ZURICH, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Cytos Biotechnology Ltd (SIX:CYTN) today announced the appointment of Matthias Alder as Executive Vice President for Corporate Development and Legal Affairs and Cheryl Lassen as Vice President for Clinical Development. Philipp Mueller, Executive Vice President Clinical Development, will retire at the end of March 2013.
"We welcome Matthias Alder and Cheryl Lassen to our team. They bring significant additional experience and leadership to Cytos, which we believe will be critical to shape and execute our CYT003 program and corporate strategy," commented Christian Itin, PhD, CEO and Chairman of Cytos, and continued: "We thank Philipp Mueller for his many contributions and in particular for his work on the CYT003 program in allergic asthma and rhinitis, which forms the basis and focus of Cytos today. We are very grateful that Philipp will continue to work with Cytos as a consultant and wish him all the best for his future."
Matthias Alder joins Cytos as Executive Vice President Corporate Development and Legal Affairs. He has more than 19 years' of business, transactional and legal experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President Administration, General Counsel and Secretary of Micromet, Inc., a formerly Nasdaq-listed biopharmaceutical company located in Rockville, MD and Munich, Germany that was acquired by Amgen in 2012 for US$1.2 billion in cash. Prior to joining Micromet, he was a partner in the Life Sciences Transactions Practice at Cooley LLP, a renowned technology and life sciences-focused US law firm, where he specialized in representing biotech companies in strategic transactions with pharmaceutical companies. Earlier in his career, Mr. Alder was in-house counsel at Ciba-Geigy and Novartis. He holds law degrees from the University of Basel and the University of Miami (Florida), and is qualified to practice law in Switzerland and the United States.
Matthias Alder commented: "This is an exciting time to join Cytos. The company's lead program CYT003 has already achieved clinical proof of concept and the underlying product platform has multiple additional applications. I am looking forward to support building Cytos into one of the premier biotech companies in the vaccines and immunotherapy space."
Cheryl Lassen, MD, joins Cytos as Vice President Clinical Development, bringing a wealth of clinical development experience, with particular expertise in respiratory diseases. Dr. Lassen joins Cytos from Novartis where she was Program Leader for the global clinical development of the indacaterol program, a product since approved by the US FDA, EMA, Japan and many countries worldwide. In her 20 year career, she has worked on a multitude of clinical development programs and in medical affairs in the UK and in South Africa for companies including Bristol Myers Squibb, Abbott Laboratories and Pharmacia. Dr. Lassen received her Medical Degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and holds a Science degree in microbiology and physiology from the University of South Africa. She will lead the clinical development activities at Cytos.
Cheryl Lassen, MD, commented: "I am looking forward to leading the clinical development of CYT003, which is a first-in-class, unique immune modulator in development for the asthma indication. The clinical data from the Phase 2a study achieved its primary endpoint for asthma control and all other clinical endpoints were also met. This is an excellent basis to build the development program."
Philipp Mueller, MD, the current Executive Vice President Clinical Development will retire at the end of March 2013 and will continue to support the company as a consultant thereafter. Philipp joined in 2003 from Novartis and was responsible for all clinical development activities of Cytos during his tenure.
Philipp Mueller, MD, commented: "I am delighted to see the CYT003 project move from successful proof of concept to full development and would like to thank investigators and patients who participated in our studies, as well the teams at Cytos and external partner firms for their commitment and support."
About Cytos Biotechnology Ltd
Cytos is a public biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of targeted immuno-therapies. The Company's lead product candidate CYT003 is a first-in-class biologic in Phase 2 clinical development as a potential new treatment for allergic asthma.
CYT003 acts via a novel, allergen-independent mechanism of action to selectively suppress the body's immune response to allergens, a predominant risk factor for asthma. In a successfully completed Phase 2a study, CYT003 was shown to maintain asthma control and lung function and asthma control in patients with persistent allergic asthma, even as standard inhaled corticosteroid treatment was withdrawn. CYT003 has been shown to be safe in over 450 patients to date.
Cytos was founded in 1995 as a spinoff from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. It is located in Schlieren (Zurich), Switzerland. The Company is listed according to the Main Standard on the SIX Swiss Exchange Ltd under the symbol CYTN.
This foregoing press release may contain forward-looking statements that include words or phrases such as "are intended for", "are designed to", or other similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of significant uncertainties, including scientific, business, economic and financial factors, and therefore actual results may differ significantly from those presented. There can be no assurance that any further therapeutic entities will enter clinical trials, that clinical trial results will be predictive for future results, that therapeutic entities will be the subject of filings for regulatory approval, that any drug candidates will receive marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent regulatory authorities, or that drugs will be marketed successfully. Against the background of these uncertainties readers should not rely on forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements or adapt them to future events or developments.