HAYWARD, Calif., May 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Kosan Biosciences Incorporated today announced the appointment of Pamela S. Cohen, M.D., as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Cohen is a recognized expert in the global development and registration of cancer therapeutics and has had a long and distinguished career as a medical oncologist and clinical pharmacologist, most notably at Novartis. Dr. Cohen joins Kosan from GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics where she served as the Global Oncology Therapeutic Area Head, responsible for strategic development, clinical trial implementation and registration of the GE Healthcare-Medical Diagnostics Division's product portfolio of molecularly targeted imaging diagnostics.
"Pam's extensive experience in leading all aspects of cancer drug development and registration in worldwide markets and her work with a broad range of compound classes and tumor types will be of significant value to Kosan as we advance our Hsp90 inhibitor and epothilone programs through later stages of development," said Helen S. Kim, Kosan's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Recruiting an experienced and accomplished chief medical officer was one of Kosan's major goals for 2008. We are delighted that Pam will be able to leverage her direct knowledge of cytotoxic and targeted oncology drug development to bring leadership, direction and focus to the execution of Kosan's development activities. Pam is well-known and respected throughout the oncology community as well as the pharmaceutical industry, and she will be instrumental in strengthening our partnering initiatives. Kosan's Board of Directors and management team join me in welcoming Pam to Kosan."
Dr. Cohen has been involved in the global development and successful registration of several well-established cancer therapeutics. At Novartis, she served for close to 8 years in positions of increasing responsibility, including Executive Director, Oncology, where she was responsible for the supplemental new drug application (sNDA) registration filing of Gleevec(TM) in Ph+ adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and, as global clinical project leader, successfully brought the first FLT3 kinase inhibitor PKC412 (Midostaurin) to Phase 3 in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Earlier in her career at Novartis, Dr. Cohen was responsible for the early clinical development through Phase 1 and proof-of-concept at Novartis Oncology, and was an early proponent of the use of biomarkers to speed clinical decision making and optimize trial design. Dr. Cohen was also responsible for in-licensing activities for preclinical through Phases 1 to 3 oncology compounds and served as an in-house expert for pediatric oncology drug development. Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Cohen held several academic positions in pediatric oncology at various institutions, including Cornell, UCLA, the National Cancer Institute, and Stanford University.
Dr. Cohen received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College, Columbia University and her medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She has received many awards and honors and has authored over 30 publications in the area of the molecular biology of pediatric and medical oncology, clinical development of targeted oncology therapeutics and the development of biomarkers for use in oncology drug development.
Kosan Biosciences is a biotechnology company advancing two new classes of anticancer agents through clinical development -- a Hsp90 (heat shock protein 90) inhibitor and an epothilone. Hsp90 inhibitors have a novel mechanism of action targeting multiple pathways involved in cancer cell growth and survival. Tanespimycin (KOS-953) is being tested in combination with Velcade(R) (bortezomib) in patients with multiple myeloma in a clinical program called TIME. Tanespimycin is also being studied in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer in combination with Herceptin(R) (trastuzumab). Epothilones inhibit cell division with a mechanism of action similar to taxanes, one of the most successful classes of anti-tumor agents. KOS-1584 is in a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Kosan's motilin agonist compound, KOS-2187, licensed to Pfizer for development in gastroesophagel reflux disease, is in a Phase 1 trial. For additional information on Kosan Biosciences, please visit the company's website at http://www.kosan.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Act"). Such forward-looking statements include but are not limited to statements regarding the further development and potential safety, efficacy, regulatory status, commercial potential and other characteristics of Kosan's product candidates; the continuation of current clinical trials; the initiation of additional clinical trials and the timing thereof and the use of Kosan's financial resources. Words such as "will," "expect," "believe," "may," "intend," "plan," "potential" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Kosan's current expectations. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Kosan's actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, risks related to the uncertain progress and results of Kosan's preclinical and clinical testing, including the risks that studies and trials may not demonstrate safety and efficacy sufficient to initiate clinical trials on the timing currently anticipated, or at all, continue clinical development, obtain the requisite regulatory approvals or result in a marketable product; the conduct of clinical trials; manufacturing; regulatory approval requirements and process; the effort and expense necessary for further development of Kosan's product candidates, including the costs of bortezomib; intellectual property matters, including Kosan's ability to obtain valid and enforceable patents covering its product candidates; Kosan's dependence on its collaboration with Pfizer for development of its motilin agonist product candidate; Kosan's need for additional financing and Kosan's strategy to enter into partnering or licensing arrangements. These and other risk factors are discussed under "Risk Factors" in Kosan's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and other periodic filings with the SEC. Kosan expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein.
Velcade(R) (bortezomib) is a registered trademark of Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Herceptin(R) (trastuzumab) is a registered trademark of Genentech, Inc.
CONTACT: Jane Green, VP, Corporate Communications of Kosan Biosciences
Incorporated, +1-510-731-5335, mobile, +1-415-652-4819, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: http://www.kosan.com/