Menghis Bairu, MD, Franklin Berger and Scott Minick to Guide Building of a Path-Breaking Alzheimer’s Company
LEXINGTON, Mass., Jan. 8, 2014 – Alzheon, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on brain health, memory and aging, announced today that it has appointed Menghis Bairu, MD, Franklin Berger and Scott Minick to the company’s Board of Directors. Each of these new Board members brings more than 25 years of strategic and management experience in the biotechnology industry as well as unique Alzheimer’s drug development expertise to support Alzheon’s growth as a leading Alzheimer’s company.
“We are excited to add these experienced Alzheimer’s drug developers, entrepreneurs and company builders to our Board of Directors, particularly as we rapidly advance our lead clinical candidate into a confirmatory Phase 2/3 clinical study in Alzheimer’s disease patients, continue to build our portfolio with additional programs, and pursue a rapid growth trajectory,” said Martin Tolar, MD, PhD, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alzheon. “We welcome the deep experience that these executives bring to Alzheon, individually and as an outstanding leadership group. Each of these leaders brings an exceptional grasp of the scientific, operational and strategic opportunities and challenges that face a growing biotechnology company as we execute on our strategy to build Alzheon as a company that brings transformational treatments to patients within the next 5 to 10 years.”
The three newly-appointed Board members join Martin Tolar on Alzheon’s Board of Directors. Alzheon was founded in the summer of 2013, and the new appointments to the Board of Directors follow the company’s acquisition and advancement of its lead drug candidate, ALZ-801, in October 2013 for the upcoming confirmatory Phase 2/3 clinical study in Alzheimer’s disease.
“I am excited to join Alzheon’s Board alongside of distinguished biopharma leaders Franklin Berger and Scott Minick,” said Menghis Bairu, MD. “Based on my experience working in the field of Alzheimer’s therapeutics, I believe that moving into patient studies with ALZ-801, a very promising drug candidate for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, is supported by existing clinical safety, efficacy data and subpopulation analyses from more than 2,000 Alzheimer’s patients from Phase 3 studies with the parent molecule tramiprosate, as well as significant clinical improvements of ALZ-801 versus tramiprosate. Most importantly, ALZ- 801 has the potential to reach Alzheimer’s patients in the next few years.”
Menghis Bairu, MD, has been the Chief Medical Officer, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Development of Elan Corporation Plc. since October 2008, where he led the entire company’s Alzheimer’s program. Since joining Elan in 2004, Dr. Bairu has held other key positions, including Executive Vice President and General Manager, Senior Vice President and Head of International, Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs. Previously, Dr. Bairu worked at Genentech from 1999 to 2004 in various commercial, clinical and managed care roles of increasing responsibilities. Before joining Genentech, Dr. Bairu served as Medical Director for Fremont Health Corporation. Dr. Bairu serves as editor and co-author of the book, Global Clinical Trials for Alzheimer’s Disease: Design, Implementation, and Standardization. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Instituto VII Tecnico Commerciale in Milan, Italy, and attended the Universita Statale, Facolta’ di Medicina e Chirurgia (Faculty of Medicine & Surgery) in Milan, where he received his Medical Degree.
Franklin Berger, CFA, is a biotechnology industry analyst with more than 25 years of experience in capital markets and financial analysis. He serves as a consultant to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, asset managers and venture capital firms. Prior to forming his consulting practice, Mr. Berger served as Managing Director, Equity Research and Senior Biotechnology Analyst at J.P. Morgan Securities from 1998 to 2003. During his sell-side career, he was involved with the issuance of over $12 billion in biotechnology company equity or equity-linked securities, including: the Genentech IPO, which is the largest biotechnology financing ever executed; the first large financings for Celgene Corporation; as well as financings for several large-cap biotechnology companies in their rapid growth phase. Previously, Mr. Berger worked as an equity analyst at Salomon Smith Barney and Josephthal & Co. He holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, and an M.A. in International Economics and a B.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.
Scott Minick is President and Chief Executive Officer of BIND Therapeutics, a publiclytraded biotechnology company with clinical drug candidates from an innovative nanomedicine platform for targeted cancer therapeutics. Prior to BIND, Mr. Minick was a Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners, a venture capital firm, and was instrumental in the startup, development and financing of numerous ARCH portfolio companies, including BIND Therapeutics. From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Minick was Director, President and Chief Operating Officer of SEQUUS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that was acquired by ALZA Corporation. He received his postgraduate training in neurobiology at the Salk Institute, an M.B.A. from Northwestern University and a B.A. from the University of California at San Diego.
Alzheon, Inc., is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on brain health, memory and aging, developing innovative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Alzheon pursues drug development programs that have previously been tested in extensive efficacy studies in Alzheimer’s disease patients and where new insights can be applied. Based on a drug development platform that yields diverse and novel compounds, the company is building a pipeline of innovative drugs to target the underlying pathogenesis of neurodegeneration in order to improve the symptoms and slow the progression of these devastating diseases. Our lead product candidate, ALZ-801, is a first-inclass small molecule inhibitor of amyloid aggregation and neurotoxicity, and is advancing into a confirmatory Phase 2/3 study for certain patient populations with Alzheimer’s disease or at risk for the disease. Alzheon has world-leading capabilities in drug development for Alzheimer’s and related diseases, and we apply state-of-the-art clinical development approaches to improve the likelihood of success with product candidates in our pipeline as well as additional therapeutic assets from in-licensing.
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