Diffusion Pharma Names William Hornung Chief Business Officer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Aug. 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:DFFN) (“Diffusion” or “the Company”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of novel small molecule therapeutics for cancer and other hypoxia-related diseases, announces that William (Bill) Hornung has joined the Company as Chief Business Officer, a new position. Mr. Hornung has more than 20 years of finance and operations leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry with companies such as PTC Therapeutics, Elan Pharmaceuticals, The Liposome Company and Contravir Pharmaceuticals.
"We are excited for Bill to take on this important role at Diffusion as we move our lead compound TSC into pivotal studies for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme and develop TSC for additional indications," said David Kalergis, Chief Executive Officer of Diffusion Pharmaceuticals. "Bill's experience with the investment banking community, as well as strategic planning and the operations of emerging biopharmaceutical companies, will be invaluable in helping Diffusion achieve its business objectives."
Mr. Hornung joins Diffusion from Contravir Pharmaceuticals, where as Chief Financial Officer he helped the company up-list to NASDAQ and raise nearly $30 million. Prior to Contravir, from 2002 through 2014 Mr. Hornung held positions of increasing responsibility with PTC Therapeutics, most recently serving as Vice President of Finance. While at PTC Therapeutics he oversaw the IPO process and raised more than $1 billion. From 1998 through 2002 Mr. Hornung was with Elan Pharmaceuticals (formerly The Liposome Company). At Liposome and Elan he was responsible for strategic planning and operations of the company's UK-based European headquarters. Earlier in his career Mr. Hornung worked for a clinical research organization where he was responsible for project management and all financial aspects of the company.
Mr. Hornung holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the William Paterson State University of New Jersey.
About Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on extending the life expectancy of cancer patients by improving the effectiveness of current standard-of-care (“SOC”) treatments including radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Diffusion is developing its lead product candidate, trans sodium crocetinate (“TSC”), for use in the many cancers where tumor hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) is known to diminish the effectiveness of SOC treatments. TSC targets the cancer's hypoxic micro-environment, re-oxygenating treatment-resistant tissue and making the cancer cells more vulnerable to the therapeutic effects of SOC treatments without the apparent addition of any serious side effects.
A Phase 2 clinical program was completed in the second quarter of 2015 and evaluated 59 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (“GBM”), a type of brain cancer. This open-label, historically controlled study demonstrated a favorable safety and efficacy profile for TSC combined with SOC, including a 37% improvement in overall survival compared with the control group at two years. A particularly strong efficacy signal was seen in the subset of inoperable patients where survival of TSC-treated patients at two years was nearly four-fold higher compared with the controls. At an End-Of-Phase 2 Meeting, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration provided Diffusion with extensive guidance on the design for a Phase 3 trial of TSC in newly diagnosed GBM patients. Assuming FDA sign-off on the final protocol design focusing on inoperable patients, the study is planned to initiate by the end of 2017. Due to its novel mechanism of action, TSC has safely re-oxygenated a range of tumor types in our preclinical and clinical studies. Diffusion believes its therapeutic potential is not limited to specific tumors, thereby making it potentially useful to improve SOC treatments of other life-threatening cancers. Additional planned studies include Phase 2 trials in pancreatic cancer and brain metastases, with study initiation subject to receipt of additional funding or collaborative partnering. The Company also believes that TSC has potential application in other indications involving hypoxia, such as neurodegenerative diseases and emergency medicine
To the extent any statements made in this news release deal with information that is not historical, these are forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions with respect to future operations and products, the potential of the company's technology and product candidates, the anticipated timing of future clinical trials and protocol review, and other statements that are not historical in nature, particularly those that utilize terminology such as "would," "will," "plans," "possibility," "potential," "future," "expects," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "continue," "expects," other words of similar meaning, derivations of such words and the use of future dates. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. Uncertainties and risks may cause the company's actual results to be materially different than those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Particular uncertainties and risks include: general business and economic conditions; the company's need for and ability to obtain additional financing, including pursuant to the proposed Series B Preferred Stock offering; and the difficulty of developing pharmaceutical products, obtaining regulatory and other approvals and achieving market acceptance, and the various risk factors (many of which are beyond Diffusion’s control) as described under the heading “Risk Factors” in Diffusion’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements in this news release speak only as of the date of this news release and are based on management's current beliefs and expectations. Diffusion undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.