BIRMINGHAM, Ala., April 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BCRX) today announced it has expanded its management team with the appointment of industry veterans to two newly created positions. As part of the company's goal to add scientific expertise and corporate leadership, David S. McCullough has been named Vice President, Strategic Planning and Commercialization, and Philip P. Breitfeld, M.D., has been named Executive Director, Oncology Development and Associate Chief Medical Officer.
"As our lead products enter late-stage clinical testing, BioCryst is focusing on growing its pharmaceutical development expertise," said Jon P. Stonehouse, Chief Executive Officer of BioCryst. "The addition of these two highly respected, seasoned pharmaceutical professionals to our management team will be invaluable as we drive towards commercialization and continue the development of products in our pipeline."
David McCullough most recently served as Director, Global Corporate Development in the Ethical Pharmaceuticals Division at Merck KGaA in Darmstadt, Germany. In that position he was responsible for leading the company's efforts in evaluating the commercial value of specific product opportunities and in the case of the Serono SA acquisition, their entire company portfolio. Mr. McCullough led the commercial assessment of strategic and financial attractiveness of over 40 companies in oncology and other therapeutic areas. Prior to that position, Mr. McCullough was an integral part of the Business Operations and Market Research Team in the Oncology Business Unit of Eli Lilly and Company. David started his career in healthcare as a sales representative at Zeneca Pharmaceuticals. With nearly 20 years of healthcare business experience, Mr. McCullough brings with him a background which includes extensive marketing, sales, general business management and international experience. In this new position, Mr. McCullough will be responsible for leading the development of and updating BioCryst's strategic plan and establishing global marketing strategies. In addition, Mr. McCullough will be responsible for executing the company's commercial plans beginning with Fodosine(TM) and Peramivir.
"As we begin initial planning for commercialization, David McCullough's expertise and business acumen will add significant strength to our executive management team," said Mr. Stonehouse. "David brings a wealth of experience in life sciences business analysis, product marketing and pharmaceutical sales that will be essential elements of our success as we continue to advance our pipeline and key product candidates including Fodosine(TM) in oncology, peramivir in seasonal and life-threatening influenza and BCX-4208 in autoimmune diseases and transplantation."
Mr. McCullough received his Bachelor of Science degree from Western Illinois University.
Prior to joining BioCryst, Dr. Breitfeld was Medical Director, Oncology at EMD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a U.S. based, wholly owned subsidiary of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany. In that position Dr. Breitfeld's responsibilities included the clinical development strategy for global product teams, and the evaluation of the clinical potential of product opportunities. As a pediatric oncologist, Dr. Breitfeld has been a member of and has held scientific leadership positions in the Children's Oncology Group. He was a widely respected academician during a 20-year academic career and has had previous appointments at Duke University, Indiana University, the University of Massachusetts, and Harvard University.
"We are extremely pleased to have Phil Breitfeld join BioCryst and our Clinical Development Group. He has extensive experience in the treatment of patients with a variety of hematologic and oncologic diseases, and throughout his career has been intimately involved in the design of clinical investigations of therapies for these conditions," said W. James Alexander, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory Operations and Chief Medical Officer. "The BioCryst product pipeline provides many opportunities for Phil to make significant contributions to our development programs."
Dr. Breitfeld received his A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University and his M.D. from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a leader in the use of crystallography and structure-based drug design for the development of novel therapeutics to treat cancer, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, and viral infections. The company is advancing multiple internal programs toward potential commercialization including Fodosine(TM) in oncology, BCX-4208 in transplantation and autoimmune diseases and peramivir in seasonal and life- threatening influenza. BioCryst has a worldwide partnership with Roche for the development and commercialization of BCX-4208, and is collaborating with Mundipharma for the development and commercialization of Fodosine(TM) in markets across Europe, Asia, Australia and certain neighboring countries. In January, 2007 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) awarded a $102.6 million, four-year contract to BioCryst for advanced development of peramivir to treat seasonal and life-threatening influenza. In February 2007 BioCryst established a partnership with Shionogi & Co., to develop and commercialize peramivir in Japan. For more information about BioCryst, please visit the company's web site at http://www.biocryst.com.
Coincident with the start of his employment, Mr. McCullough was granted 10,000 shares of restricted common stock as well as incentive and non- qualified stock options covering a total of 150,000 shares of common stock. The stock options have a strike price equal to the fair market value of BioCryst's common stock on the date of grant. The shares of restricted common stock, and a non-qualified stock option covering 110,000 shares of common stock, were granted outside of BioCryst's Stock Incentive Plan and without shareholder approval pursuant to NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 4350(i)(1)(A). Each grant vests over a four year period with 1/4 vesting after the first year of employment and the remainder vesting in equal installments over the subsequent 36 months of employment. Pursuant to Mr. McCullough's employment agreement, all of the grants will vest in full upon a change in control of BioCryst.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding future results, performance or achievements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties. Given these uncertainties, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could affect the forward-looking statements contained herein include that development and commercialization of Fodosine(TM) in both T-ALL and CTCL may not be successful, that we may not resolve satisfactorily the particulate matter issue with the intravenous formulation of Fodosine(TM), that we may not obtain a satisfactory SPA for Fodosine(TM) for treatment of CTCL promptly or at all, that DHHS could reduce or eliminate funding for peramivir, that we or our licensees may not be able to enroll the required number of subjects in planned clinical trials of our product candidates and that such clinical trials may not be successfully completed, that BioCryst or its licensees may not commence as expected additional human clinical trials with our product candidates, that our product candidates may not receive required regulatory clearances from the FDA, that ongoing and future clinical trials may not have positive results, that we may not be able to complete successfully the Phase IIb trial for Fodosine(TM) that is currently planned to be pivotal, that we or our licensees may not be able to continue future development of our current and future development programs, that our development programs may never result in future product, license or royalty payments being received by BioCryst, that BioCryst may not reach favorable agreements with potential pharmaceutical and biotech partners for further development of its product candidates, that BioCryst may not have sufficient cash to continue funding the development, manufacturing, marketing or distribution of its products and that additional funding, if necessary, may not be available at all or on terms acceptable to BioCryst. Please refer to the documents BioCryst files periodically with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically BioCryst's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K which identify important factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those contained in the projections or forward-looking statements.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2190 Parkway Lake Drive Birmingham, AL 35244 205-444-4600 205-444-4640 Fax http://www.biocryst.com Contact: BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Jonathan M. Nugent V.P. Corporate Communications (205) 444-4633
Source: BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.