VANCOUVER, April 18 - Protox Therapeutics Inc. (the "Company" or "Protox") (TSX: PRX), a leader in the development of receptor targeted therapeutic fusion proteins, is pleased to announce that it has opened a new office in San Diego, California and expects to complete the transition of operations to the new office by the end of Q2 2011. To lead this transition, Protox Chairman Lars Ekman, MD Ph.D., has accepted the role of Executive Chairman and President of Protox, and Allison J. Hulme, Ph.D., has joined the Company as Chief Operating Officer and Head of Research & Development. Both Drs. Ekman and Hulme will be based in San Diego. In connection with this move, President and Chief Executive Officer Fahar Merchant, Ph.D. and Senior Vice President, Development and Regulatory Affairs Nina Merchant have resigned their positions and have agreed to serve as consultants to the Company to assist in the orderly transition of operations to San Diego.
"The Board appreciates the enormous dedication and contributions of Fahar Merchant and Nina Merchant to Protox over the last several years," said Dr. Ekman. "They have done a fantastic job getting PRX302 to its current stage of development on very limited resources. The Board would like to thank Fahar and Nina for all their hard work and for continuing to work with Protox as consultants to ensure a seamless transition."
"Nina and I have enjoyed our tenure at Protox over the last six years and value the relationships that we have forged with our colleagues, advisors, partners and, in particular, the immense support from our loyal shareholders," said Dr. Fahar Merchant. "On the back of over $115 million of financing and partnering activities in 2010, and the outstanding team being assembled under Lars' leadership, I feel that the building blocks are firmly in place for the Company's next phase of progress from its new US base."
"We are moving Protox to access the deep pool of management talent and experience in biologic drug development that exists in San Diego, in order to maximize the likelihood of the successful development of PRX302," continued Dr. Ekman. "We are excited to have Dr. Hulme join the Company, as she is a highly accomplished pharmaceutical executive with over 20 years of drug development experience. She most recently served as Executive Vice President and Head of Global Development at Elan Pharmaceuticals, and has a proven track record in all phases of global clinical drug development. She has achieved multiple regulatory approvals in the United States and Europe, coupled with hands on global commercial launch experience for the blockbuster drug Tysabri. Dr. Hulme and I will be working together, along with Protox Director Mr. William Rohn, to build out the San Diego clinical development and management team expeditiously. To that end, we are delighted to announce that Mark Brunswick Ph.D. has also joined the Company as Head of Regulatory Affairs. Dr. Brunswick has over 20 years of regulatory experience in the pharmaceutical industry and over nine years of experience as a reviewer of biologics at the US Food and Drug Administration."
Protox Therapeutics is a leader in advancing novel, receptor targeted therapeutic fusion proteins. Two drug candidates derived from the Company's INxin™ and PORxin™ platforms are in clinical development. Protox's lead program, PRX302 (PORxin), achieved positive results from its Phase 2b placebo controlled trial called TRIUMPH, to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH or enlarged prostate). Protox has partnered with Kissei Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of PRX302 in Japan. PRX321 (INxin) is being developed for the treatment of various cancers and has received Fast Track Designation and Orphan Drug Status from the US FDA and EMEA for the treatment of primary brain cancer. For more information, please visit www.protoxtherapuetics.com.
Certain statements included in this press release may be considered forward-looking. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on Protox' current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to Protox and relate to, among other things, anticipated financial performance, business prospects, strategies, regulatory developments, market acceptance and future commitments. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by Protox in its public securities filings; actual events may differ materially from current expectations. Protox disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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