RALEIGH, NC--(Marketwire - March 01, 2013) - DARA BioSciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: DARA) (the "Company" or "DARA"), announced today the appointments of Haywood D. Cochrane Jr. as chairman of the DARA board of directors and Paul Richardson as a new board member.
Mr. Cochrane has served as a member of DARA's board since February 2008. Mr. Cochrane has over 30 years of healthcare experience in executive and senior management positions, including senior vice president and chief operating officer of Roche Biomedical Laboratories, president and chief executive officer of Allied Clinical Laboratories and executive vice president and chief financial officer of Laboratory Corporation of America. Mr. Cochrane earned an A.B. degree in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead Scholar.
"Haywood brings our board extensive executive and senior management experience in the healthcare industry and extraordinary abilities as a communicator and board facilitator. His relevant business expertise and leadership experience acquired through serving as vice chairman and chairman of the boards of directors of other healthcare-related companies make Haywood an outstanding choice to serve as the chairman of the board for DARA," said David J. Drutz, M.D., DARA's chief executive officer.
Mr. Richardson had previously served on the board of a public company specializing in oncology supportive care and has over 30 years of senior executive experience in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, culminating in his former position as the President for Pfizer's North American Specialty Business.
"Paul is a tenured bio-pharmaceutical executive with far-reaching experience in global product commercialization and development. Paul's impressive background further strengthens our board by providing additional expertise for commercial and developmental strategy on a worldwide basis," said Dr. Drutz. "His strategic, managerial and commercial skills combined with his knowledge regarding specialty products will be of paramount importance as we grow our business. We look forward to Paul's input as we move forward with our commercial platform. Furthermore, Paul's contacts and experience will be invaluable as the company executes on its plan to continue building its sales and marketing pipeline."
Dr. Drutz concluded, "We are very grateful to have a board of directors with the experience, knowledge, and expertise necessary to support DARA in its ongoing efforts to become a preeminent oncology and oncology supportive care company."
About DARA BioSciences, Inc.
DARA is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of oncology treatment and supportive care products. DARA has comprehensive commercial coverage across the national oncology market through a series of agreements with a number of specialty pharmacy providers, leading group purchasing organizations (GPOs), retail partners, reimbursement experts, and an industry-leading third-party logistics provider. As part of an integrated national network with annual sales of over $1 billion in cancer therapeutics, DARA has significant commercial scale and capabilities. Its distribution network consists of more than 45,000 retail pharmacies, mail order pharmacies, and long-term care facilities. This provides DARA with established reimbursement and logistics expertise, as well as partnering opportunities with more than 300 sales and marketing personnel uniquely focused on oncology and oncology support products. This comprehensive network of partners is rare if not unique among companies in the oncology supportive care area and provides DARA a strong foundation for product introductions into this underserved market.
DARA increased its focus in oncology through its January 2012 acquisition of Oncogenerix, Inc., which holds the exclusive U.S. marketing rights to Soltamox®, a novel oral liquid formulation of tamoxifen citrate, which is widely used in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Soltamox is the only FDA-approved oral liquid version of tamoxifen citrate and fulfills a vital clinical need for patients who cannot tolerate existing solid tablet formulations of this drug. DARA launched Soltamox in October 2012 to coincide with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. DARA has exclusive U.S. rights to Soltamox through a license from Rosemont Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. Additionally, in June 2012, DARA launched its first product, Bionect®, a topical treatment for skin irritation and burns associated with radiation therapy. DARA has rights to market Bionect in the US oncology/radiology markets under license from Innocutis. In September 2012, DARA entered into an exclusive agreement with the Helsinn Group of Switzerland for U.S. commercial rights to Gelclair®, an FDA-cleared product for the treatment of oral mucositis. DARA plans to launch Gelclair in the first quarter of 2013.
Prior to acquiring Oncogenerix, DARA was focused on the development of a cancer-support therapeutic compound, KRN5500, for the treatment of neuropathic pain in patients with cancer. This product is an excellent fit with DARA's strategic oncology focus, has successfully completed a Phase 2a clinical trial, and has been designated a Fast Track Drug by the United States Food and Drug Administration. DARA is working with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to design an additional clinical trial under joint DARA-NCI auspices while continuing further Phase 2 development.
In addition to its oncology products, DARA's pipeline includes DB959, a novel, non-TZD dual delta/gamma PPAR agonist for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia. DARA has completed Phase 1 testing of DB959 and is presently pursuing opportunities to out-license this product.
For more information please visit our web site at www.darabio.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
All statements in this news release that are not historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such forward-looking statements are subject to factors that could cause actual results to differ materially for DARA from those projected. Those factors include risks and uncertainties relating to DARA's ability to timely commercialize and generate revenues or profits from Bionect®, Soltamox®, Gelclair® or other products given that DARA only recently hired its initial sales force and DARA's lack of history as a revenue-generating company, FDA and other regulatory risks relating to DARA's ability to market Bionect, Soltamox, Gelclair or other products in the U.S. or elsewhere, DARA's ability to develop and bring new products to market as anticipated, DARA's current cash position and its need to raise additional capital in order to be able to continue to fund its operations, the current regulatory environment in which DARA develops and sells its products, the market acceptance of those products, dependence on partners, successful performance under collaborative and other commercial agreements, competition, the strength of DARA's intellectual property and the intellectual property of others, the potential delisting of DARA's common stock from the NASDAQ Capital Market, risks and uncertainties relating to DARA's ability to successfully integrate Oncogenerix and other risk factors identified in the documents DARA has filed, or will file, with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). Copies of DARA's filings with the SEC may be obtained from the SEC Internet site at http://www.sec.gov. DARA expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in DARA's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statements are based. DARA BioSciences and the DARA logo are trademarks of DARA BioSciences, Inc.