SUNNYVALE, Calif., April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sorbent Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for cardiovascular and renal diseases, today announced the appointment of Howard C. Dittrich, M.D., F.A.C.C., to the newly created position of Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Randall E. Woods, former President and CEO of NovaCardia, Inc. (acquired by Merck & Co.), has been elected Chairman of Sorbent's Board of Directors.
"Howard and Randy are joining the Sorbent leadership team at an exciting time. With data in hand from our Phase 2a study of CLP1001, we are setting forth clinical plans to advance the development of this compound in heart failure," said Detlef Albrecht, M.D., Sorbent's President and CEO. "Howard and Randy each bring a wealth of highly relevant experience in developing successful cardiovascular agents, and we look forward to benefitting from their contributions and their insights."
Dr. Dittrich, a cardiologist by training, joins Sorbent with more than 20 years experience having led clinical research and regulatory affairs at a number of successful biotechnology companies, including NovaCardia, Alliance Pharmaceuticals and Molecular Biosystems. As Sorbent's CMO, Dr. Dittrich will be applying his extensive expertise in heart failure to the clinical development of CLP1001, Sorbent's lead therapeutic compound.
"Sorbent has achieved noteworthy progress in studying the preliminary safety and clinical activity of CLP1001, with promising data emerging from the recently completed Phase 2a clinical trial," said Dr. Dittrich. "There is a significant need for agents other than diuretics to treat fluid overload associated with heart failure. Each year there are approximately one million hospitalizations plus re-hospitalizations in the US alone due to fluid overload, most of which occur in patients already being treated with optimal medical therapy including diuretics. CLP1001 has the potential to provide additional sodium and fluid removal independent of the kidneys, thereby making it an attractive alternative therapy. I am excited to join Sorbent as we set the strategy for evaluating CLP1001 in later-stage studies"
Mr. Woods is a serial entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive. He brings more than 39 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, ranging from large, multi-national pharmaceutical companies to leading publicly traded and venture-backed life science companies.
"Sorbent's non-absorbed polymers are demonstrating highly attractive properties and the potential for therapeutic applications in a number of cardiovascular and renal disease settings," said Mr. Woods. "I am impressed by the focus and expertise of this management team, and I look forward to contributing my experience to the successful advancement of innovative cardiovascular medicines at Sorbent."
Howard C. Dittrich, M.D., F.A.C.C.
Most recently, Dr. Dittrich served as Chief Medical Officer of Sequel Pharmaceuticals, a spinout from the acquisition of NovaCardia by Merck & Co. Prior, he co-founded NovaCardia where he served as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs. In these roles, Dr. Dittrich was responsible for overseeing the clinical and regulatory development of rolofylline. Previously, he held multiple positions of increasing responsibility with Molecular Biosystems Inc. and Alliance Pharmaceuticals, where he obtained US Food and Drug Administration approval for two cardiovascular imaging agents and completed Phase III clinical trials on a third compound. From 1996 to 2011, Dr. Dittrich held an appointment as clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego and served as a Full-Time Faculty Member from 1984 to May 1996. Dr. Dittrich is a Cardiologist, holding a B.S. degree from University of Iowa and an M.D. from the University of Iowa College of Medicine.
Randall E. Woods
Prior to founding Eden Woods Investments, LLC, Mr. Woods served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sequel Pharmaceuticals and NovaCardia, a pharmaceutical company that was acquired by Merck & Co. He also was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Corvas International, Inc., a NASDAQ-traded biotechnology company and President of Boehringer Mannheim's US pharmaceutical operations. Prior, Mr. Woods served for more than 20 years at Eli Lilly & Company in various sales and marketing positions. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the advisory board of the University of California, San Diego's Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center. Mr. Woods is also an Executive Board Member and former Chairman of BIOCOM, a regional life sciences industry association representing Southern California. Mr. Woods holds a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Ball State University and an M.B.A. from Western Michigan University.
Sorbent Therapeutics is a private biopharmaceutical company developing therapies for patients requiring targeted cation and fluid removal from the body. The company is focused on the development of non-absorbed polymeric drugs to satisfy unmet clinical needs in large cardiovascular and renal markets such as heart failure, end-stage renal disease, chronic kidney disease and hypertension. Sorbent is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit www.sorbent.com.
SOURCE Sorbent Therapeutics