Access Pharmaceuticals Appoints Sales and Marketing Executive
Critical step toward U.S.. marketing launch of MuGard
DALLAS, TX, December 15, 2009
ACCESS PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. (OTCBB: ACCP), today announced the appointment of Frank Jacobucci to the position of Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Mr. Jacobucci will be primarily responsible for the Company's marketing launch of MuGard, an FDA approved treatment for oral mucositis, a debilitating side effect of radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Mr. Jacobucci has over 20 years experience in sales management, including senior sales executive positions at oncology focused companies including MGI Pharma, Genetics Institute, Wyeth Oncology, Aventis, Precision Therapeutics and CRC Oncology Services. Mr. Jacobucci has significant experience launching pharmaceutical products, with a particular expertise in oral mucositis and related oncology supportive care therapies and also has developed significant experience with MuGard.
"Our manufacturing is well underway as we fully expect to launch MuGard in North America during the 1st Qtr of 2010. We are currently executing on numerous strategies including the implementation of a dedicated sales force and marketing strategies, the clinical advancement program for MuGard involving some of the foremost thought leaders in the oral mucositis arena as well as the advancement of the other uniquely differentiated products within our robust pipeline. I am excited to be part of the Access team and look forward to bringing MuGard to the hundreds of thousands of patients who may otherwise suffer from the debilitating side effect of oral mucositis," stated Frank Jacobucci.
"We are delighted to bring Frank into the management team as we feel he has the experience and capability to lead commercialization of MuGard both in the United States and internationally. We believe working with Frank will help us to maximize the commercial potential of MuGard by efficiently and effectively penetrating the oncology supportive care market," stated Jeffrey B. Davis, President & CEO of Access.
MuGard is a novel, ready-to-use mucoadhesive oral wound rinse for the management of oral mucositis, a debilitating side effect of many anticancer treatments. Up to 80% of all patients receiving radiotherapy and approximately 40% of all chemotherapy patients develop oral mucositis, and almost all patients receiving radiotherapy for head and neck cancer and those undergoing stem cell transplantation develop mucositis. The market for the treatment of oral mucositis, expanding to include all patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, is estimated to be in excess of $5 billion world-wide. MuGard forms a protective coating over the oral mucosa when swirled gently around the mouth. In a comparison of cancer patients receiving standard mucositis care with those patients receiving MuGard, the incidence and severity of mucositis was significantly lower in the MuGard treated group using a validated scale for the assessment of oral mucositis.
MuGard is commercially launched by Access' partner, SpePharm, in six European countries, having been granted the CE mark certification in October 2008 with the labeling "prevention and management of the lesions and symptoms of oral mucositis." SpePharm is currently gathering feedback from clinicians in the UK, Germany and Italy that are participating in a patient assessment project. SpePharm expects that out of a total of approximately 1,500 to 2,000 patients who will be assessed in this project, a subset of patient forms will be collected by year end, and aggregated clinician and patient feedback will continue to be available on a rolling basis during the fourth quarter 2009 and 2010. Introduction of MuGard into France, Central and Eastern Europe, the Benelux countries and the rest of Europe is anticipated over the next 12 to 18 months.
Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an emerging biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes propriety products for the treatment and supportive care of cancer patients. Access' products include ProLindacTM, currently in Phase 2 clinical testing of patients with ovarian cancer, and MuGardTM for the management of patients with mucositis. The company also has other advanced drug delivery technologies including CobalaminTM-mediated targeted delivery and oral drug delivery, its proprietary nanopolymer delivery technology based on the natural vitamin B12 uptake mechanism and Thiarabine, a new generation nucleoside analog which has demonstrated both pre-clinical and clinical activity in certain cancers. For additional information on Access Pharmaceuticals, please visit our website at www.accesspharma.com.
This press release contains certain statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of Section 27a of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include those relating to: clinical trial plans and timelines and clinical results for ProLindac, our ability to execute licensing agreements in the future, Access' plans to continue and initiate clinical trials, the value of its products in the market (including MuGard and the size of the overall market for mucositis products), its ability to achieve clinical and commercial success and its ability to successfully develop marketed products. These statements are subject to numerous risks, including but not limited Access' need to obtain additional financing in order to continue the clinical trial and operations and to the risks detailed in Access' Annual Reports on Form 10-K and other reports filed by Access with the Securities and Exchange Commission.