BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - March 22, 2013) - Australian drug discovery and development company Alchemia Limited (ASX: ACL) has appointed two additional non-executive directors (NEDs) to its Board as part of a larger board realignment reflecting the importance of the North American and European markets. Dr. Susan Kelley and Mr. Nathan Drona have agreed to take NED Board positions, effective immediately.
Dr. Kelley and Mr. Drona bring substantial drug development, oncology, investment banking and biotechnology expertise to the Company. "We are extremely pleased and very fortunate to attract two professionals with this kind of experience. It is testimony to the Company's high quality assets and opportunity for future development. These U.S. appointments will substantially assist our endeavour to position Alchemia Limited and Audeo as global biopharma companies, with a solid presence in North America and Europe," commented Dr Mel Bridges, Alchemia's Chairman.
The background of Mr. Drona and Dr. Kelley are summarised below:
Nathan Drona, MBA (Finance):
Mr. Nathan Drona joins the Board of Alchemia following a fifteen year career in international investment banking, most recently as Managing Director of Challiss in New York and Sydney. He brings a strong and experienced background in corporate finance and has executed more than 25 global banking and M&A engagements in biotech related fields, leading to the award of the "Pharmaceutical Buy-Side M&A Advisor of the Year," by Frost & Sullivan in 2005. Mr. Drona previously spent two years as Chairman of the Board of Directors of ASX-listed Avexa. During his tenure at Avexa, Mr. Drona oversaw the Phase III clinical trial of a nucleoside analogue with over 300 patients in 130 specialist HIV centres in 15 countries. Also at Avexa, he served as Chair of the M&A and Finance Committees and was a member of the Remuneration/Nomination and Audit and Risk Committees.
Susan Kelley, MD:
Dr. Susan Kelley served on the board of Audeo Ocology through 2012 and has also served on the board of directors of ArQule, Inc. since April 2011. From 2001 to 2008, Dr. Kelley was employed by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Bayer-Schering Pharma in Germany and the United States, serving as Vice President, Global Strategic Drug Development, Cancer and Metabolics from April 2001 to May 2002 and from May 2002 until June 2008 as Vice President, Global Clinical Development and Therapeutic Area Head-Oncology. From July 2008 to March 2011, she was Chief Medical Officer of The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation/Consortium. Most recently, she has been an independent consultant to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in the field of oncology drug development and strategy. Dr. Kelley has an AB in Biology, magna cum laude from Colgate University and an MD from Duke University School of Medicine. She was a fellow in Medical Oncology and Clinical Fellow in Medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and a Fellow in Medical Oncology and Pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine where she also served as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine.
These appointments bring the number of non-executive directors to five.
About Alchemia Limited - www.alchemia.com.au
Alchemia is a drug development company with late stage oncology product pipeline (Phase II and III), and an FDA approved drug (Fondaparinux).
Fondaparinux (a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline's Arixtra®) is an injectable anticoagulant approved in the US for the prevention and treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after knee or hip surgery. The ANDA for generic fondaparinux was approved by the US FDA in July 2011 and launched in the US by marketing partner Dr Reddy's Laboratories. Alchemia received its first profits from sales of fondaparinux in August 2011.
Alchemia's pipeline of oncology products is built on the proprietary platform technology HyACT® (targeted cancer delivery), which is used to selectively target cancer drugs to tumours. The primary objective of the HyACT® technology is to develop a new generation of anti-cancer drugs which demonstrate better efficacy. The Company has recently announced the final recruitment for its most advanced cancer drug -- HA-Irinotecan which is in Phase III for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.
In addition, Alchemia has a platform technology known as VAST® which is based on the company's chemistry expertise. VAST is run on a business model designed to limit use of cash expenditure through the use of partnerships and government grants. The Company has projects running with academic institutions and evaluation underway with big pharmaceutical partners.