise Juvista, Renovo's lead drug for the prevention and reduction of scarring following surgery.
At Algeta, Mr. Kay will be responsible for enhancing the Company's commercial capabilities and initially will be seeking commercial development partners for Algeta's lead product candidate, Alpharadin, which entered an international phase III clinical trial in 2008 as a novel treatment for patients with skeletal metastases from hormone refractory prostate cancer. He will be based in the UK.
Prior to joining Renovo in 2003, Mr. Kay was Global Head of Marketing and Sales and a Member of the Healthcare Committee and Pharmaceutical Executive Committee at Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, where he had worldwide responsibility for the sales and marketing of Novartis' pharmaceutical portfolio. Before that he held several other senior commercial positions in Europe and the USA with AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Sandoz and Boots covering leading therapeutic areas, including oncology. He has successfully launched oncology drugs, both globally and in the key markets, which have become major products in their class.
The Board of Directors is also pleased to announce that Dr. Thomas Ramdahl, who has served as CEO of the company since 2001, will take up the position as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Working closely with the CEO, Dr. Ramdahl will have broad responsibility for technology issues, both for late-stage products and the early discovery pipeline.
Stein Annexstad, Chairman of Algeta, said: "Algeta's lead product Alpharadin continues to make excellent progress through clinical trials, giving us great confidence of its potential as a new treatment for advanced prostate cancer. As the Company moves into a more commercial phase of its development, we are very pleased to have been able to attract Andrew to strengthen the executive management team. We believe that his international commercial expertise and networks complement the existing skills in the company and will be of significant value to Algeta in bringing Alpharadin to market."
Mr. Kay said: "I am delighted to be joining Algeta at this crucial point in its development. Alpharadin has shown in all the clinical trials completed to date its unique potential not only in treating the painful bone metastases resulting from late-stage prostate cancer, but also providing a survival benefit for patients superior to the current gold standard. The product also has potential to be an important new treatment for other cancers that metastasise to bone. In addition, the Company has several other novel targeted cancer technologies in its pipeline and an excellent technical and clinical team, which I look forward to joining in the New Year."
Algeta ASA is a Norwegian cancer therapeutics company built on world-leading, proprietary technology. Algeta is developing new, targeted cancer therapeutics that harness the unique characteristics of alpha particle emitters and are potent, well-tolerated and convenient to use.
Algeta's lead product candidate, Alpharadin, has commenced phase III clinical trials in hormone-refractory prostate cancer based on positive phase II results. Alpharadin is a novel bone-seeking therapeutic based on the alpha particle emitter radium-223 and may target skeletal metastases from multiple cancer types, as well as primary bone cancers.
Algeta is also developing other technologies for delivering alpha emitters. The Company is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and was founded in 1997. Algeta listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in March 2007 (Ticker: ALGETA).
Alpharadin and Algeta are trademarks of Algeta ASA.
Alpharadin is a unique targeted treatment for skeletal metastases in cancer patients and is based on radium-223. The clinical development of Alpharadin is most advanced in hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) that has spread to bone, where it is now in an international phase III trial. In a phase II trial completed in 2007 involving 64 men with metastatic HRPC, Alpharadin was shown to increase life expectancy by over 40%, and was found to be exceptionally well tolerated.
Clinical data from this and other trials suggest Alpharadin may also have a role in the treatment of other high-incidence metastatic cancers.
Algeta began its pivotal phase III ALSYMPCA (ALpharadin in SYMptomatic Prostate CAncer) study in mid-2008 and it is now ongoing in several countries in Europe. Approximately 750 patients are expected to be enrolled at more than 125 medical centers in Europe, Asia, South America and Canada. The international trial is evaluating Alpharadin in metastatic HRPC with overall survival as the primary endpoint.
Alpharadin in also in a phase I trial in the USA under Investigational New Drug (IND) status.
This news release contains forward-looking statements and forecasts based on uncertainty, since they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future and which, by their nature, will have an impact on results of operations and the financial condition of Algeta. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Theses factors include, among other things, risks associated with technological development, the risk that research & development will not yield new products that achieve commercial success, the impact of competition, the ability to close viable and profitable business deals, the risk of non-approval of patents not yet granted and difficulties of obtaining relevant governmental approvals for new products.
Source: Algeta ASA