DENVER, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- ARCA Discovery, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing genetically-targeted therapies for heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases, today announced that Richard B. Brewer has been appointed President and CEO. Mr. Brewer, a pioneer in the biotechnology industry with more than 30 years of experience successfully developing and commercializing drugs in heart diseases, will replace ARCA's founder, Michael Bristow, M.D., Ph.D. as President and CEO, and join the ARCA Board of Directors. Dr. Bristow will become Chairman of the Board and the Company's Chief Science and Medical Officer.
Mr. Brewer joins ARCA Discovery from Crest Asset Management where he was a managing partner providing guidance to and investing in promising biotechnology opportunities. Previously, Mr. Brewer was president and CEO of Scios, Inc., where he led the company through the successful approval and launch of Natrecor® (nesiritide), the first new drug for acute heart failure in more than a decade, and guided Scios through its $2.4 billion merger with Johnson and Johnson. Before Scios, Brewer served as chief operating officer of Heartport, a cardiovascular device company developing minimally invasive approaches to major heart surgery. Prior to that, he spent over a decade at Genentech in various executive management positions, ultimately becoming Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Senior Vice President of Genentech Europe and Canada.
Mr. Brewer serves on the boards of Dendreon, Agensys, SRI and Sinexus. He is a past chairperson of the American Heart Association's Pharmaceutical Roundtable and an advisory board member at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and the Center for Biotechnology at Northwestern University. He holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern University and a B.S. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
"Dick is one of the true leaders and visionaries in our industry and has a superb track record of building successful companies driven by innovative products designed to make a real difference in patients' lives," said Dr. Bristow, who was also the founder and former Chief Science and Medical Officer of Myogen, Inc. "I look forward to working with Dick and the rest of our management team to fully realize the potential of our pipeline, particularly bucindolol, our lead product for patients with heart failure, which we believe will introduce the concept of personalized medicine to cardiovascular therapy."
Bucindolol is a next-generation beta-blocker for advanced heart failure and other indications, which promises to be the first genetically-targeted cardiovascular drug. Extensive Phase III data shows that bucindolol is likely to be an effective and well-tolerated therapy for many heart failure patients that can be targeted to those patients most likely to respond favorably -- thereby overcoming a major problem with current treatment approaches. A large substudy from a Phase III trial published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that a common genetic variation in the beta-1 adrenergic receptor may help doctors identify heart failure patients who may benefit most from bucindolol. Data presented at the 2005 American Heart Association Meeting from the same DNA substudy demonstrates further enhancement of bucindolol's efficacy by targeting both the beta-1 variant and a variant of the alpha-2c-adrenergic receptor. ARCA Discovery has exclusive, worldwide rights to bucindolol and intends to seek FDA approval of the drug next year.
"ARCA Discovery is unique because the data package for bucindolol is very strong and could move the treatment of heart failure towards a more personalized approach through specific genetic evaluation of a patient's potential to respond," said Mr. Brewer. "Working with Mike and his development team to leverage ARCA's novel approach, we plan to bring targeted or personalized medicine to the millions of patients worldwide suffering from heart failure and other forms of debilitating heart disease."
Dr. Jean-Francois Formela, a Senior Partner at Atlas Venture, ARCA's lead investor, and a member of ARCA's Board, said, "We are very excited to have an executive of Dick Brewer's skill and reputation assume the leadership of the ARCA team. He brings to the Company the commercial experience, cardiovascular knowledge, and industry credibility that will allow ARCA to transition from the drug-development stage to successful commercialization."
About ARCA Discovery, Inc.
ARCA Discovery, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing genetically-targeted therapies for heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases. The Company closed a $15 million Series A financing in February, 2006 led by Atlas Venture, Boulder Ventures and Peqout Capital Management. The Company's first product is bucindolol, a third generation beta-blocker-vasodilator for advanced heart failure and other indications, that promises to be the first genetically-targeted cardiovascular drug. Bucindolol has extensive Phase III data and a unique Phase III DNA sub-study. Using this sub-study, ARCA's founding scientists have confirmed genetic polymorphisms that interact with bucindolol's unique pharmacology to modify patient response. ARCA is preparing an NDA for bucindolol and intends to seek FDA approval of bucindolol during 2007.
Source: ARCA Discovery, Inc.
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