Blend Therapeutics Appoints Mark Iwicki as Chief Executive Officer
Pharmaceutical industry leader to drive company growth and strategy with initial focus on new classes of cancer therapies
WATERTOWN, MA – December 18, 2012 – Blend Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company discovering new classes of medicines to treat debilitating diseases, announced today the appointment of Mark Iwicki as the company's President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors. Mr. Iwicki brings to Blend Therapeutics more than 23 years of experience as a pharmaceutical industry leader managing all stages of drug development and in multiple therapeutic areas, including his most recent positions as Chief Executive Officer of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals and Chief Commercial Officer of Sepracor.
"With oncology as our initial focus and multiple first-in-class anti-cancer drugs in our pipeline, we are extremely pleased that Mark, who has a long track record of success in the biopharma industry, has become Blend's CEO," said Omid Farokhzad, MD, founder and director of Blend Therapeutics and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. "Mark has extensive experience managing high-performance teams and has been instrumental in the success of drugs including Prilosec®, Diovan®, Zelnorm®, and Lunesta®. The combination of his business leadership, strategic vision and drug development expertise will be a great asset as Blend capitalizes on the vast potential of its platform to develop entirely new classes of drugs to treat patients with cancer and other important diseases."
"I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to grow Blend as a patient-focused, product-driven company with broad potential to advance novel cancer therapies," said Mark Iwicki, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blend Therapeutics. "Blend's drug discovery engine, which uniquely integrates nanotechnology with novel drug design, has the potential to unlock new classes of cancer therapeutics that can address unmet needs of patients, either as proprietary compounds or in collaboration with world-class partners. I'm excited to lead Blend into its next stage of growth, which includes continuing to build a first-tier scientific team as well as adding strong clinical capabilities to the company."
Mr. Iwicki is a pharmaceutical industry leader with a diverse and extensive background in general management, drug development and commercialization, including developing and launching products, driving financial performance and growing businesses in new markets. Prior to joining Blend, Mr. Iwicki was CEO of Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, where he provided leadership to the successful launch of Sunovion and its atypical antipsychotic medicine, Latuda®. At Sepracor, he served as Chief Commercial Officer for the company's six marketed products with over $1.2 billion in annual sales. Mr. Iwicki championed Sepracor's corporate strategy, delivering significant shareholder value during his tenure culminating in the company's $2.6 billion acquisition by Dainippon Sumitomo Pharmaceuticals in 2009. Prior to joining Sepracor in 2007, he was the Senior Vice President and head of the $4 billion cardiovascular business unit at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, and before that held management positions at Astra Merck and Merck. Mr. Iwicki holds an MBA from Loyola College and a BS in Marketing from Ball State University.
About Blend Therapeutics
Blend Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company discovering new classes of medicines that have unique modes of action to result in drugs with differentiated therapeutic properties. Our proprietary technology, assets and expertise are built around an integrative R&D process that brings together our new-molecule drug discovery engine and our patented nanoparticle engineering platform. Using its drug discovery approach, Blend has created a pipeline of new molecules and is initially focused on developing innovative cancer drugs. The company was founded by three leaders in the fields of chemistry and nanomedicine from the Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH)–Harvard Medical School (HMS), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): Dr. Omid Farokhzad of BWH–HMS, and Dr. Robert Langer and Dr. Stephen J. Lippard of MIT. Blend has attracted top-tier investors including Flagship Ventures, NanoDimension, and New Enterprise Associates. For more information, visit www.blendtx.com.