Anavex Life Sciences Announces Expansion of Leadership Team

Strengthening Operational Efficiency and Execution towards Sustainable Accessibility for Diverse Populations within Global Healthcare Systems

NEW YORK, May 22, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (“Anavex” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing differentiated therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental, and neuropsychiatric disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Rett syndrome, schizophrenia, and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, today announced the addition and appointment of new senior team members with a track record of successfully bringing drugs to market.

Reinforcing the Company’s commitment to drive value-creation through operational efficiencies and innovation in the industry, Anavex announces new additions to its leadership team with the appointment of Juan Carlos Lopez-Talavera, MD, PhD as Senior Vice President, Head of Research and Development, Terrie Kellmeyer, PhD as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development, and Jeffrey Edwards, PhD as Vice President of Clinical Pharmacology and Science.

“The most important part of building a long-term, commercially sustainable, growing business is putting the right players on the field,” said Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex. “We believe to have made further progress in assembling an outstanding team with the proper incentives and alignment in order to execute the very clear go-to-market strategy for Anavex.”

Dr. Lopez-Talavera joins the Company with over two decades of key leadership roles in managing registrational clinical trials and patient engagement for approved therapeutics and led and contributed to the development and approvals of several treatments in the USA, Europe, and Asia, including COPEGUS® (ribavarin), YERVOY® (ipilimumab), ELIQUIS® (apixaban), OPDIVO® (nivolumab), VIEKIRA PAK® (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir), and OCALIVA® (obeticholic acid). Prior to Anavex Dr. Lopez-Talavera held key leadership positions at Fractyl Health, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, AbbVie, Bristol Myers Squibb and Roche. Prior to entering the bio-pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Lopez-Talavera was Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and postdoctoral fellow at Yale University and earned his PhD working with Nobel Prize laureates Sir Michael Houghton, PhD and Harvey Alter, MD on the discovery of the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Dr. Kellmeyer brings over 28 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has held executive leadership positions in Clinical Development, Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Operations, and Medical Affairs across multiple therapeutic areas. Dr. Kellmeyer has played a key role in overall regulatory strategy and has led and contributed to the submission of multiple successful New Drug Applications to the FDA and Marketing Authorization Applications to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), among them OLPRUVA® (sodium phenylbutyrate), REZDIFFRA® (resmetirom), BYETTA® (exenatide injection), SYMLIN® (pramlintide acetate), and OCALIVA® (obeticholic acid). Prior to joining Anavex Dr. Kellmeyer held strategic leadership positions, including Head of Global Regulatory Affairs at Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, and positions of increasing responsibility at Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Gen-Probe, and most recently as Group Vice President of Clinical Development at Acer Therapeutics. Dr. Kellmeyer received her BS degree in Biotechnology from Rochester Institute of Technology, a PhD in Molecular Biology from SUNY Syracuse, and did a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Rochester.

Dr. Edwards brings to Anavex 18 years of experience in various aspects of drug development including DMPK (drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics), Clinical Pharmacology, and Clinical Science. He has been involved in the development and regulatory approval of multiple new chemical entities, among them MYALEPT® (metreleptin), OCALIVA® (obeticholic acid), OLPRUVA® (sodium phenylbutyrate), REZDIFFRA® (resmetirom), and VELSIPITY® (etrasimod). Before joining Anavex, Dr. Edwards served as Vice President of Clinical Science at Acer Therapeutics, and positions of increasing responsibility at Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, and Arena Pharmaceuticals. He received his BS degree in Chemistry from James Madison University, a PhD in Toxicology from the University of Kentucky, and did a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at North Carolina State University.

About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.

Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of neurodegenerative, neurodevelopmental, and neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Rett syndrome, schizophrenia, and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain, and various types of cancer. Anavex's lead drug candidate, ANAVEX®2-73 (blarcamesine), has successfully completed a Phase 2a and a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease, a Phase 2 proof-of-concept study in Parkinson's disease dementia, and both a Phase 2 and a Phase 3 study in adult patients and one Phase 2/3 in pediatric patients with Rett syndrome. ANAVEX®2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that restores cellular homeostasis by targeting SIGMAR1 and muscarinic receptors. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer's disease. ANAVEX®2-73 also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective, and anti-depressant properties in animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research previously awarded Anavex a research grant, which fully funded a preclinical study to develop ANAVEX®2-73 for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. We believe that ANAVEX®3-71, which targets SIGMAR1 and M1 muscarinic receptors, is a promising clinical stage drug candidate demonstrating disease-modifying activity against the major hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease in transgenic (3xTg-AD) mice, including cognitive deficits, amyloid, and tau pathologies. In preclinical trials, ANAVEX®3-71 has shown beneficial effects on mitochondrial dysfunction and neuroinflammation. Further information is available at www.anavex.com. You can also connect with the Company on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.

For Further Information:
Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Research & Business Development
Toll-free: 1-844-689-3939
Email: info@anavex.com

Investors:
Andrew J. Barwicki
Investor Relations
Tel: 516-662-9461
Email: andrew@barwicki.com


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